The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Hot Fun in the Summertime

Posted on | May 17, 2010 | Written by Emily Lenhart | 1 Comment

Readers of Inside IWM know that I—and other IWM colleagues—are using this blog to write about our ongoing journey of wine discovery, especially finding tasty wine pairings for unusual foods. This weekend, I found inspiration in the beautiful weather.  There is nothing like a good, old-fashioned barbeque to kick off the summer, and to most Americans, that means popping open an ice cold beer to accompany that hot dog or cheeseburger.  While I don’t believe that this earnest American tradition necessarily needs changing, I was curious how a glass of wine might work with the quintessential summer meal. Not only was I wondering about the taste of the wine-and-BBQ combo, but I also was curious about how this divergence from the norm would affect the over all mood of the cook-out.

My test-tasting menu consisted of your traditional barbeque staples: hamburgers, hot dogs, Italian sausage, and grilled chicken, with all the anticipated accouterments of potato salad, corn on the cob, and my mother’s famous baked beans (whose recipe she generously let me share below).  I thought that this lighthearted dining experience called for a simple yet wallet friendly wine.  Therefore, I figured it would be a great weekend to try the Quattro Mani Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2008 (one of IWM’s best everyday drinking sellers, which I have been dying to try).

Being a red, the wine went really nicely with my hamburger, and it complimented the baked beans quite well.  I admit that it failed to give me that great thirst quenching “ahh” feeling an ice cold beer usually provides. However, everyone noted the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo’s versatility and agreed that it complimented the meat and sausage very well. All in all, serving wine with the BBQ seemed to have a neutral effect on the summery mood. Put one check in the wine plus column, one in the minus, and a note to myself that there’s no reason why I can’t serve both beer and wine to cover all my gustatory bases.

My mom’s basic baked beans:

1- 40 oz. can Hanover Baked Beans

½ cup butter

1/3 cup ketchup

¼ cup molasses

1 onion

Sautee onion in butter until tender.  Add cooked onion and remaining ingredients to slow cooker, cook 3-5 hours on high.

**Adjust the flavorings as you like, and for those folks who aren’t watching their cholesterol, add 1 lb. cooked bacon because it’s delicious.


One Response to “Hot Fun in the Summertime”

  1. Kerry-Jo Rizzo
    May 17th, 2010 @ 12:06 pm

    Wow… those beans sound AMAZING! Especially with the added bacon!

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