The last big grilling weekend of the year for most people has arrived. Unless you are a football “tailgater,” the long Labor Day weekend signals the end of the grilling season and the countdown to autumn.
You could certainly throw some hamburger patties together and call it a day, or you could have some fun by embracing America’s obsession with “small plates” and opt to prepare some sliders instead. Food and Wine magazine recently put together a list of the “Best Sliders in America” — some of which are grilled, and some of which are prepared in different ways. You can check out that list here.
If you’d like to have some wine to accompany these small bites of deliciousness, keep in mind that it’s the dominant flavor of the slider that you need to complement. In some cases, the best wine for a slider may be beer. But in most cases, a good wine pairing is possible. And if you’re confused about what kind of wine to uncork (or unscrew), simply select a wine that you like.
If you’d prefer to follow a more traditional path this weekend, here’s a different take on a Labor Day weekend classic — the grilled sausage — courtesy of Welch’s: http://www.welchs.com/recipes/main-courses/grilled-sausages-with-sweet-chili-sauce
The sweet chili sauce in the dish calls for a wine with a little bit of “zip” and lots of luscious fruit flavor. That’s pretty much the definition of a California Zinfandel.
One more tip for the long weekend, especially if you’re going to be sipping some wine: Also drink plenty of water. Summer isn’t over yet, and it’s extremely important to stay hydrated so you’ll continue to be able to enjoy the gift of the grape for years to come.