For your next BBQ, take a tip from Irving Street Kitchen’s beverage director, Leah Moorhead, and bring a bit of continental style to the table. Her budget-friendly picks for wines from southern France play quite nicely with the full spectrum of backyard feasting, from pasta salads and seared seafood to saucy grilled meats.
2011 Thierry Germain Domaine des Roches Neuves Saumur Champigny $15
This light, bright, and feminine cabernet franc from France’s Loire Valley is hand-harvested from 25-year-old vines and fermented with native yeast.
2011 Commanderie de Peyrassol La Croix Rouge $15
A lively blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and syrah from Provence (with lavender scents to prove it), this renowned organically grown wine is perfect for grilled steak with chimichurri.
2009 Catherine & Pierre Breton Les Galichets Bourgueil $20
The fruit for this cabernet franc from the Loire Valley comes from mature, 50-year-old vines, giving the floral, fruity wine an underlay of graphite.
2008 Andrew Rich Mésalliance $22
Inspired by the blends of Bordeaux’s Right Bank, this velvety pick has notes of bright berries, violets, and a hint of pomegranate. The combo of merlot, cabernet franc, and syrah is powerful but food-friendly—try it with ribs.
2010 Domaine Bressy-Masson Rasteau $13
This bold southern Rhône blend of syrah and grenache is aged for 12 months in neutral barrels for balanced richness. At 14.5 percent alcohol, this full-bodied bottle can stand up to smoke and sauce.