The Best Wines for your Memorial Day Weekend


The best wines for your Memorial Day Weekend

Article by Marsha Trainer (City Pages)

Friday ~ May 23, 2014 8:00am

It’s finally balmy here in the Twin Cities, so this Memorial Day will mean picnics, grills, and all manner of outdoor eats. Of course, someone will show up with the obvious beverage choice — beer — but what about wine? What quaffs will go well with your holiday grub? 
To find the answer, we went to two local wine aficionados for their picks. Follow their lead and you’ll look oh-so-savvy in front of your friends, family, and party guests.

We asked each of our experts to select a white, a red, and a rosé for the occasion, to give us some flexibility when pairing. The best part? Their picks all come in under $20, so you won’t break the bank for this celebration. Our first expert, Mitch Zavada, is the wine buyer for South Lyndale Liquors

Skouras Moschofilero ($16.99): A terrific Greek white, energetic and exotic with citrus, pineapple and flowers leading to a zippy, refreshing palate. This is a shoo-in with fish, vegetables or just sipping on your patio for a spell.

Stolpman Vineyards Rosé ($15.99): A unique blend of Grenache and Sangiovese from Ballard Canyon, California with fresh berry and citrus peel flavors and lots of verve. It’s a dry rosé that goes great with grilled sausages, chicken and pork.

Castelo do Sulco ($8.99): From Lisboa, Portugal, this is a serious value with brambly dark fruit, meat, and pepper spice. Pair this one with burgers and steak.


Courtesy of Amusée
Sommelier Leslee Miller of Amusée


Our second pro is certified sommelier and proprietor of the wine consulting company, Amusée, Leslee D. Miller, who says Memorial Day brings to mind brats on the grill, picnic baskets of summer salads, and late afternoon bites. To go with, she recommends:


Domaine Gayda ‘Flying Solo’ Grenache Blanc/Viogner (under $10): From Languedoc, France, it’s a clean, easy summer sipper. It’ll complement a cheese plate, grilled fish, or even poultry with its refreshing, bright combo of honeyed tangerine and fresh citrus.


A to Z Sangiovese Rosé (under $15): An Oregon wine that’s Cherry Kool-Aid lush with notes of fresh herb and zippy spice — perfect with any light summer salad.


Luzon Monastrell (under $10): A medium-weighted red from Jumilla, Spain that’s flush with dark blackberry and cocoa, lined with little bits of black peppercorn. It’s perfect for brats, burgers, and even veggies on the grill.


So put that Miller Lite back on the shelf. You’re now armed with enough vino knowledge to hit up your Memorial Day fest like a true oenophile. Happy Memorial Day, Hot Dishers!



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  • Leslee’s thirst for wine knowledge is only 2nd to her passion to quench it… Russ & Shawn
    The Capital Grille
    Minneapolis, MN