Be the Grillmaster: Host a Late Summer BBQ

Summer seems to have flown by in the blink of an eye, and that grill you bought on sale last season is still begging you to give it a try.

Luckily, you still have time to plan a late summer barbecue, complete with sumptuous grilled burgers and veggies paired with the best Pennsylvania wines.

So hang those string lights you’ve been meaning to drape around your porch, invite those friends you keep wanting to call and fire up the grill for a perfect summer evening of wine, food, and friends. Follow the tips below, demonstrate your newfound grilling mastery, and rest assured that your guests will be dying to get another invite to your next party.

Picking and Preparing Wine

Take advantage of your favorite winery’s tasting room and the experts pouring your glass who can recommend pairings based on your planned menu.

Bottle-to-person ratio: One bottle per two people is a good rule of thumb, but pick up an extra bottle of each kind so you don’t risk running out!

Red: Choose medium reds that are balanced with spice and fruit-forward notes, lending themselves to brisket and ribs.

White: Select bright whites that are crisp and sippable solo, but that will also pair well with lighter dishes like fish tacos, grilled chicken, and summer salads.

Rosé: Opt for a rosé with a beautiful salmon coloring and fruity aromas. It goes well with appetizers like fruits, cheeses, prosciutto-wrapped melon; most grilled foods; and summer pastas.

Fruit: Indulge in fruit wines that are made from fresh PA Preferred fruits to celebrate the warm weather and enjoy their sweet, refreshing flavors.

Water: Don’t forget the H²O or a non-alcoholic beverage to ensure that everyone stays hydrated.

Pairing the Perfect Menu 


  • Cheese board with PA Preferred cheeses from local dairies like the Farm at Doe Run coupled with a quince or blueberry jam, or a local chutney. The fruitiness of the chutney will pair well with 2015 Rosé from Grace Winery.
  • Charcuterie platter with salami, capicola, cornichons, crudité, and olives paired with Candlelight from Nissley Vineyards.
  • Chips, salsa, and fresh guacamole are a perfect match with Ripepi Winery & Vineyard’s Sauvignon Blanc.


  • Bacon burger with grilled onion and sweet potato coupled with Penns Woods Winery’s Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • Fish tacos sprinkled with lime and smothered in tomatillo salsa with Chaddsford Winery’s Pinot Grigio.
  • Grilled chicken marinated in a sweet and tangy sauce goes great with Grovedale Winery’s Frontenac Gris.
  • Lemon garlic mushrooms, spicy grilled eggplant with Cajun seasoning, grilled brussel sprouts, or grilled cauliflower wedges with red pepper flakes are some yummy options that taste even better with a 2014 Chardonnay from CrossWinds Winery at Hershey.


  • Grilled peaches served over vanilla ice cream from your local creamery with a sprig of mint would taste divine with Stone Free Peach Wine from Greendance – The Winery at Sandhill.


The Pennsylvania Winery Association is a trade association representing more than 100 member wineries and an advocate on behalf of the state’s growing multi-billion-dollar wine industry. With some of the most fertile grape-growing land on the East Coast, Pennsylvania ranks fifth nationally in the amount of grapes grown, seventh in wine production, and seventh in the number of licensed wineries. To learn more about Pennsylvania wine or to plan a trip, visit

Monica McQuail 


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