Summer Time Barbecuing

Summer time makes me think about barbecuing. Along time ago, when I was newer to wine, I had some generalities and preconceived notions about reds… California = Steak. Italian = Pasta. Spain = Spicy. And last but not least France = Chicken, especially at the lower end of the price range. So when these two value French offerings showed up as samples on my doorstep I knew what to do with them. Given those notions are dying slowly I broke out the barbecue sauce and fired up the grill…

2007 Jaja de Jau Syrah2007 Jaja de Jau Syrah – “JaJa” is slang for the Languedoc’s delicious full-flavored everyday wines. This one, a nice juicy quaffer, fit the bill from the start. Made of 100% Syrah was loaded with dark fruit and spices with just enough acidity to provide some balance. While it didn’t stand out it was pleasant and a good match for barbeque fare. That said, as I was drinking this one I noticed the bottle recommended trying this one slightly chilled so in the fridge it went. What a mistake! From there on out it was undrinkable to me. So if you happen to buy this one whatever you do, don’t let it anywhere near the refrigerator… If you want to read more about this one, check out what the Wine Post had to say. If you’ve heard enough and are ready to track down a bottle check out this handy, dandy search feature from the importer, Pasternak Wines, who can help you find it at a retailer near you.

2007 Les Deux Rives Corbieres Rouge2007 Les Deux Rives Corbieres Rouge – Hard to pronounce (lay doo reev core bee air rooozh), this one is from the Corbieres area of the Languedoc. The Corbieres is one of the largest wine appellations in France and the main grape grown here is Carignan which is often, as here, used for blending. This one is 40% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 20% Mourvedre and 10% Carignan. It too qualifies as a quaffer. A soft nose of light cherry aromas greet you. On the palate this one is easy going with a bit of acidity and tannins to keep it well balanced. Along the way it shows notes from a variety of red fruits; cherries and cranberries, that lead to a warm, dry, slightly tart finish. A great match for grilled chicken. The bottle notes here also recommended serving it “slightly cool” but given my experience with the above I decided to pass this time around. You can read more about this one over on Wine Weekly or if you’re interested in tracking this one down search for a retailer near you here.

There you go, a couple quaffers for sipping by the barbie. Thanks to Pasternak Wine Imports for sending these my way.

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4 thoughts on “Summer Time Barbecuing

  1. I tried the Jaja on Sunday and really was not a fan. I also read the serve well chilled and tossed it in the fridge…just a bad idea all around. I had first tried it right out of the basement and just really didn’t find it interesting…so I was actually hoping chilling it would help!

    • I hear you on the JaJa, I preferred the story to the wine. Like you I thought the fridge might reveal something more but alas no. When I was in Greece I had some chilled red that I enjoyed but other than that have never had success going that route. Have you had any luck chilling red wines?

  2. I also like the Perrin CdR – and Guigal’s Parallel 45, most CdR’s for that matter. La Vielle Ferme red or rose’ if I’m watching my budget. (We don’t have a Trader Joe’s within 200 miles, many of your ‘good deal’ wines are only available here in KC at almost twice the price you indicate. No longer a bargain).

  3. Not really Jason. At times I store opened reds in the fridge if I’m not going to be able to finish them the next day, and they always come out muted and bitter until they’ve warmed back up again. I think the only red I liked truly chilled was a sparkling Shiraz I once had.

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