We’re faced with a lot of tough decisions this summer: what’s the best hour to strap on a sauce-stained apron and fire up the grill? What, exactly, to throw on said grill? And most importantly, what to drink with the charred treats once they’re plucked from the flames? Here are a few suggestions.
Why This Niagara Gamay, which won platinum at the 2015 WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada, is indeed delicious. Lively acidity and berry fruit make it a backyard feast wine with a ton of flex, especially after a few minutes in the fridge.
Tasty with Grilled chicken, juicy burgers, pork sausages, seared tuna, thin steaks like flank and hanger, even barbequed pizza.
Price $19.95/750 ml
Availability Vintages 177824
Why Sneer at a pink wine from Provence on a sticky mid-summer evening? Never. Savoury and citrusy, this Grenache rosé is a beacon of refreshment on days so brain-melting it’s unfathomable to desire anything but seafood and salad for dinner.
Tasty with A multitude of sea creatures: grilled scallops, shrimp, trout, a gaggle of tentacles, etc.
Price $16.95/750 ml or $29.95/1,500 ml
Availability Vintages 409870/451138
Why An easy-drinking rye lager brewed in collaboration with Beau’s Matt O’Hara. The practice of mixing rye in with barley malt to brew a tart, refreshing beer originated in the Middle Ages, and the current craft beer renaissance is seeing the adoption of old styles to suit modern drinkers’ tastes.
Tasty with Grilled sausage and sloppy burgers slapped with caramelized onions and grainy mustard and nestled in seed-studded buns (particularly if caraway happens to be in the mix).
Price $5.95/500 ml
Availability At the Rainhard Bottle Shop (100 Symes, rainhardbrewing.com)
Why Collingwood’s Side Launch, which recently won brewery of the year at the Canadian Brewing Awards, makes a range of delicious true-to-style brews, many of them in the Teutonic tradition. When it comes to bending elbows to match the pomp-free process of cooking outdoors – from prep to itis – a crisp, bready lager like this one is where it’s at.
Tasty with Like the Germans would say, sausages, a classic no-brainer pairing. Also great with grilled pork tenderloin and spicy grilled wings.
Availability At the Side Launch bottle shop (200 Mountain Road, unit 1, Collingwood) and select grocery stores
Why Any cocktail over crushed ice is consolation in a cup when the humidex inches upward. The julep, a Kentucky classic, is criminally simple to mix at home – assuming you’re up for smashing or procuring crushed ice. Any bourbon will do, but Four Roses Small Batch ($40.15/750 ml, LCBO 256230) is a great bottle to keep around the house. For a lower-alcohol cocktail, sub in amontillado sherry like Lustau Los Arcos ($15.35/750 ml, LCBO 375097).
2 oz bourbon
1/3 iz ginger peach syrup
8-10 mint leaves
Tasty with Sticky BBQ ribs. Modify the julep with 2 oz of brandy, a bar spoon of brown sugar and a few more mint leaves to accompany grilled lamb.
Why A margarita never gets old because a) it’s impossibly refreshing and b) indisputably versatile. Tequila (especially blanco) makes fast friends with anything citric, fruity and spicy – and that’s where Ancho Reyes ($39.95/750 ml, LCBO 453969), a picante Mexican liqueur flavoured with ancho chiles, comes in. This cocktail will match spice or quell it.
1½ oz blanco tequila like Olmeca Altos Plata (LCBO 454074)
¾ oz Ancho Reyes
½ oz Campari
1 oz pineapple juice
¾ oz fresh lime juice
bar spoon agave syrup
pinch of sea salt
Tasty with BBQ pork ribs and charred pineapple rings, spicy grilled chicken and shrimp.
Don’t miss: Toronto’s best and newest barbeque joints
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