As things ease up and open again, many people who are in good health are getting together more and more. One thing this pandemic has taught us is that relationships are everything, and spending time with the ones you love is very important. I know I have been escaping to New Jersey to visit my mother any chance I can get off work because it’s like a vacation! In the suburbs, we host a lot of barbecues and enjoy having small gatherings outdoors. It’s a great way to stay safe and also see people you haven’t seen in awhile, because of messy 2020.

Being the Sommelier in the family, I am always in charge of wine pairings, and this summer it’s been all about the BBQ and wine pairings for me. I love to pair wines with all types of foods, but in the summer nothing’s better than the grill!

If you’re seeking some stellar wines to bring to your next barbecue, or to simply enjoy on evenings where you have a simpler dinner, these wines are sure to be the showstoppers of the evening. I chose these wines because no matter what you pair, whether it be hotdogs, burgers, ribs, or fish, these wines will easily pair with anything you throw on the grill!

Weed Cellars Prosecco- A brand that does not include cannabis in their wines, but the wines are still fantastic. I was so pleasantly surprised when I tasted a few of the whites and reds that once I saw they launched a Prosecco, I had to taste it! It’s light and fun, with great citrus-forward flavors. Typical to the Prosecco taste, this wine is a winner for those who want an easy to drink, delicious bottle of bubbly perfect for a warm summer day, or for mixing in with cocktails! Ps. This wine also comes in Mini’s which are ideal for single-serve portions and backyard entertaining! $12.99/btl and $3.99/minis

Cliffton Dry This cider style wine is made from apples! Don’t mistake it for those sweet ciders we also enjoy… because this wine is totally different! It’s a unique less sweet option for us day drinkers out there who want to enjoy a drink or two during the day, without the effects of higher alcohol wines that weigh us down. It’s elegant, light, and effervescent with hints of pear, apple skin, and minerality. It’s great for sipping by the pool and on a hot summer day and is very refreshing for those seeking a wine alternative, that’s still in the sparkling wine category. $19.99/4pack

Sunny With A Chance Of Flowers 2019– A new wine on the market with just 85 calories per serving, no sugar, and lower alcohol! Ideal for daytime drinking and outdoor sipping, this Sauvignon Blanc is positively delicious. This wine is made for those who enjoy a full glass of wine but also want moderation. It’s also low in carb and made in California with grapes from sustainable Monterey vineyards! $16.99

Château Thivin Beaujolais Villages Rosé 2018– Beaujolais Rosé is a rare find, however here in the USA we have access to some fantastic options! This wine is full of fresh fruit and acidity, with some watermelon notes. I love the Gamay grape, and in this wine, it is highlighted very well! A rosé like this is something fresh, fun, and inviting. This is a wine that’s unique and delicious to bring to a bbq, and you will be the most popular person at the party. The finish is nice and long-lasting, making this wine ideal for burgers, pork shoulder, and kebabs! $17.99

Ron’s Chillable Red- A sweet and fruity red that is best served chilled! Nothing beats a red like this on a warm summer day, because sometimes in the afternoon after being in the sun a while, it’s nice to sip something cold and sweet, but not too sweet. This red is medium-bodied and full of ripe strawberry and red fruit flavors. It has quite a bit of character for such an easy to drink bbq wine, and will certainly be a huge hit at the party. I tasted this with red wine lovers, and they were in awe because of how delicious it is! $10

Fontanafredda Briccotondo Barbera Piemonte DOC 2018- Another stunning wine by an iconic wine brand! I love Fontanafredda wines because they are always very representative of the region and are extremely high quality for unbeatable prices. This wine is bold with nice cherry, red currant, and sweet spice. It’s such a lovely wine that’s not too heavy for a warm summer day, and can easily be enjoyed with fish. I enjoyed this on a hot summer evening, with some salmon and it went beautifully. I absolutely recommend this wine for anyone looking to bring a “conversation piece” under $20, because this wine will have everyone talking; it’s simply that good! $16 

Rocca Delle Macìe Chianti Classico Riserva 2016 What an incredible wine! This rich Chianti is perfect for a bbq because the body is medium, the taste is fruity but earthy, and the finish is long-lasting. Chianti is a classic, and a wine I find that is very friendly when brought around a crowd. I enjoyed this on a very warm summer day, with Shrimp and Grits and a side of Filet Mignon. At first, I thought maybe it was too hot out for it, but I added a bit of chill to this wine, and it completely changed our meal for the better! With a little chill, this wine is elegant with nice plum, currant, and black pepper; perfect for any grilled foods and salads. It was a winner with everyone at the party, and will be at yours too!  $27

Salentein Reserve Malbec 2018 This producer is one of my favorites from Argentina. The Reserve Malbec is juicy and delicious with plenty of red fruit, spice, and hints of oak. On the palate, this wine is bold with perfectly smooth tannins. Anytime I bring a Salentein Malbec to a party, it’s always a showstopper, and people can never believe the price! I have a lot of red drinkers in my life, who are total lushes like myself, which is why I always make sure this malbec is in the mix, of what I bring. Everyone loves a malbec and this one will surpass your expectations. Pair this with some grilled fish, flank steak, and vegetables. $18.99

2018 Belle Glos Clark & Telephone Pinot Noir- Easily known by its trademark red wax-dipped bottle, and script label. This wine is way different, in a bold and floral forward kind of way, that’s so intriguing it will have everyone wondering “what is this amazing wine!”. It’s deep ruby red in color with scarlet highlights and a softness that’s just so pleasing to the palate. Clark & Telephone on the nose is striking with red fruits like cranberry and raspberry jam! I loved this about the wine because you can also taste some clove and baking spice in the finish. It’s a wine that is best enjoyed with some appetizers or a meal and can easily transition into dessert. My recommendations with this wine are grilled lamb chops, and plum tart tatin! $55

As you can see this is a very well rounded list, with great price points and wine options. Always remember, eat what you like and drink what you love. Please pair responsibly!