Wines for cookouts

Crowd-pleasing, affordable wines for grilling out

Do you have a signature dish you bring to cookouts?? Chef Jamie with Making it Delicious said she usually brings a pasta salad like her buffalo chicken Mac and cheese, which is always popular with adults. For cookouts and sunshine, we’ve rounded up some wines for you to grab off the shelves of your grocery store to pair with all of the burgers, hot dogs, chips, & cookout fare you’ll be enjoying this Memorial Day weekend and the rest of the summer.

Wines for cookouts should be crowdpleasers

No one is expecting a high-end Bordeaux to pair with their hotdog. Most likely, you’ll plow through more whites and rosès than red wines. Here are some light and simple crowd-pleasing, easy-drinking wines that pair well with cookout food.

An easy drinking Red Blend for burgers

Z Alexander Red Blend

We love Z. Alexander Red Blend. All of the Z. Alexander wines are an excellent value – plus, how cool is it that Zac Brown (yep, like Zac Brown Band) is the proprietor? The Red Blend is a blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Syrah, Merlot and Malbec. All of those different wines give it a velvety depth – and it tastes like black cherries and caramel. This is an excellent option for grilled burgers!

A smooth Chardonnay for sunshine

Wente Chardonnay

We visited Wente Vineyards in Livermore Valley and it is GORGEOUS. Let’s take a quick escape and revisit the Wente tasting gardens…

GoPro tour of Wente Estate Tasting Room

Perhaps you can create a wine tasting experience in your backyard this weekend? One of our go-to wines is this Chardonnay, which you can find at your favorite grocery stores. Lowes Foods carries Wente wines (currently on sale!)It’s an easy outdoor sipping wine, with notes of citrus, toasty oak, and a little vanilla. If you’re into shrimp cocktail with extra horseradish, (just me? I like it to sting!) this is a great bottle to open.

Smooth & light Rosé for the afternoon


We served Erath Rose at a summer party, and our guests skipped over all of the other wines and drank this. No surprise, it’s an easy sipping wine that tastes like white peaches and strawberries. It’s a light wine and not too overwhelming, so it will pair perfectly with your cookout buffet and sunshine.

Sparkling because it goes with anything

Gloria Ferrer Porch

Pop the chips and the bottles this weekend. Food + Wine explains, “Salt and fat both love Champagne (and vice versa)—the wine’s high acidity and the prickle of those bubbles are the ideal preparation for the next chip, and the next, and the next, and so on.” Try Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut for an exceptional bottle at a great price. (Also available at grocery stores!)

A note on grocery stores

PS – these posts aren’t sponsored by Lowes Foods, but it is one of our favorite grocery stores! Plus, their online ordering system is easy to check to see what brands they carry. Most grocery stores stock similar wines, so don’t think you won’t be able to find these wines at other stores!

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