Memorial Day weekend is here and the air around western New York will be full of smoky, aromatic goodness from a variety of foods grilling away in thousands of backyards. Of course plenty of beer will be consumed, but for us wine folk there are terrific choices to be made for grilled food.

What if you had to choose one wine that could fit the bill for a vast amount of grilled foods? If you factor in the most popular foods over the weekend you’d probably find steak, ribs, burgers, hot dogs, sausage, ka-bobs, and BBQ chicken. So what could possibly pair well with any of these favorites?

I think a bold red could accomplish the task. The question is which red? You could opt for a Cabernet, a Merlot, Shiraz or Zinfandel or try a blend such as Cryptic which is made up of Zinfandel, Petit Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon.

This rich tasting, smooth red is produced by Purple Wine Company known for Avalon and Four Vines. The wine is aged in American, French, and Hungarian oak and the grapes are harvested from a variety of areas stretching from the Sierra Foothills, Paso Robles and Lodi.

Despite the obvious “Dan Brown” gimmicky style, the label does catch your attention with a certain mysterious elegance. But of course the real star here is the wine itself. It is full-bodied and velvety. There is plenty of cherry, raspberry and blueberry fruit to enjoy, complemented by toasty vanilla and spice. This wine has all the right notes to complement the previous mentioned Memorial Day culinary classics. Me? I’ll be having Italian sausage, Chivetas chicken, potato salad, macaroni salad, green salad, and baked beans. Giddy-up!