This is our first post participating in Wine Blogging Wednesday, and, with our focus on affordable red wines, the theme of BBQ Wines is particularly appropriate. WBW #23 is being hosted by Vivi’s Wine Journal, and the theme is pairing a wine with something on the barbecue grill.
In the midwest US, July is peak grilling season. We decided to not only throw the meat on the grill, but also corn-on-the-cob (known locally as “sweet corn”). Grilling the corn entails removing the silk while leaving the husk on, and then soaking the ears for an hour in water. This saturates the husk, allowing it to steam the corn as it heats. Plan on 15 – 20 minutes on the grill for the corn, rotating frequently. I also kept a spray bottle with plain water handy, and moistened the husks a few times when they had dried out. Remove the husks outside, as they will be a bit messy in the kitchen.
After the corn had been on for a few minutes, we threw some bacon-wrapped filets on the grill too. There’s no big secret to grilling a good steak – we kept the heat relatively high, and used a fast-response meat thermometer to gauge the inside temperature. Not very macho, perhaps, but it beats carving up the steaks on the grill to see if they are ready, and it’s much better than finding the steaks are irreparably overdone.
To choose a wine for this, we had a few criteria. It had to be relatively inexpensive and unassuming, to fit the outdoor entertainment theme. It had to be robust enough to hold its own with grilled steak. And, it had to be the kind of wine that would appeal to a range of experienced and casual wine drinkers.
We decided to take a chance on something we hadn’t tasted before – Kelly’s Revenge Cabernet Sauvignon. It certainly met the inexpensive criteria, setting us back a mere six dollars per bottle. Its stick-figure label graphic and name (based on an Australian desperado) seemd to meet the unassuming part as well. But, would the taste come through?
We thought the Kelly’s Revenge cab paired with the bacon-wrapped filet just fine. Its aroma and flavor are both intensely fruity. Cherry and raspberry predominate, with a bit of oak in the finish. This is definitely not an overly complex, cerebral wine. It IS the kind of wine to enjoy with dinner on the 4th of July. You’ll likely find that even as the sky darkens and the time for fireworks approaches, your guests will be coming back, glasses in hand, for refills.