Perfect Wine Pairings for Summer Grilling, According to a Westchester Pro

Top photo Soloviova Liudmyla | AdobeStock; Bottle photos courtesy Aries Wine & Spirits

Tony Russo of Aries Wine & Spirits in White Plains helps us choose the best vintages to drink with burgers, barbecue, grilled seafood, and more.

From Memorial Day to Labor Day, you can find us parked in front of the grill, flipping steaks, patties, salmon, and a plethora of tasty accompaniments. But when it comes time to serve, even we need a little help finding the right glass to complement the rich, smoky flavors.

Thankfully, Tony Russo of White Plains’ Aries Wine & Spirits has decades of experience helping Westchester residents choose the perfect pairing. Here are his picks:

For Grilled Steak and Burgers

2018 Terrazas Malbec Reserva $17.99

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Opt for a red wine from Argentina made with their signature grape, Malbec. In this Reserva, the grapes are grown in high altitudes in various vineyard locations and, after fermentation, are aged for 12 months in French oak barrels. The wine is rich in flavor with layers of complexity, soft tannins, and a long and generous finish. Intensely colored, it has dark berry and spice aromas and flavors, medium to full body, with a firm and very silky mouthfeel due to the super-fine tannins.

Try It With: Grilled Rib-Eye With Piemontese Salsa Verde

Terrazas Malbec Reserva

For Grilled/Smoked Pork

2019 Klee Pinot Noir $22.99

Klee is a Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir which comes from 14 family-owned vineyards, with only 3400 cases produced yearly. Heady aromas of cedar, mushroom, earth, and black cherry emerge from the glass. On the palate, the fruit-driven wine shows soft tannins and flavors of dark cherry compote, strawberry, leather, stewed plums, and rose oil. The finish lingers with bright acid to complete the experience.

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Try It With: Savory Smoked Pulled Pork


For Grilled Seafood

2018 Chateau Bianca Pinot Gris $17.99

Fresh and creamy, this wine fills the palate with clean pear and apple fruit. It has rich texture, as well, to stand up to full-flavored foods, and it continues to a medium-long refreshing-crisp finish tinged with Mandarin orange and citrus rind.

Try It With: Planked Salmon or Grilled Oysters

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bianca wine for grilling

For Grilled Vegetables

2020 Martin Codax Albarino $15.99

This Spanish white wine comes from the Galicia region in northern Spain on the Atlantic coast and is produced from the Albarino grape. Martín Códax Rías Baixas Albariño is delicate and medium-bodied with a crisp, dry finish. On the palate, flavors of pear, passion fruit, ripe apple, peach, and lemon zest are framed by bright minerality, hints of spice, and a bit of saltiness in the finish due to the vineyard’s proximity to the ocean. Attractive floral aromatics and brisk acidity make this a versatile, food-friendly wine.

Try It With: Grilled Summer Vegetable Bruschetta

codax wine for grilling

For Dessert

Banfi Rosa Regale Brachetto d’Acqui $24.99

This Italian sparkling red wine from Piedmont is aromatic with hints of raspberries, strawberries, cherries, and rose petals. It has flavors of fresh berries with crisp acidity, enticing the palate with an initial softness and ending with a clean and dry finish. Local history says that Julius Caesar presented this wine to Cleopatra, believing it to be love at first sip.

Try It With: Grilled Peach Cherry Manhattan Sundae

banfi wine for grilling

For the Guest Who Just Showed up and Didn’t Know the Menu

2020 Pascal Jolivet Sancerre Rosé $24.99

Finally, here’s a rosé that we suggest could go well by itself served chilled or also with all the grilled dishes except the beef. This rosé comes from the Sancerre region of France, where it is produced with the Pinot Noir grape. Domaine Pascal Jolivet owns over 160 acres of land between the regions of Sancerre, Pouilly-Fume, and Touraine. The wine is a pale salmon pink in color with a subtle nose of fresh berries. On the palate, the wine is delicate and elegant with layers of herbs, strawberry, and a clean, crisp finish.

pascal rose wine for grilling


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