OutdoorsTours & Tastings

Labor Day BBQ Throw Down

  • Aug 25, 2022
  • By The Vineyard Vixen

Fill the cooler, light the grill, and pour some wine. It's BBQ time!

Labor Day weekend is coming up and it’s time to get your long weekend plans in place (if you haven’t already).  Considered the un-official end to the summer season, Labor Day has become inextricably linked with grillin’ chillin’ and throwing down some serious BBQ. 

While traditional barbeque fare invokes a casual vibe, there is absolutely no reason why you cannot treat yourself to some truly exceptional wine. We’ve got several classic barbeque dishes and the out-of-this-world wines to serve them with.  Your grilling game just leveled up!



Tempranillo stands up to the complex flavor blends that classic hamburgers provide.  The acidity balances the fat content from the meat and cheese. The fruit flavors of Tempranillo usually consisting of cherry, strawberry, hints of fig and even dill (yup!) enhances ripe tomato or “secret sauce” and the quintessential dill pickle! 

Wine Pick: Sawtooth Winery Tempranillo

Macaroni Salad

The flavors and creaminess of traditional macaroni salad can often be perplexing to some when it comes to picking a complimentary wine.  However, the perfect match couldn’t be easier!  Sauvignon Blanc is the answer.  A crisp SB provides the needed acidity to balance mayonnaise goodness while vibrant green notes of grass and bell pepper will accentuate celery, peppers and parsley that are often used to make this BBQ staple.

Wine Pick: Acumen Sauvignon Blanc


Succulent, meaty, fall off the bone ribs with a sweet sticky BBQ sauce are the cornerstone for summer grilling.  The full bodied fruit forward Zinfandel is absolutely the go-to pairing.  The savory spice notes of cinnamon, Chinese five-spice, clove find harmony with bbq sauce.  Zinfandel has a reputation for higher alcohol content which is a good thing as this wine will not be overpowered by the distinct smokey char flavors of the ribs.  

Wine Pick: Amador Cellars Zinfandel

Hot Dogs

Could a summer meal be much more perfect than this? I think not! When I hear hot dogs visions of running through the sprinkler on the lawn, crackling campfires and baseball games immediately fill my head.  How on earth could this simple sausage possibly get any better? Champagne, Brut Rose specifically!  That’s how.  Yes, it is true, popping a bottle of Brut Rose will transform the humble hot dog to one bougie frank. The bright acidity will balance all that meatiness and those perfectly chilled bubbles will refresh your palate in between bites.  While anytime is a good time to pop a bottle of bubs, pairing with a great grilled wiener is the makings for a summer dinner you’ll want to repeat as soon as possible.

Wine Pick: Trentadue California Champagne Brut Rose 

Grilled Salmon

While the standard food and wine pairing “rules” will tell you to reach for your nearest Chardonnay, the bold an fatty flavors of Salmon truly love a red wine.  While I have perplexed and wowed many dinner guests when pairing a salmon dish with Cabernet Sauvignon something that should only be done with very fatty variety such a King Salmon, its Pinot Noir that is a showstopper every time.  This pairing works exceptionally well when grilling your fish on a cedar plank.  Typically, tannins in red wines are a big no when it comes to fish as the create an unpleasant metallic mineral taste.  Pinot Noir is a lighter bodied red with very low tannins.  Plus, Pinot Noir has more acidity than most red wines which makes it act kind of like a squeeze of lemon on the fish.

Wine Pick: Schug Pinot Noir


Skipping the big BBQ this year and looking to get out of town for that last summer hurrah? Check out the featured tasting rooms and upcoming events to make your summer last a little longer…

Looking For Harvest Action?

Curious about how grapes are transformed into wine? Lucky for you, this is the time of year when you can get up close and see the process in person.  Dutton Estate Winery is a fantastic destination to watch as bins full of gapes are loaded off trucks and into the crusher as they become proud members of the 2022 vintage. You'll get a behind the scenes peek from the "Crushpad" during active harvest to follow the journey of a grape from vine to tank. 

Reserve any 11:00AM tasting experience on Fridays and Saturdays and then arrive early to join a complimentary "Crushpad Tour" at 10:30AM.  

Available September 2nd - October 1st, Reservations Required



Wine Country is Calling

Harvest Season Events

2nd Annual Oyster Riot

Boxwood Estate Winery

2nd Annual Oyster Riot

Middleburg, VA

Saturday, September 3, 2022, 12:00 PM

Roses & Rosé

Messina Hof Harvest Green Winery & Kitchen

Roses & Rosé

Richmond, TX

Thursday, September 8, 2022, 6:30 PM

Corvette vs Ferrari Car Show - Blue Victorian Winery

Vezer Family Vineyard

Corvette vs Ferrari Car Show - Blue Victorian Winery

Fairfield, CA

Friday, September 9, 2022, 12:00 PM

Barbera Extravaganza with Scott Harvey

Hotel Sutter

Barbera Extravaganza with Scott Harvey

Sutter Creek, CA

Sunday, September 11, 2022, 5:00 PM

A Tuscan Afternoon at the Villa

Villa San-Juliette Vineyard & Winery

A Tuscan Afternoon at the Villa

San Miguel, CA

Sunday, September 11, 2022, 11:00 AM

2022 Chieftain Red & Black Gala- Friday 9/16

Vezer Family Vineyard

2022 Chieftain Red & Black Gala- Friday 9/16

Fairfield, CA

Friday, September 16, 2022, 6:00 PM

Goat Yoga!

Sawtooth Winery

Goat Yoga!

Caldwell, ID

Saturday, September 24, 2022, 11:00 AM

Merryvale & Starmont Harvest Party

Merryvale Vineyards

Merryvale & Starmont Harvest Party

St. Helena, CA

Sunday, September 25, 2022, 3:00 PM

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