There are three things I love about summer (well four, but I don’t want to get yelled at):
- Being able to do things with the family outside,
- Being able to run outside (oh thank you sweet Jesus!), and
Few things in life provide a creative and relaxing escape. To me grill is one of those places. If it were up to me, I’d grill every day. Alas, work has been getting in the way a lot; however when I can, I like to have at it. So why grilling? Why not saute, flambé, or negligee?
Grilling is my preferred medium of applied heat because it blends the delicious with the healthy. By cooking purely by flame with no oil, butter, lard (jk), or spray contaminating the natural glory of the protein or vegetable, I’m able to feel good about what’s consumed. It sucks when you get that twinge of guilt after you’ve enjoyed a great meal. Plus, in my opinion, grilled foods just taste better.
Another reason that I love grilling is that my favorite wines are best friends with grilled steak, chicken or fish. Rhône varietals and Pinot Noir complement the char, spices and/or sauces that typically accompany grilled proteins. The pairings are fun and limitless. In fact, when faced with BBQ, mango habañero, and Cajun chicken thighs a couple of nights back, I was forced to bust out a bottle of magnificent Wind Gap Pinot Noir. The medium bodied, whole-cluster fermented gem served up the perfect amount of acidity, fruit and body, which made it well-suited for this mouth-watering challenge. How’s that for a descriptive sentence!
The final reason that grilling is special is that it takes me back. My first memory of grilling was with my uncle Halil in Turkey. My family there had a beach house on the Marmara coast and we’d get fresh fish daily. In this particular memory I recall a plastic bag filled with gorgeous, large sardines, a built-in brick grill, and fresh simit. The fish was delicious and the eyeballs were fun to pluck out (the odd things 13-year-old boys do…and 33-year-old boys remember).
Now that I’m a runner and try my best to watch what I eat, my affinity for grilling has turned from a passion, to a passion and compliment to my lifestyle. Talk about win-win. Once you mix in a passion for great wine you have all the elements of…WINNING!
Get out there and grill (and drink good wine), but be nice to sardines!!!
Categories: Wine & Spirits