Wine for BBQ Wedding
We are having a BBQ wedding in NJ in August. It will be hot & muggy (unless it rains, which hopefully it won't)! We're having grilled tri-tip, hamburgers, hot dogs, some kind of chicken, and something to appease the vegetarians. I'm thinking a Chardonnay, a Rose & a Zin, as well as a selection of beers. Anyone have specific wines they can suggest? Also, we are not looking to spend a ton of moolah on this one. Thanks!
Donkey and a Goat and Ameztoi (a Basque wine) make nice roses. The Ameztoi Rubentis is more delicate. Otherwise, look for an inexpensive rose from southern France, like Tavel.
New Jersey and August doesn't seem like good Zin weather.
I totally agree with Steve's rec. of Tavel rosé. They're both affordable and refreshing on a hot summer day. And Zin is THE bbq wine, so you're great there, as long as it's not too, too hot out. If you can find it, even the entry level Seghesio Zin is solid, especially for the price.
OP, are you really set on Chardonnay? It's kind of passé, as well as not a great value for your dollar. It's hard to find even decent Chard. for under $30, in my opinion. Plus, the low acid/huge oak in most California Chard. makes it pretty bad with the majority of food. I'd go German Riesling, NZ Sauvignon Blanc or Alsatian Gewurztraminer instead.
Chateau Revelette is a good, easy to find rose - Moore Bros always has it, at least, and I've seen it elsewhere on ocassions. A slight chill on it, and you've got a great August quaffer.
As for Chard, go for a steel barrel one for something more refreshing. Naked Chardonnay is a really nice one if you can find it.
I'd second invinotheresverde's suggestion of swapping out one of your three choices for a nice Alsatian Gewurz, though. It'll be great with the foods you've mentioned and is so nice for hotm, muggy days.
Try Foxglove Chardonnay. It's the second label for Varner. A perennial Parker 90 pointer. No oak. About $15 or less.
I might go in a different direction for your white. Hot and muggy NJ in August, with those foods, too, I would think NZ SB (or a good slightly off dry Riesling). The ubiquitous Kim Crawford and Villa Maria brands of NZ Sauvignon Blanc are always decent, cheap, and crowd pleasers. (For Riesling I'd try Dr. L from Germany or else Dr. Konstantin Frank from the Finger Lakes). Rose you can go *seriously* cheap and get (Bodegas Nekeas) Vega Sindoa Rosato. For under $8, it is a screaming steal. For your red, I agree Zin might be a good way to go, but I cannot give you any good reccomendations in the lower price ranges. HOWEVER, if you are willing to go in a different direction, the 2007 Tere Nere Etna Rosso is being sold at a NJ wine store for $13.99 and that is an *amazing* bottle of wine, even or the $19 that I pay for it out here in CA. It would also work very well with your food.
wanna go really cheap? Vino verde is great ice cold on a hot day. Low in alchohol, too. Even beer drinkers will be chugging it (slightly fizzy). Many decent ones available for $5 a bottle...Trader Joe's has had a nice one for $4. I truly don't believe that you have to pay a lot for good wine, especially for a BBQ situation.
For red, there are any number of good, hearty, spicy Spanish wines under $10 that are great for BBQ: Look for monastrells from Jumilla (e.g. Olivares Altos de la Hoya) or Bodegas Alto Almanzora "Este" from Andalucia.
Rather than Zin, I would check out Marietta Cellars' Old vine Red, It's a blend that includes Zin, and imho is perfect with barbecue.
I also echo the "no Chardonnay" suggestion for the white. an NZ Sauvignon Blanc (my fave is Babich) or a Finger Lakes Riesling will go better with your food, and be more refreshing.
For Rose, there are so many choices at the $10 or lower price point, you should do fine. Check out the offerings at Wine Library dot com. ;)