Memorial Day Weekend is always a blast celebrating the start of summer and eating good food! My favorite part about MDW is spending it with family while enjoying the nice weather. And a holiday weekend is definitely not complete without cooking up some delicious food and a few drinks 😉 Check out my Memorial Day Weekend menu with a few twists on some American classics, accompanied by unique and refreshing wines that will go perfectly at your cookout or barbecue!
This watermelon salad is one of my go-to recipes in the summer. It’s fresh and easy to make!
Cut up your watermelon into cubes and add to a large bowl. Slice cucumber and red onion and add to the watermelon. Cut feta or add crumbled feta and add to the bowl. Chop mint and sprinkle on top of the salad with salt and pepper. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over top to taste!
This salad paired with the greek white wine, Assyrtiko, is delightful. The freshness from the watermelon, cucumber, and mint match the acidity in the wine. The touch of the light and salty feta also pairs perfectly with this wine from the same country of origin (what grows together goes together!)
Grilled asparagus is one of my go to recipes in the summer because it’s super easy! Add this side to any fancy meal or backyard barbecue.
Toss asparagus with all ingredients. Put asparagus directly on the grill, or grill on tin foil. Cook until charred and crispy. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice on top. Enjoy!
Whenever I have asparagus in a meal, New Zealand Sauvignon is always a solid pairing. The herbaceous, grassy notes in the wine compliment the flavors of the asparagus. I also love to squeeze some fresh lemon juice on top, which brings out the citrus notes in the Sauvignon Blanc. We need to have some kind of veggie for our Memorial Day Weekend Menu, right? 🙂
I love bruschetta in the summer, and adding strawberry to the mix adds a whole new level of juicy freshness. At first I was skeptical that strawberries and tomatoes could be a good mix, but in this case it totally works! I love serving mine with crostini made from a baguette brushed with olive oil and garlic.
Chop up strawberries and tomatoes and add to a bowl. Add a touch of garlic powder. Add chopped fresh basil, and salt & pepper to taste. Finish with a generous drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Serve with warm crostini or crackers! Add goat cheese to your cracker and top with the bruschetta for extra creamy flavor.
Nero d’Avola is the most widely planted grape in Sicily. In this pairing, a budget friendly, young and fresh version of Nero d’Avola would go nicely with this bruschetta. With red juicy fruit flavors, minerality, and nice acidity, it will match the intensity and flavors of the balsamic and bring out the acidiyt and fresh flavors of the tomatoes and strawberries. Another great option for this is Etna Rosso. It also comes from Sicily and most commonly produced in stainless steel. You’ll find it has lots of fresh red fruits and it’s easy drinking on the palate.
This is one pairing that requires absolutely no cooking but it could become your ultimate favorite duo. I could consume this pairing every day LOL. Pairing potato chips and Champagne works because the salty, crispness from the potato chip is complimented with the salinity and bubbles from the Champagne. Champagne also works at any kind of meal, because it can act as a palate cleanser!
Corn on the Cobb is a must as a side dish at any barbecue. I love how easy it is to elevate corn to make it seem much more fancy than it is. Adding a few different spices and some Parmesan cheese can take this dish a long way.
There are two ways to make grilled corn. First, you can grill the corn with the husks on and then roll the corn into a mixture of butter and all toppings. Second, you can take the husks off and put butter and toppings on the Cobb. Then wrap your corn in tinfoil and cook on the grill. Either way will taste amazing! I prefer the second way so the butter and toppings can really get cooked into the corn on the grill 🙂
Sonoma Coast Chardonnay typically has a little bit of oak and buttery characteristics but not in an overwhelming way that some Napa Chardonnays do. You’ll still get some nice crisp acidity from the wine that will stand up to the sweetness and juiciness from the corn. Those light buttery flavors in the wine will also bring out the butter melting on your grilled corn… yum!!
No Memorial Day Weekend Menu is complete without HOT DOGS. We all know how to make hot dogs so I don’t need to go there… but have you ever had a hot dog with rosé? This is the perfect pairing because hot dogs aren’t the heaviest meat, but they need a wine with a bit of body and some bomb flavor to stand up to. I love pairing hot dogs with Malbec rosé, because it tends to have a little more body and dark fruit flavors than a Provence rosé. The combo of the ketchup, mustard and bun will be heavenly!!
Just like hot dogs, you can’t have a Memorial Day Weekend menu without some kind of sweet, tangy barbecue. My personal favorite? Baby back ribs!
For the ribs, you can make these any way you’d like! We used some basic seasonings such as seasoned salt, garlic, paprika, cumin, and chili powder.
Barbecue is all about the sauce. So when pairing a wine with something like ribs or chicken wings, you want to match your wine with the sauce you’ll be having! Classic barbecue sauce is typically sweet and maybe slightly spicy. This goes nice with a Zinfandel because it will compliment the wine’s full body, jammy and smoky characteristics. You could also opt for an Italian Primitivo (same grape, different name).
Comment below your favorite Memorial Day Weekend Food and Wine pairing!