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Memorial Day Weekend Wines Part 1

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Memorial Day Weekend, three days dedicated to grilling and chilling, is the unofficial start to the lazy days of summer. Everything from fish to ribs is marinated, rubbed, grilled and roasted, and a variety of wines can woo the ‘cue. Here are some suggestions for a great food pairing and a kick back time.

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With lighter fare, such as fish, shellfish, and vegetables, the 2012 Bodegas Gotica Trascampanas Rueda is a fresh companion. The wine is 100% Verdejo, with an intense nose of melons, tropical fruit, and citrus, laced with minerals and fresh herbs. This Rueda has a crisp palate, with flavors of grapefruit and lime, excellent acidity, and a hint of pepper, all contributing to a balanced, refreshing white wine with lots of character, and an affordable price tag. This versatile wine also pairs well with gazpacho, olives, roast suckling pig and pork in all forms (sausage, chorizo, ham).

Rosé is a chameleon among wine, able to pair with anything and everything, from fish to lamb. The 2012 Château Miraval Côtes de Provence Rosé is a blend of Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, and Rolle, elegant and refined, with delicate aromas and flavors of wild strawberries, raspberries, citrus, wild herbs, and wet stone minerality, refreshing acidity, a vibrant palate and long finish. This rosé, produced by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, in partnership with Marc Perrin of Château Beaucastel, is a serious wine, ranking No. 84 in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2013. Although the 2013 version has been released, and is available at local wine shops, the 2012 bottling is still available at the Burbank Costco.

From refined to bold, the zesty Ampelos Cellars 2013 Upsilon Rosé of Syrah is alive with the spicy character of Syrah, but made more aromatic with a splash of Riesling and Grenache. This full bodied rosé is bright salmon pink, with flavors of strawberry pie, watermelon, raspberry, and juicy pear, a dry wine with good acidity and concentration that can take on anything that the grill can turn out. This rosé is only available through Ampelos Cellars tasting room and online, but is worth the extra effort to get it.

continued in Part 2