Each May, the annual fishing opener brings new hope to Minnesota’s anglers. If your mouth is already watering for walleye, remember any meal is better with the perfect wine pairing. From freshly caught fish fileted and cooked up with shore lunch, to juicy burgers and succulent shrimp skewers hot off the grill, to decadent s’mores—summer offers up so many great treats! And here are our wine recommendations to go with some summertime favorites.
These come from Haskell’s own Jack Farrell, who is featured weekly on WCCO radio. Be sure to listen to the full podcast for wine history and recommendations on creating unforgettable picnic pairings all season long!
From the Lake
Looking forward to taking your boat for a cruise and catching some dinner? Muscadet, not to be confused with Muscat, is a very lovely wine from Loire Valley in central France that Jack suggests pairing with fish.
Loire Valley is the biggest producer of the Malone de Begonia grape. Being right on the coast, the area is subject to very cold winters-–very dangerous for vineyards. But that is where Muscadet is made and it's absolutely terrific.
Jack shares, “It's a very crisp white wine, which is generally high in acid.”
A perfect pairing he suggests is a chilled glass of Muscadet and a lemon crusted walleye.
“It's a marriage made in heaven,” Jack says.
Simply chill your Muscadet for about an hour before serving. If you are out on the lake catching your dinner, bring the bottle along with, tie it to the boat, and let it chill in the water until you head in to cook your catch.
At around $15 per bottle you can land an excellent wine while not breaking the bank!
Off the Grill
No bites while fishing? No worries, Jack has other suggestions, too. Perhaps you are looking to kick back on the patio and flip some burgers.
“A well-made Zinfandel,” shares Jack, “is really just a wonderful, luscious, fruity forward wine that will go very, very well with your burger on the grill.”
If you're preparing something else like shrimp on the BBQ, try a New Zealand Silver Beach Sauvignon Blanc. It goes just perfectly with grilled shrimp.
Say you’re having chicken or grilling some swordfish steaks? Jack says, “Why not try something like Gearbox Chardonnay? It is also priced around $15 per bottle. And the wine is very, very good and perfect for grilling.”
Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
How about s'mores? Everybody likes s'mores in the summer. Try pairing this bonfire dessert with a sparkling Moscato from Italy.
“There's a little sparkle to it. And believe me, when that sweet chocolate with the marshmallow hits your mouth and then you have this Moscato with it, I'm telling you, that is also a perfect marriage.”
If there’s a wine you just love to enjoy with your favorite summer meal leave it in the comments. Cheers!