#SundaySupper Labor Day Cookout Food And Wine Pairings

I always have mixed feelings about Labor Day weekend.  The last few years, our friends and neighbors have hosted a Labor Day Cookout.  They always throw one heck of a party.  But, at the same time Labor Day heralds the end of the summer, my favorite season of the year.  Well, at least we go out with a bang!

Speaking of going out with a bang, check out this week’s #SundaySupper menu.  It’s dynamite!  My recommended wine pairing are italicized.  Cheers!

Labor Day Cookout at the Ongs
Yum…Labor Day Cookout at the Ong’s – My friend and neighbors

Pair these sensational starters, snacks, salads, and sides with sparkling wine.  A sparkling wine will instantly give your cookout a celebratory feel, and sparkling wine is one of the most versatile wines for pairing with foods.  A Blanc de Noir style sparkling wine would make a great match for this diverse palate of flavors. A Blanc de Noir is made with dark-skinned grapes used to make red wines like Pinot Noir , Pinot Meunier and/or other grapes.  I recommend the Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noir.  Its red fruit and vanilla aromas are followed by creamy red fruit and citrus flavors.  

Pair these delectable dishes with a cookout favorite – Zinfandel!  I recommend the 2010 McManis Family Vineyard Zinfandel.  It shows plenty of ripe red fruits, vanilla and a bit of spice.

Pair these main and side dishes with a red Rhône blend.  What’s great about blends is that the combination of grape varietals creates a wine that is greater than the sum of its parts.  Such is the case with my recommended wine the 2010 Bonny Doon Vineyard Contra Old Vine Field Blend.  It’s a rich blend of Carigane, Syrah, Zinfandel, and Petite Sirah loaded with dark fruit, spice, and a bit of smoke aromas and flavors.

Pair these main and side dishes with a white Rhone blend. Look for the 2011 Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas.  It’s a blend of Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Marsanne, and Roussanne.  It’s a crisp and aromatic wine with honeysuckle and stone fruit aromas that follow onto the palate.  It also has very good acidity and an appealing minerality that make it versatile food partner. 
Pair these main and side dishes with a Pinot noir. Try one from New Zealand, where they make great Pinot Noir that can often be found for better value than Pinot Noir from California, or France.  Look for the Dashwood Marlborough Pinot Noir.  It’s full of ripe cherry, and berry aromas and flavors with a complementary spice component.  It’ll take a chill well too! Plop it in ice water for 10-15 minutes and serve.



Don’t forget about desserts when it comes to pairing wine with foods.  A wine with dessert is a great way to cap off a meal!

Pair these desserts with a sweet Moscato wine.  It’s a great match for fruit-themed dessert.  Try the 2011 Redtree Moscato with its slightly spritzy nectarine and rose petal flavors.

Pair these desserts with a Port-style wine. I say “Port-style” because true Port is only made in Portugal. That’s doesn’t mean you can’t get a tasty one made here in the good ole USA!  I recommend the Terra d’Oro Zinfandel Port.  It has sweet dark berry, chocolate, black currant, and toffee aromas and flavors and is oh so smooth! 
Frozen desserts are a challenge to pair with wine, primarily because the coolness numbs one’s taste buds. But if you remember the golden rule of pairing desserts with wine, you’ll be fine. The golden rule is that the wine must be sweeter than the dessert.  Here we go...
Pair the following two desserts with a Madeira, a fortified wine that comes from the small rugged volcanic island of the same name off the coast of Africa (though it’s a province of Portugal).  Look for Blandy’s 5-year old Malmsey Madeira. It an entry-level Madeira with aromas of toffee, raisins, and nuts with rich, full-bodied, honeyed flavors, and a beautifully balanced acidity. 
  • Ice Cream Sandwich Cake by Comfy Cuisine – Pair with a Pedro Ximenez (“PX”).  PX is a ribald sweet sherry with an acidic backbone from Spain. Look for the Lustau Pedro Ximenz “San Emilio”
  • Blueberry Lemon Whoopie Pies for a Holiday Cookout #SundaySupper by In the Kitchen with KP – Pair with the Yalumba Muscat Museum Reserve, a dessert wine from Australia with rose petal, ginger and orange peel aromas, and rich raisined fruit, and spice flavors.

Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper. We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 p.m. EST for our weekly #SundaySupper  live chat where we’ll talk about our favorite cookout recipes!

All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us throughTweetChat!

We’d also love to feature your Cookout recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers!


  1. Wonderful pairings as always Martin! Thanks so much and once again I have more wines to add to my to-buy list.

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much Renee! I hope you’ll get a chance to try some of the wines!

  2. Pingback: Labor Day Cookout
  3. Thanks! Your match for my white chicken chili looks great!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Dorothy – you’re welcome. The recipe looks great!

  4. diabeticfoodie says:

    Thanks so much, I know this is a lot of work for you! Great job.

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks Shelby. I appreciate the kind words!

  5. juanitascocina says:

    I love coming here because I love learning! Love the look of the blog!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much Jen! I appreciate you noticing the new blog. I’m not sure about the self-hosted thing yet. It may be more work than I thought it would be. Still have a lot of things to do to get it where I want it to be. Cheers!

  6. writelane says:

    Sounds like a great pairing for my Tuna and Roasted Peppers, Martin! Now I’m thirsy! 😉
    Cindy Cindy’s Recipes and Writings

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks. The Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Blanc not only taste great, it’s a damn good value for around $20! They also make a Patelin de Tablas Red, which is just as good!

  7. Great wine pairings! I love discovering new wines :)

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks!Your Sangria would also work well with so many of the recipes!

  8. Liz says:

    Thanks so much for the wine pairings! A glass of port would be wonderful with my cookies :)

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks Liz! Those cookies looks amazing!

  9. Such valuable information! I always need help in knowing what wine to pair with foods, so having this list is awesome. I’ve never had Madeira, but will keep my eye out for it when it comes to pairing with sweet desserts.

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Hi Brandie – Thanks for the kind words. The thing I like about Madeira is that it has some nice acidity, which keeps it from being too cloying as some dessert wines can be. Hope you get a chance to try one!

  10. apapina says:

    I love blends–I can’t wait to try the one you recommended for the pork and beans!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks! That BDV is a very good one!

  11. I love that Terra d’Oro Zin Port, and its so reasonably priced.
    Ive got to see if I can find the McManis Zinfandel here on the East Coast.

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks Eileen! Cheers!

  12. Wonderful pairings– just like usual! I love your recommendations!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks Melanie. I appreciate the kind remarks!

  13. A great job as usual Martin! I like moscato but never thought it might have a rose petal flavor. Happy Labor Day!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks Paula!

  14. Thank you Martin. I can not thank you enough for your awesome pairings. I love trying new wines that you recommend. Love that you are part of our #SundaySupper team.

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much Isabel…I’m enjoying being part of the fantastic #SundaySupper movement. It’s a great team of bloggers who are so creative and passionate about what they do…and it’s contagious!

  15. Great pairings, and great tips in there too!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks Erin!

  16. Germanpdx says:

    The wine pairings are fantastic! Thank you :)

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks for dropping by and the kind words! I’m enjoying it!

  17. Wow! Great pairings as usual, Martin! Really appreciate you listing this week on week! :)

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks for the kind words. I’m having fun doing it!

  18. sunithi says:

    I like the wine you paired with my dish ! Maybe will go out and get me a bottle tomorrow :) Thanks so much for all these fab pairings and the way you describe them is awesome :)

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks Sunithi! The Gloria Ferrer is a favorite of mine. Sparkling wine is so underappreciated as a pairing partner. It’s one of the most versatile wines for matching with a variety of foods!

  19. Laura Hunter says:

    I have never tried a red Rhône blend but I love Syrah so I am excited to give it a try. Thanks for some great pairings.

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks Laura – Rhône blends are wonderful variations of Syrah. In fact even though a bottle is labeled “Syrah” it often has other grape varietals in there for either color, aromatics, or something else the winemaker wishes to express. Even in the Rhône (France) 100% Syrah bottlings are the exception rather than the rule. If you like Syrah…bet you’ll love Rhône blends!

  20. Patti says:

    Martin you did an awesome job! Made my simple ice cream cake a little more sophisticated!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks Patti! The PX may be a challenge to find, but I think it’ll definitely work with your magnificent ice cream cake!

  21. Leslie Limon says:

    Thank you so much! I never know which wines to pair with what, but now I’m going to look like an expert. :) First on my shopping list is a Moscato to pair with dessert, then to see if I can find a Pinot Meunier, because it sounds amazing!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks Leslie…it’s been fun for me to work with such creative and passionate #SundaySupper foodies such as yourself. I’m already looking forward to Mexican Independence #SS!

  22. I am going to be honest with you Martin. I thought I was all done commenting on the posts until I remebered we have wine pairing. Doh! How can I forget. Thank you for pairing all our dishes. I’m sure it takes alot time and thought to do that. We truly appreciate your hard work. Now excuse me because I need to go get a bottle of 2010 Bonny Doon Vineyard Contra Old Vine Field Blend. :)

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks Sarah Lee! lol – hope you can find the Bonny Doon! If you do, let me know what you think!

  23. Wonderful pairings! I always look forward to seeing what you will suggest!

    Jamie @ http://www.mamamommymom.com

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Jamie – Thanks for the kind words. I hope you get to try some of the wines!

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