Infrared is not the name of our new brand of red wine. The popularity of infrared grilling and grilling in general is on the rise in American culture. The trend towards new grilling processes like infrared cooking means new ways for the grilling process to extract flavor components – enabling an even greater potential for wine pairing.
What is Grilling?
Grilled food receives dry heat from above or below for several minutes. Direct-heat grilling can expose food to temperatures often in excess of 260 °C or 500 °F. The Maillard Reaction, also called the “browning reaction,” is the chemical process that releases grilled & roasted meaty aromas and flavors. When beef is cooking between 300° to 500° F, as many as six hundred components can be identified in the aroma of the meat. In addition to being a flavorful way to cook, grilling is often considered a healthy alternative to cooking with oil. There are many types of grills available and each country has its preference. Most European countries use a gridiron over a bed of burning charcoal. In South America, both asado, (beef roasted on a fire), and steak a la parrilla, (beefsteak cooked on a traditional grill), are national specialties. In the United States, grilling is usually done on charcoal grills, gas grills or more recently with infrared barbecues. Skewers, rotisserie, kabobs, (meaning “to grill” in Persian), Asian “satay,” and Mexican “alambre,” are ever-popular. Grilling with Mesquite or Hickory wood chips is also becoming more and more commonplace in American households.
Why do grilled foods and wine pair well together? In general, light-bodied wines come from white wine grapes and pair well with lighter dishes such as chicken, seafood, and grilled veggies. Bold, full-bodied red wines enhance the flavors in most types of meat, like burgers, steaks, and lamb, as well as freshly grilled pizzas. A well-seasoned steak tastes great with a peppery Zinfandel. Shrimp scampi goes really well with Chardonnay, but adding hot red pepper and garlic to the dish makes Zinfandel a better match because the spicy notes in the wine will complement the pepper in the dish. Sometimes opposites attract, like a crisp Chardonnay paired with flavor-packed Asian dishes. Dry wines, like Cabernet Sauvignon, work best with high-protein foods, such as steak. They are rich in tannins, which help cleanse the palate of fats. For rich, heavy meals, reach for a luscious wine like a Chardonnay, or full-flavored wines with high acidity, (try a Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon), to cut through the oils in the dish.
WineShop At Home Wine Pairings:
However you choose to do it, you’re sure to always find a WineShop At Home wine to pair with all of your flavorful culinary marvels. Happy Grilling and Happy Tasting!