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How to Select the Perfect Wines for Any Summer Event

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Posted: Sunday, July 20, 2014 10:00 pm | Updated: 1:34 am, Mon Jul 21, 2014.

(Family Features) From weekend backyard barbeques to spontaneous weeknight gatherings, summer is filled with celebrations that bring friends and family together for fabulous food, drink and fun. Whether you're unsure of what wines to serve as the host, or the best refreshment to pick as a guest, you don't have to be a master sommelier to choose the perfect wine pairing for every meal or occasion.

As a general rule, nature has color-coded foods with the wines best suited for their flavors. For example, white wines pair well with light foods, while dark wines usually complement richer fare. Here are some more specific scenarios to help you enjoy the warm weather and good times ahead this summer.

Wedding Showers and Celebrations

Long summer days are a great time to celebrate big life events - like wedding showers and house-warming parties. Because many of these soirees include an assortment of foods, there are several routes you can take to discover the perfect wine pairing. For guests enjoying fresh, fruit salad or tilapia with a mango salsa, consider an herbaceous sauvignon blanc which will complement the fruit flavors with its crisp acidity. For those who prefer a more floral wine, a viognier may be the answer to go alongside any grilled chicken or seafood dish.  

Al Fresco Events

Summer is often marked by cookouts, picnics and other al fresco dining occasions. A top choice among many guests is a vibrant, flavorful glass of chardonnay. This favorite white wine pairs well with crisp summer salads and lighter grilled selections, such as salmon and shrimp entrees. One expressive offering, Kendall-Jackson AVANT Chardonnay, is fruit forward and fermented in a combination of stainless steel tanks and neutral oak barrels, which bring out its distinctive green apple and lemon flavors. It is the choice for those who prefer a Chardonnay with a little less oak.

Summer Barbeques and Daytime Events

If a sunny, mid-day get together is in your future, there is one delicious pairing option to consider. For hosts who plan to serve a grilled selection, such as pork chops or saucy, smoky ribs, consider pairing the menu with an expressive and fruit forward red blend. Kendall-Jackson AVANT Red Blend offers a silky and smooth texture that begins with fermentation in neutral oak barrels to bring out rich, fruit flavors. A sultry mosaic of French varieties, the wine focuses on Syrah and Malbec with aromas of ripe raspberry and bold black cherry.  Hints of spice and dark chocolate  deliver a smooth, lingering finish, so this red blend will also complement a grilled steak or any other red meat favorite.

No matter what festivities are booked on your summer calendar, this season is full of delightful sips for every event. For more ideas to make celebrations special, visit KJ.com/Avant.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

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