Food and Wine Pairing: An Afternoon of Grilled Food and Wine

January 13th, 2007

Here's another food and wine pairing event! My wife, son and I joined some friends at their place for an afternoon of grilled food. He has a nice large fire pit out back so we could fire up some tasty treats on real wood embers!

Here's what we ate:

food and wine pairingbarbecue winegrilled pepperfire pit

The Wines:

  1. Presto NV Spumante Prosecco - This was a really inexpensive sparkler from Italy. I hadn't had this producer before, but I can't think of a better way to start off an evening of food and wine pairing than with a nice chilled Prosecco. This was fresh and bright and refreshing. The mouthfeel was a bit coarse compared to the wine that followed. Taken alone, I liked it, but it paled in comparison to the Althea. Good value though.
  2. Althea NV Spumante Prosecco - Now this was the s--t! I had had a bottle of the Frizzante from this producer recently and really liked it! Fresh honeydew and other sweet bright melon-like fruits in the nose followed by a dry bright mouthfull of silky and long fruit. Just delish! Compared to the frizzante I had recently had, this definitely had a fuller more moussey texture. Definitely recommended and worth the extra few bucks this will cost you over the Presto.
  3. Morin Pouilly-Fuissé - This is a white Burgundy, so it is 100% Chardonnay, for those who don't know. This had a pretty nose of bright apple and stone aromas. No obtrusive oak. Simple but pure and pretty. The mouth was more full with stoney, mineral-imbued fruit. Very nice. Not profound but does the job.
  4. Denis Mortet Gevry-Chambertin 1998 - I had heard that some of the lower appellations from 1998 are coming around already from 1998 so I thought I'd give this red Burgundy a try. The young nose is still showing primary peppery, spicy fruit and reglisse. The mouth is velvety, bordering on silky, performing above its village level. The fruit is bold and has a spicy flavor to it. This was very nice but still young. Mortet tended to make wines that are pretty big and dense for a Burgundy. Very nice surprise for a lowly village wine. No noticable oak by the way, for those who are concerned Mortet used too much new wood.
  5. Ravenswood Wood Road/Belloni Zinfandel 1995 - The nose here was initially pretty hot with alcohol. However, with a little time exposed to air this integrated and showed nice fennel root, chocolate and coffee. Almost Pomerol-like aromas! Not quite Zinfandel-like, but in a good way. The mouth was mature with low acid, rich cassis and mocha flavors. I've always liked this wine and it is in a good place.

Food and Wine Pairing Thoughts:

The Proseccos were pretty much apéritif wines that we enjoyed while we built the fire and prepared food. They also did quite nicely washing down the lighter cheeses. I had a bit left over to try with the scallops and this was a very nice combo, although I think I liked the Pouilly-Fuissé best with the scallops and their smokey lardons.

The best food and wine pairing of the night was the Gevrey with the quail. The game birds really brought out the velvety and almost meaty flavors in the wine. I thought this was a nice food and wine pairing.

The Ravenswood food and wine pairing was okay with the lamb but not as profound as I've had with other types of wine with rosemary lamb. I really like when a wine like a Chateauneuf-du-Pape or Bandol has smokey, roasted Provençal herb aromas. This Zin was a bit too fruity and chocolate to really blend with the earthy and herby flavors of the rosemary lamb.

Overall, an enjoyable afternoon with friends and some delicious fire pit grilled foods with tasty wines!

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