Best Memorial Day Wines to Start Summer Off Right

Everyone loves a good BBQ. No matter what you put on the grill, the smoking process just make everything taste better.

"I also believe there is a sense of community and we get in touch with our 'tribe' each time we fire up the grill," says Adam Mason, winemaker at Mulderbosch Vineyards in South Africa

"And wine is no stranger to the fire pit, braai, asado, grill, BBQ, or whatever it is you call your fourno," he adds.

We agree! So get your tribe together and pour some wine this weekend.

And whether you're on a budget, or you want to pull out the black card, we've got some fun, surprising suggestions for you.

Editors' pick: Originally published May 26.

1. Under $10
1. Under $10

-La Granja 360 Rosé, $5 -- yes $5! And the best part is you can find this rosé from Spain at Trader Joe's.

And for $5, "it's actually quite good," says Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, Master of Wine and author of the upcoming Rosé Wine: The Guide to Drinking Pink.

"It's deep pink with rich flavors cherry and black cherry with notes of rose and minerals in the finish," she adds. Perfect for your BBQ. 

-La Marca Prosecco Mini Bottles, at around $6 each, could not be more fun. All you need are straws. The wine is fresh and clean flavor with touches of grapefruit and a great minerality work with the whole meal.

2. Under $15
2. Under $15

-Les Dauphins Cotes du Rhone Rouge 2015 for about $13, is a great accompaniment to those barbecued meats. Its red ruby color, aromas of ripe red fruit with blackcurrant and a hint of spice make it a great summer red. And while this will work great with your meats and cheeses, it won't overwhelm those grilled vegetables.

-Mulderbosch Chenin Blanc 2016, $13. Chenin Blanc is a white grape that's basically halfway between a Sauvignon Blanc and a Chardonnay. This wine is made in South Africa and has passion-fruit aromas with great grapefruit characteristics. If you're grilling up seafood, pick this wine.

-Septima Malbec 2015, $14. This 100% Malbec is great for your New World wine drinkers that love a more fruit-forward red wine. Plus there's enough acidity and alcohol content to handle that burger.

3. Under $20
3. Under $20

-Purple Heart Red Wine 2014, at just under $20, is probably the perfect wine for Memorial Day weekend. It is a limited production blend of mostly Merlot with Cabernet Sauvignon and a little Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. It was created by the C. Mondavi & Family as a tribute to our nation's servicemen and women.

The current winemaker served in the U.S. Air Force from 1968 to 1972, where he was a Squadron Training NCO. And best of all, Purple Heart Wines will make an annual contribution to the Purple Heart Foundation, which supports programs that treat post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, help veterans with job training, education, service dogs, etc.

Cleary that pairs with everything.

4. Over $20
4. Over $20

-Artesa Pinot Noir 2014, at around $25, offers beautiful bright red fruit and a hint of floral aromas. It's a classic Pinot Noir that is an excellent partner to so many foods, says Gino Colangelo, president of Colangelo & Partners, one of the largest fine-wine-focused PR agencies in the country.

-Bedrock Wine Co. North Coast Syrah 2015, $32, was the pick of Antonio Galloni, wine critic and founder of Vinous, one of the world's premier wine publications, as a great BBQ wine. "A huge, richly textured wine, the 2015 offers unreal quality for the money," he said.

And while people don't often want to splurge on wines that go with veggies, the vegetarians like the good stuff too. So we asked Simonetti-Bryan for a few higher-end suggestions.

-Cade Sauvignon Blanc $32, will work great with salads, fresh flavor vegetables such as cucumber and light vinaigrette, she says: "It's a fresh, citrusy unoaked Sauvignon Blanc with crisp acidity that will absolutely complement the dressing and add pop to the flavor of the salad."

-Craggy Range Te Muna Road Pinot Noir, at $42 from Martinborough, New Zealand, would pair with your medium-weight vegetarian dishes, like those vegetable kabobs. 

-Concha y Toro Terrunyo Carmenere Block 27 Peumo Vineyard, at $35, is perfect for that grilled Portobello burger.

5. Budgetless
5. Budgetless

If money is no object then don't be afraid to pull out the good stuff, especially if you're hosting wine lovers, suggests Gary Fisch, CEO and founder of Gary's Wine and Marketplace in Wayne, N.J. "Break out the best you have," he says. "Stop being cheap just because you're having burgers or hot dogs. It's time to drink great wine."

We totally agree. And if you need a few off-the-hook suggestions, try these:

-De Toren Book 17 XVII 2014. This Cabernet-based Bordeaux blend will set you back about $350 a bottle, but wow is it worth it! "It's South Africa's top luxury red, to pair with your steak, lamb or pork dishes," says Andrew McMurray, VP at Zachys Wine & Liquor in Scarsdale, N.Y. "This wine will give most California cult classics a run for their money." 

-Syrah Tua Rita 2013, at $300, is the perfect complement to your grilled pork chops or poultry, says McMurray. It's a little softer with elegant spice notes. Tuscany at its best. 

So fire up the barbie, gather your tribe and pour something fun.

Advertisement

More from Lifestyle

What Is Tiger Woods' Net Worth?

What Is Tiger Woods' Net Worth?

John Schnatter's Controversial Career and Net Worth

John Schnatter's Controversial Career and Net Worth

Lloyd Blankfein: How the Man Behind Goldman Sachs Made a Fortune

Lloyd Blankfein: How the Man Behind Goldman Sachs Made a Fortune

Who Owns Netflix? CEO Reed Hastings' Career

Who Owns Netflix? CEO Reed Hastings' Career

MoviePass CEO: Movie Theaters Like AMC Are Trying to Put Us Out of Business

MoviePass CEO: Movie Theaters Like AMC Are Trying to Put Us Out of Business