Cottage living in Canada means clean air, star-filled nights and, of course, lots of opportunity to barbeque. And a great glass of wine goes with any of these simple pleasures.
During those lazy July and August days, a chilled white or rosé wine is perfect. Not only are these usually naturally lower in alcohol than most reds, but they refresh your palate. However, many of the great summer foods cry out for red wines, and this can work if they are lighter bodied or even served a little chilled.
Just picture it … sitting by the dock, soaking up the sun and enjoying a glass of wine. Doesn’t it make you forget winter?
Cottage Food Cooking
After running away from civilization in favour of easy cottage living, the last thing we want to do is slave away in the kitchen for hours on end. The best cottage dishes involve a barbeque and as little work as possible.
Recently, The Food Network compiled a list of “24 Make-Ahead Cottage Dishes”. We thought it would be fun to highlight some of the best wines the world has to offer to pair with them. When you find yourself planning meals for your next cottage trip, try to include some of these great pairings
1. Sticky Spicy Slow-Cooked Ribs
Perfect for a barbecue at the cottage, these sweet and spicy ribs are easy to make and are guaranteed to become quite messy. It’s important to have some napkins on hand in order to clean your hands before holding your wine glass. View recipe. Any red meats such as ribs are better enjoyed when served with a lighter bodied and fruity wine like a Valpolicella or Beaujolais. But these sweeter ribs call for a red with quite a bit of ripeness, like a California Zinfandel .
Another option is the Zinfandel blend from Tierra Divina. This can be served slightly chilled.
Tierra Divina Reds
2. Harissa Marinated Chicken Skewers with Couscous
Marinade these chicken skewers before you leave on your trip so they can soak up all the fiery-hot harissa flavour. Simply put them on the grill, place over the couscous, serve and enjoy! View recipe. To best compliment this dishes fiery-hot flavours, this light meal option will pair well with a Dry & Fruity Rosé wine such as a Chinon Rose or Rosato.
This dish would be best served alongside a refreshing bottle of Rosato from the Marche region of Italy.
Azzoni – Rosato 2015
3. Cowboy Nachos
Impress your cottage crowd with a surprise tray of spicy, cheesy and meaty nachos. To prepare you can cook the brisket and beans at home, then simply top your nachos, heat and serve dockside. View Recipe. Soft cheeses and red meats pair well with a rich and full-bodied California Chardonnay.
4. Slow-Cooker Pork Tacos
This bright, flavour-packed main includes tender, juicy pulled pork and whatever taco toppings you wish. View Recipe. An aromatic and flavourful wine such as a Sauvignon Blanc will compliment this lighter dish well.
Try your slow-cooker Pork Tacos with this exclusive wine from the Friuli-Venezia-Giulia wine region of Italy.
La Tunella – Sauvignon 2015
5. Meatball Cauldron
Smothered in sweet, tangy red sauce, these meatballs are a no-brainer for a summer cottage weekend. With nearly endless possibilities, this slow-cooker classic can be served as hot, saucy sandwiches or stand alone as a tasty appetizer option. View Recipe. You will want to servie this with something that has good ripeness so the wine does not taste sour next to the sweet and tangy taste of the sauce. Much like the sticky spicy slow cooked ribs, a Shiraz is recommended for a dish such as this.
Nothing can compare to sitting on the dock, enjoying good food, great company and a terrific glass of wine. The next time you’re planning the meals for your trip to the cottage, we hope you include some of these food and wine pairings.
Another way of making your cottage preparation easier is by using the services of an Ontario wine agent that can deliver to your door. There’s nothing easier than having the world’s most select and exclusive wines ship from the vineyards of Italy to your dock in Muskoka.
The Small Winemakers Collection is a Toronto-based Ontario wine agent. We supply wine to restaurants and private consumers across the province. Most of our wines are sold through the Consignment program of the LCBO’s Specialty Services department.