It’s officially the last weekend of summer and with COVID-19, hurricanes and wine country wildfires, it’s been a real doozie, America.
So, stoke up the grill, chill out with some cool sides, and uncork something special—we’ve got just the wine along with a bonus recipe. Celebrate the red, white and you!
BONTERRA ORGANIC ON ICE
Dressed in slender, fashionable cans or bottles with an easy screw-top, these are wonderfully reliable, clean California wines. Ideal for Texans, the young red varietal ($16) is meant to be chilled. Try the fruity frozen yogurt bites recipe at the bottom of the page courtesy of Bonterra Organic Vineyards. Life is short, so eat dessert first and don’t forget the rosé!
LIMITED EDITION CHANDON BRUT APERITIF
Kicking off your holiday with bubbles will instantly give your meal a celebratory vibe, especially with this festive red, white and blue artistic bottle (about $25) in your ice bucket. Bubbles work well with salty snacks like artisan cheeses, salami, roasted nuts, and olives.
MURPHY GOODE WITH GRILLED BURGERS
A jammy zinfandel from California’s Murphy Goode is fun for a backyard cookout. The winery produces just about every major California varietal, but the Liar’s Dice zinfandel (about $21) kissed with white pepper really sings with grilled burgers.
BRICOLEUR VINEYARDS FOR THE PICNIC
These versatile, food-friendly wines from Sonoma County will please the entire group. “Flying by the Seat of our Pants” rosé and the tangy sauvignon blanc belong on any picnic along with potato salad, chilled steamed asparagus, grilled chicken sausages and goat cheese crudités. California wine country could use our support during the wildfires, so hop online and start shopping ($14-$45).
BENOVIA FOR THE RICH PAIRING
Lush with ripe fruit and just the right spice, the Sonoma County zinfandel (about $45) is a natural with glazed ribs. Benovia’s award-winning chardonnays sip well with grilled lobster, scallops or creamy avocado dips, while the rosé of pinot noir or any of the renowned pinot noirs pair great with grilled portobellos. Check out the website for special label pinots to purchase with donations to charities.
TOM GORE CALIFORNIA CHARDONNAY WITH SALMON
Intense aromas of ripe apple and pair with notes of toasted oak characterize this chardonnay (about $16) with a smooth and creamy texture. The perfect pairing? Wild salmon baked in parchment served with chilled fennel yogurt sauce. You’ll love this recipe.
HESS SELECT WITH GRILLED STEAK
Big beef calls for big reds. Fattier cuts like T-bone and rib eye play well with heftier reds with higher tannins, so serve an impressive Hess Collection Napa Valley Allomi cabernet sauvignon (about $34).
CHATEAU STE MICHELLE WINES MAKE A SPLASH
Perfect for a Labor Day road trip, beach or pool gathering—no glasses or corkscrew required with these new aluminum screw-top bottles! Try the bubbles or pinot grigio with grilled chicken, veggie kabobs or a cold pasta salad with pesto.
The Perfect Pairing Recipe
BONTERRA FROZEN YOGURT BITES
These delicious and fruity frozen yogurt bites are beyond easy to whip up. Best of all, it’s okay to freestyle with this recipe. No matter what combination of yogurt, fruit and granola you choose, it’s hard to go wrong with these simple ingredients.
Fresh fruit (berries, peaches, and mangoes)
Cut any oversize fruit into bite-size pieces and reserve about one third of the chopped fruit. Add the other two thirds of the fruit to the yogurt and gently fold the yogurt and fruit mixture to combine.
Slightly sweeten the mixture by adding honey to taste, if desired.
Divide the granola among each well of a muffin pan, or, simply divide the granola into evenly spaced mounds on a baking sheet.
Spoon the yogurt and fruit mixture on top of each portion of granola and top with the remaining fruit.
Freeze until firm (about 2 hours) and don’t forget to enjoy a cool can of Bonterra Rosé while you wait!
Cover photo courtesy J Vineyards & Winery
Robin Barr Sussman (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a freelance culinary and travel writer who studied at the Culinary Institute of America Greystone, Calif. As a chef for Sonoma County wineries, her specialty was food and wine pairing. Sussman is a columnist for Houston Modern Luxury Magazine, Prime Living and Houston House & Home. Her work also appears in Texas Monthly, Fodor’s and Private Clubs Magazine.