Midtown Wines and Spirits

Memorial Day Wines — Zin, Malbec and More!

Before diving into our options for wines with your barbecue, burgers and such, let’s all take a few minutes to remember the true meaning of Memorial Day.

While it may be the unofficial starting point for Summer, Memorial Day is really about remembering all the brave men and women who have died in our armed forces while serving the cause of freedom. Be sure to thank a soldier if you see one and take a few moments to remember those who have died so that we may continue to live and enjoy our nation’s freedoms.

And now… on to the wine!

Some people make ribs and grill barbecue chicken. Others whip up some burgers or throw a nice ribeye over some charcoal. Maybe you throw in some hot dogs or sausage to go with the cole slaw, potato salad and baked beans. But then comes the question — what to drink?

Margaritas are always a solid choice as is homemade sangria. Beer is ever-present. But wine can get tricky with all this messy fare. So I point you to the latest blog entry from Tim Fish over at The Wine Spectator:

“If your main course gets smeared all over your face and stains your shirt, but it’s so tasty that you don’t even care, what sort of wine should you drink? That’s definitely a Memorial Day sort of question. It’s not a day for being tidy. The only reason the holiday is celebrated outside is because it’s close to the hose.

Hamburgers are the all-American choice on Memorial Day. Each year, as summer approaches, I set out to find some of the best wines to enjoy with a burger. The key word here is “enjoy.” If you can’t have fun trying different wines with a hamburger, then you’re taking yourself (and the wine) way too seriously.

I’m convinced that hamburger wines shouldn’t cost a lot, but who am I to suggest you can’t enjoy a 2000 Mouton-Rothschild while devouring a juicy beef patty?

The wine will be red—obviously. If you prefer washing down a burger with your favorite Chardonnay, I won’t argue with you. I’ll roll my eyes until I’m nauseated, but I won’t argue. No, you need a red that will enhance the grilled beef and chunky bun. The style of wine depends on how you stack your hamburger.

A Merlot or light-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon will do fine if the burger is dressed simply, but the more onions and mustard and pickles and tomatoes you layer on, the more you need a flexible red. I’ve found that full-flavored Beaujolais or New World Pinot Noir work well when the burger is topped with plenty of accoutrements like mayo and cheese.

For me, the best overall burger wines have enough structure and tannins to handle the savory beef but are loaded with lush, fresh fruit to balance all those other wonderful flavors. I reach for a medium-bodied California Zinfandel or Rhône-style blend, Malbec from Argentina or Spanish Garnacha.

This year I put a few wines to the test with a burger from Five Guys dressed with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, ketchup and mayonnaise. I didn’t taste the wines blind, just for the record. Two wines stood out as the best match…”Click here to read the rest of his blog.

Here are some of our store choices for this weekend:

Four Vines “Old Vine Cuvee” Zinfandel — $10.99
Goldschmidt “Fidelity” Red — $14.99
Manos Negras Malbec Mendoza — $14.99
Durigutti Malbec Mendoza — $18.99
Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot “Indian Wells” — $19.99
Buehler Zinfandel Napa Valley — $19.99
Seghesio Zinfandel Sonoma County — $20.99
Bodega Colome Malbec Mendoza — $24.99
Kenwood Merlot Jack London Vineyard — $26.99

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