As we make our way through another hot summer, the temperature has picked up, and so have the outdoor activities – with proper social distancing in place, of course! We’re frequently asked in the tasting room about our favorite summer wines and how to pick them, so we want to give you the inside scoop.

While it’s hard to argue against “Rosé all day” if you’re lounging around the pool – and if you are, you should try our Fattoria Svetoni Rosato di Toscana – you may also be interested in what wines will go best with that dinner you’re planning to fire the grill up for later on.

Most importantly, the wine you choose should mainly depend on what kind of food you’re planning to serve alongside it. Pairing wine with food off the grill is relatively easy since you’re usually dealing with a meat that has straightforward seasonings, rubs or marinades.

Next, ask yourself two questions: How hearty is this food and what’s the dominant flavor? When it comes to steaks and burgers, the dominant flavor will be the meat itself, but when it comes to foods like chicken or shrimp, the dominant flavor will probably be your sauce or seasoning.

Red meat should be paired with robust red wines that can “keep up” with the meat’s flavors and not get overwhelmed. Our Fattoria Svetoni Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (comparable to a Cabernet Sauvignon) pairs excellently with steak, and our estate-grown Red Zinfandel, complements burgers and other meats well with its tannins and peppery undertones.

For a spicier chicken dish, think about white wines that won’t overwhelm the food, such as our crisp Zin Valle Gewürztraminer or a nice Gruner Veltliner from Austria. Shrimp and other seafood pairs nicely with our Fattoria Svetoni Bianco di Toscana or a nice Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.

What about hot dogs and bratwurst? Does anything work other than beer? Of course! German Rieslings or our Zin Valle Gewürztraminer have just the right amount of acidity and crispness to complement hot dogs and brats.

Still don’t know what to do? Your savior might just be a medium-bodied red wine like our Zin Valle Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir is a favorite among restaurant sommeliers for its ability to pair well with a wide range of foods.

Whatever you choose to do, remember – it’s all about having fun and experimenting – you can’t really go wrong when it comes to wine!

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