BBQ Month

I read a Yelp email the other day that was advertising some local restaurants and said it was “National Barbeque Month”. Apparently May is National BBQ month. Who knew? I didn’t know, but that’s likely because every month seems to be BBQ month at the Vallens' household. We use the oven to bake stuff, but darn near everything else gets cooked on the grill. In doing some brief research, WikiHow actually had directions for what to do during National BBQ month. If you need to instructions for what to do during National BBQ month, please get off this page and don’t drink my wine.

If you have suggestions about how to spend National BBQ month or maybe a recipe or if you have something really good to eat from your grill, then I’m interested. And, I assure you I have some really good wine to go with your BBQ. After I got over my Cabernet affair in the nineties I was introduced to some excellent Zinfandels from the Russian River Valley. It took a while for me to get convinced that some other varietal might go better with BBQ than Zin. Yes, it’s true, there are other great wines for BBQ. For starters, I like something lighter while I’m prepping and cooking. Admittedly, it might be beer, but it is usually something lighter than a Zin. This seems to be the time that I should talk about my Grenache Blanc. The temperature is rising and we definitely seem to be getting into white wine weather: Whether we like it or not. Of course, you don’t have to like it. I simply suggest you try it. I think I will make a believer out of many of you.

If white isn’t your thing, then pink wine may be up your alley. One advantage of pink wine is that it may well be able to get you from the start to the finish of your BBQ session. This is to say that it is light enough to drink on its own and still has the body to stand up to some tamer BBQ items. It also allows us to test our masculinity by holding a glass or bottle and drinking it and offering it to our friends. You will see, you will get those looks from your friends that aren’t ready for pink wine. They may think it’s sweet or think it’s for girls or just don’t get it. But, once you try a good rose wine hot day, you too may become a believer.

Next, there are tons of great medium bodied reds that go with good Q’d meat. I have been stuck in the middle of the Rhone Valley for a long time now. This is to say I’ve been drinking a lot of Grenache, Mourvedre and Syrah, along with a bit of cinsault and carignan. Yes, there are others, but we don’t see most of them as standalones. Rather, we see a lot of the Rhone varietals as blends, often with cool names like GSM or Chateauneuf du pape. Whatever they are called, and whether they are single varietals or blends, they make great accompaniments to good BBQ. Simply put, the heavier the food, the heavier the wine you might want to try. This year we made a Syrah from Santa Ynez. Although this is a lighter Syrah, it does seems to guide my glassful toward a hearty meat filled meal with dark grill marks involved. If you would like to try something interesting, I recommend trying one of the Mourvedres from Paixsurterre Wines. You can find them at: Their stuff is not cheap, but I think it’s worth every dime because it’s really good. It’s also really different.

The truth is, you should drink what you like and only if you like. You should also drink responsibly. You should drink with friends and, yes, with really good barbeque. After all, it’s National Barbeque Month.

Cheers, FWC

For more information about Freedom Wine Company or to try or buy our wines, call me: (818) 674-2005 or call Jennifer (she’s nicer than me) (818) 674-2006 or email us at:

P.S. The Tempranillo and the Syrah will be bottled in early July!