What to Drink With Summertime Grilling Staples

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A burger and a beer may be the classic grilling pairing, but this summer why not change things up with some other staples? While you’re tending the coals, you may be wondering which beers and wines are best suited for grilled chicken or cedar-plank salmon, or whatever you happen to be dishing up. As a certified sommelier (and self-professed grilling enthusiast), I’m here to offer my best tips for pairing grilled classics with your favorite beverages.

Whether you’re hosting an impromptu hang with neighbors or entertaining the family, there is a pairing here for you. The good news: you can celebrate the kickoff to summer with award-winning ALDI-exclusive wines and world-class beers and seltzers, many of which are under $10. I’m covering a range here, from meat, to fish, to veggies, and beyond (all of which, coincidentally, you can also find at ALDI).

Smoked Brisket and Malbec

smoked brisket

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Malbec—a grape that is native to France and that thrives in the Mendoza region of Argentina—is a juicy, bright purple grape that is compatible with lots of different foods. The Exquisite Collection Malbec is a fruit-forward wine with a firm backbone that is particularly well suited for corned, smoked brisket, where it brings out a deeper component of the brisket’s spice that lies just beneath the surface.

Charred Romaine and IPA

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Throwing your veggies—like romaine lettuce—on the grill helps bring out their best flavors. But, what to pair it with? An ice-cold IPA, of course. IPA stands for India Pale Ale, and one of the Hopping Nomad Session IPA’s principal profile components is its bitterness. That clean, clear flavor pairs exceedingly well with charred romaine hearts. Use the hearts in the best possible version of a Caesar salad and wash it all down with a cold IPA, which is definitely not something to be bitter about.

Pork Chops and Chardonnay

grilled pork chops

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Pork may be the “other” white meat, but, as far as the grill is concerned, it’s a top pick. Throw some boneless chops on the grill (marinated in whatever you like best) and open up a bottle of iconic Exquisite Collection Chardonnay, made from a grape that is grown all over the world and that has a buttery, toasty flavor profile. Fresh chops are even better with a little char, and this wine brings out the rich flavor of pork without overwhelming its more subtle qualities.

Grilled Asparagus and Belgian White Ale

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Belgian White Ales are typically made with the addition of citrus, which pair nicely with asparagus, one of early summer’s most popular vegetables. The White Tide Belgian White Ale is no exception. Grab a bunch of fresh asparagus and kick it up a notch with the orange and lemon notes of this beer. The White Tide is crisp, clean, and relatively low in alcohol (at five percent), and it’s an ideal pairing for this grill-friendly vegetable.

BBQ Chicken and Cabernet

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Charred-crisp barbecued chicken is a summer delight that’s made better with the addition of a glass of Quarter Cut Bourbon Barrel Cabernet Sauvignon. This rich and complex style of wine is substantial enough to stand up to this chicken and its smoky, crispy exterior. If drinking red wine with chicken feels daring and rule-breaking, well, so be it. Break all the rules, because this pairing is one for the ages.

Cedar-Plank Grilled Salmon and Amber Ale

cedar plank grilled salmon

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For a full-flavored fish like salmon, you’ll want an equally full-flavored beverage. Amber ales, which are rich and slightly bitter, provide a great contrast for this meatier style of fish, and they pick up on the delicate smoky notes from the cedar plank. This Independence Harbor Amber Ale brings round, toasty, savory flavors to the table. (And gives beer-lovers yet one more reason to drink beer with dinner.)

Warm Peaches and Prosecco

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End your meal with peaches that have been warmed through on the grill. You won’t want a wine that’s too heavy with these delicate fruits, which is why Belletti Prosecco, rich with notes of peaches itself, is an excellent choice. Brimming with light bubbles, floral notes, and the subtle flavor of stone fruits, prosecco elevates a dish that is already memorable. Are the peaches the dessert? Is the prosecco? Well, that’s up to you to decide.

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