Edited By Deb Dutta
I know what my Dad will be doing on Father’s Day– laying back on the couch watching golf with a glass of chilled beer and doing what he loves to do most: chill! One thing my dad loves even more than hanging out is to fire up his grill. In fact, many of my childhood memories revolve around my distant cousins, aunts and uncles hanging out in our backyard while my dad grilled for the entire clan.
So for Father’s Day, I thought why not let dad hang out while I set up a pairing of his favorites: grilled food and drinks. And with just a few simple steps, you can put together this special day for your foodie dad that will have him thinking “I’m the luckiest dad around!”
1. Classic Combo: Grilled Steak + Oaky Red Wine
According to Food+Wine Magazine, Oaky wines don’t typically pair well with food (because they can overwhelm most flavors). But the red they experimented with (a ripe Australian blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre) was “delicious with a grilled steak—the char on the meat seemed to mellow the wine’s oakiness and make the fruit taste vibrant and juicy”.
2. Seafood Savant: Grilled Shrimp & Halibut + Full-Bodied, Acidic White Wine
I don’t know about you, but I could eat seafood all summer long. It’s so light and refreshing, and even more so when paired with a nice Pinot Gris or Spanish Verdejo. And when paired with shellfish, citrusy Sauvignon Blanc acts a bit like a twist of lemon or lime!
3. Fun for Everyone: Grilled Corn and Fresh Tomatoes + Peach Iced Tea
If someone placed a plate full of grilled corn and fresh cut tomatoes in front of me, I’d be happy with just that. It’s something even the pickiest of eaters will enjoy, and its light flavors are a nice compliment for our peach iced tea! Serve tomatoes with fresh mozzarella and basil for a non-vegan crowd.
4. Very Vegan: Grilled Mediterranean Veggies + Light Merlot
Many people include veggies on their grill, whether they’re vegan or not. But if dad doesn’t eat meat, he’s in for a real treat with this pairing. Go for a combination of peppers, zucchini, eggplant and asparagus, lightly salted and peppered. Be careful which wine you pick up though; medium to full bodied merlots tend to pair better with meat.
5. Winner Winner: Grilled Chicken + Light, Balanced Beer
When it comes to grilled chicken dinner, you don’t want anything to overpower it. Cicerones recommend something with a little caramel malt, balanced to lightly sweet, like a nice blonde or light amber ale. A Belgian Pale is also lighter but still full flavored, with a fruity, mildly spicy yeast profile which complements the interaction between the mild flavors of the food and the more robust qualities given off by grilling them. Strong marinades or sauces will modify the equation, as will heavy char or a big dose of smoke. For tips on pairing wine with heavily spiced grilled foods and switching between wines throughout the meal, click here.
- Deboleena Dutta