The rituals of summer taste especially sweet after Chicago’s seemingly never-ending winters, but every year I look forward to the season’s best outdoor sport the most: cooking over an open flame. I am the grillmaster in our family, which is a fun reversal of roles since I’m usually in charge of making the drinks at weekend gatherings. No one goes thirsty though, since the grilled goodness of seared meats and veggies goes with almost any kind of beverage, but for times when barbecue calls for something more robust, I tend to reach for a big, bold red.
This season I’ve found a solid companion in the simple, straightforward and satisfying table wines from Tussock Jumper. The brand features an array of great varietals sourced from renowned wine regions around the world, but for me the Shiraz-Grenache-Viognier blend strikes the right balance of fresh, red fruit and dry, peppery tannin, which makes it a natural companion for a leg of lamb or rack of ribs. I can get a bottle delivered via Drizly for about $14, which makes it an effortless option for those long, leisurely nights of tending to the grill.