Each month members of the Court of Master Sommeliers, an international association of wine experts, suggest pairings for popular menu items. Here they offer us both premium and bargain suggestions to enjoy with food cooked on a grill. The sommeliers do not have a financial interest in any of their recommendations
Devon Broglie, specialty product coordinator, Whole Food’s Market Southwest Region, Austin, Texas
Premium wine: Charles Joguet Chinon, Loire Valley, France
Grape variety: Cabernet Franc
Taste profile: Ripe blackberry and dried red fruits, black licorice and green tobacco leaf with laser beam minerality
Pairings: Grilled or roasted poultry or burgers
Average wholesale case price: $200
Bargain wine: 2010 Marques de Caceres Crianza, Rioja, Spain
Grape varieties: 85 percent Tempranillo, 15 percent Garnacha Tinta and Graciano
Taste profile: Deep cherry, black pepper and cinnamon. Medium bodied with a dry finish.
Pairings: Char-grilled proteins, earthy root vegetables and lentils. Consider pollo asado with charro beans.
Average wholesale case price: $100
Jennifer Huether, master sommelier at Cliff Lede Vineyards and Breggo Cellars, Napa, Calif.
Premium wine: 2009 L’Aventure, Optimus Estate, Paso Robles, Calif.
Grape varieties: 50 percent Syrah, 33 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 17 percent Petit Verdot
Taste profile: Rich and concentrated nose with ripe blackberry and black cherry notes. On the palate this dense wine offers up chocolate notes, more ripe black fruit, violets, medium-plus tannins and a long, opulent finish.
Pairings: This wine needs food, and can handle spices. Try it with a peppery grilled rib eye steak.
Average wholesale case price: $720
Bargain wine: Miguel Torres “Infinite” 2009, Penedes, Spain
Grape varieties: 85 percent Tempranillo, 15 percent Cabernet Sauvignon
Taste profile: Dominated by juicy red fruits — strawberry, raspberry, ripe plum — with a dusty, earthy note. On the palate it has tart cherry-like acidity with a mineral backbone and medium tannins.
Pairings: This wine will work with a variety of lighter grilled meats, such as pork or . Try it with grilled skewers of those meats rubbed with olive oil, sea salt and rosemary.
Average wholesale case price: $156
Randa Warren, educator, Wine School of Tulsa, Tulsa, Okla.
Premium wine: Sledgehammer 2009 Red Zinfandel, Lake County, Calif.
Grape variety: Zinfandel
Taste profile: Massive strawberry jam beats this drum with a kick of high octane from the high alcohol. The fruit is explosive on this medium-priced Zin with a little brawny character running through the wine. The tannins are soft; the fruit and alcohol are huge in this easy-to-drink blockbuster.
Pairings: 15-hour slowly smoked brisket; pork spare ribs with barbecue sauce; grilled pizza; or a big, fat, juicy Cheddar cheeseburger with grilled onions, pickle and ketchup.
Average wholesale case price: $180
Bargain wine: Castle Rock California Cuvée Pinot Noir, 2010
Grape variety: Pinot Noir
Taste profile: Ripe fruit expressions of cranberry, raspberry, strawberry jam and Bing cherries marry nicely in this wine. For a Pinot, this has medium weight and excellent balance between acid, alcohol and gentle tannins. This is very popular and certainly undervalued Pinot Noir.
Pairings: Cedar-plank salmon on the grill or grilled duck breast with cherry glaze.
Average wholesale case price: $120
Learn more: Meet the Master Sommeliers. Check out bios and photos.