Fire up the barbecue – it’s grilling season and time for some summer reds. So bring out the glasses and pour your favorite red wine to complement tangy ribs, juicy hamburgers and succulent steak. Likewise, find some cedar planks to barbecue salmon, halibut or swordfish that pair well with Pinot Noir. Above all, here are 40 summer reds that we tasted from Washington, Oregon, California, British Columbia, South Africa, Italy, Armenia, France and Chile.
First, most reds pair beautifully with barbecued burgers, ribs and steaks. For example, we love burgers and flank steak with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Bordeaux-style blends. As well, we recently swooned over Rocks Syrah with grilled New York steaks. Similarly, don’t forget the reds such as Pinot Noir that pair so nicely with salmon, halibut or swordfish barbecued on cedar planks. That is to say, summer reds are very diverse.
Here are 40 tasty summer reds that we enjoyed from the US, and around the world. In other words, our list features wines from Washington (23), California (4), Oregon (3), Italy (3), British Columbia (2), South Africa (2), France (1), Chile (1) and Armenia (1).
However, some of these vintages are from our cellar and no longer available. Therefore, please check the wineries’ websites for recent releases.
For Example, Summer Reds from the US
- Clif Family Malbec Napa Valley 2019 (CA)
- Côte Bonneville Train Station Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (WA)
- Covington Cellars Cabernet Franc 2017 (WA)
- EFESTE lil’ mama Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 (WA)
- Gilbert Cellars Left Bank Red blend 2017 (WA)
- JM Cellars Petit Verdot 2015 (WA)
- Lauren Ashton Cuvée Arlette Red blend 2017 (WA)
- L’Ecole 41 Syrah Estate Seven Hills Vineyard 2018 (WA)
- Rocky Pond Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 (WA)
- Saviah Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 (WA)
- Sleight of Hand The Archimage Reserve Red blend 2016 (WA) (pictured)
- Two Vintners Syrah 2017 (WA)
- Upchurch Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon LTL 2018 (WA)
- W.T. Vintners Syrah Stoney Vine Vineyard 2015 (WA)
For Instance, Summer Reds from Around the World
- Blue Grouse Quill Q Red 2018 (BC, Canada)
- Boekenhoutskloof The Chocolate Block 2019 (South Africa)
- Cantine Ermes Vento di Mare Nero d’Avola DOC 2019 (Italy)
- Cantine Ermes Epicentro Nero D’Avola Riserva Sicilia DOC 2018 (Italy)
- Lievland Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 (South Africa) (pictured)
- San Felice Chianti Classico DOCG 2019 (Italy)
- Vanessa Vineyards Meritage 2018 (BC, Canada)
- Viña San Pedro Cabos de Hornos Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (Chile)
- Voskevaz Karasi Collection Haghtanak 2016 (Armenia)
On the Other Hand, Special-Occasion Reds
- Big Table Farm The Rocks Syrah Funk Estate 2018 (OR)
- Block Wines Ankleroller Stones Speak Syrah 2018 (WA)
- Browne Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Spymaster Series, The Farm 2018 (WA)
- Canvasback Wallla Wallla Syrah Funk Vineyard 2019 (WA)
- Canvasback Red Mountain Syrah 2019 (WA) (both pictured)
- DeLille Cellars Chaleur Estate Red 2019 (WA)
- Devison Vintners Phantom Lamb Syrah 2018 (WA)
- Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir 2017 (OR)
- L’Ecole 41 Perigee 2015 (WA)
- Leoness Cabernet Franc Reserve 2016 (CA)
- Lorimar Malbec 2017 (CA)
- Maison Evenstad Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2016 (France)
- Monte De Oro Estate Cuvée De Oro 2017 (CA)
- Saviah Cellars The Funk Estate Syrah 2017 (WA)
- Sleight of Hand Psychedelic Syrah 2018 (WA)
- Trothe Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 (WA)
- Utopia Paradise Estate Reserve Pinot Noir 2018 (OR)
To sum up, July, August and even September offer many beautiful nights that are perfect for grilling. Certainly, many rich reds do well with juicy barbecued burgers, flank steaks, ribs and ribeyes. Moreover, salmon, halibut and swordfish can be barbecued on a cedar plank and paired with a beautiful Pinot Noir. Meanwhile, for a special occasion, Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah complement barbecued steak. Most importantly, pop that cork and have fun on these warm evenings with summer reds.
* To clarify, 13 of these 40 wines are samples. However, we either purchased the others or enjoyed them with friends or at tasting rooms.
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Margot and Dave