Memorial Day weekend is typically when we turn our longing eyes to summer. Sunshine, socializing and wine are all coming into focus as we get ready for the unofficial beginning of summer. With more and more restrictions lifting, Memorial Day is shaping up to be a welcome taste of summers gone by.
The other thing that Memorial Day weekend welcomes is summer food! If you’ve been jonesing for a hot dog or dreaming about the cool sweetness of watermelon your time is near.
To help your re-entry into hosting, we’ve created some wine pairings that will elevate your summer fare to new heights. Dust off those grill tongs and wine glasses, it’s time to kick this summer off right.
Moon Tree Cabernet Sauvignon and burgers
If the grill is lit, hamburgers can’t be too far away. A nice juicy beef burger is an undeniable classic. Like a meaty canvas, each burger is ready to be customized into a delicious masterpiece.
Ketchup? Go for it!
Mustard? Why not?
Pickles? Of course!
And on and on it goes. But what kind of wine pairs best with a burger? A safe bet is any wine typically associated with red meat like a cabernet or sirah.
We recommend Moon Tree Cabernet Sauvignon. It has a bright red fruit flavor with notes of cedar and sweet tobacco. With a composition of 81% Lake County Cabernet, 1% Lake County Petite Sirah and 18% California Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine will complement your burger — no matter how you choose to top it.
Sokatira Cava Brut Seleccion and hot dogs
Ballparks have conditioned us to think hot dogs and beer are as inseparable a pairing as an outfielder and his glove. While that combo is as American as baseball, don’t strike out. This weekend is a great time to call sparkling wine out of the bullpen.
The effervescence of a wine like Sokatira Cava Brut Seleccion, plays off the fat and salt that make hot dogs so delicious. This Spanish cava has a strong release of bubbles and a persistent foam. This pairing will remain bubbly until your last bite of perfectly grilled frank.
Spicy Chicken and Brotherhood Riesling
If you have heat seekers in your midst, some buffalo wings or other spicy cuisine are a must-have. The sweet nature of riesling cuts the spice, making hot wings a little more inviting for those with a mild palate. A good rule to follow when matching wine with spicy food is the higher the heat, the more sweetness you’ll want.
For Memorial Day, we recommend Brotherhood Riesling, which has a nice off-dry character. This crowd-pleaser has apple and pear notes with the flavors riesling lovers expect.
Watermelon salad and Monemvasia Winery Assyrtiko
If Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer, then our cookout has to include the nearly-unanimous food of the season: watermelon.
You can serve your watermelon in juicy, glistening wedges, without any complaints from your guests. But, a simple salad with watermelon, feta cheese and mint will wow them.
Pair this bright, flavorful and refreshing dish with Monemvasia Winery Assyrtiko. This dry Greek wine has notes of grapefruit, orange, lime juice, nectarine and unripe kiwi. It also has the essence of baked bread and some saltiness. This wine will balance exquisitely with the salt and tang of the cheese.
Corn on the cob and Moon Tree Chardonnay
Just like watermelon, corn on the cob is a summer menu staple. Pairing wine with veggies can be a challenge. Corn has plenty of innate sweetness and richness. For this Memorial Day, lean into that sweetness. Moon Tree Chardonnay will highlight the corn’s sweet flavor for a summery pop of joy.
Moon Tree Chardonnay opens with notes of green apple, pear, citrus and melon. It has undertones of oak and lightly toasted coconut.
Moon Tree Moscato D’Asti and apple pie
Let’s round out this stellar Memorial Day meal with a dessert that like an Bald Eagle, just screams America! The classic apple pie is a strong pairing choice for sweet wines. We recommend finding a wine that is sweeter than the dessert you’re pairing it with. Apple pie is a nice choice as it’s not usually crazy sweet.
The brand new Moon Tree Moscato D’Asti is a perfect pair. Procured from the renowned Bersano winery in the Piedmont Region of Italy, it has inviting sweetness and a melange of yellow fruit, like pineapple, peach and lemon.
Ordinarily, we’d recommend serving a wine to pair with your entire meal — or at least the entree. But like we said, it’s a holiday weekend. Experiment a little.
If you’re hosting this week, or if your family is looking for a culinary adventure, match up small pours of each wine with each dish. Try to find what flavors in the wine bring out of the food. You will certainly have a good time and you may even impress someone with your tasting skills.