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Local Experts Suggest Wines for Your Summer BBQ

NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – Summer officially began Wednesday so it is time to think about firing up the BBQ. Many people associate barbecued food with ice cold beer, but local wine merchants have some suggestions of wines that will compliment backyard food.

Dawn Christopher of Croton Falls’ Front Street Cellar recommends Prosecco as the ideal aperitif. “It’s light and bubbly and it’s also very food-friendly. It goes with everything.”

“Summer barbecue whites should be crisp and refreshing and have a nice fruity taste,” she continued. In addition to whites, Christopher suggests Spanish Rioja Rose. When it comes to red wines, Australian Shiraz and Merlot are excellent with barbecue, she said. “Merlot has a full-bodied palate and a complex finish. An inexpensive Merlot can still be an awesome one.”

Mary Ann Arlia of Somers Discount Wine & Spirits suggests Sauvignon Blanc with seafood.

“The better ones are from New Zealand these days,” she says. “They’re crisp and they have a nice acidity. Sometimes you can pick up hints of apricot or pineapple or grapefruit. It offsets the food nicely.”

For red meat, Arlia suggests, “any kind of rich red, such as a Rioja from Spain or the California Cabernets. Blended wines also work well, like Meritage.”

When it comes to aperitifs, Arlia agrees with Christopher. “You can’t go wrong with Prosecco. After dinner, it’s nice to have a Muscato or a Riesling. They’re slightly sweeter, so they get you ready for dessert. Riesling can also go with spicy seafood.”

The Front Street Cellar is at 3 Front St. in the old Croton Falls train station. Somers Discount Wine & Spirits is in the Somerstown Shopping Center on Route 202 in Somers.

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