Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer and it’s safe to say that this year it’ll be a unique one. Normally, we’d gather on the streets in masses to watch our local high school marching bands and community members parade to honor those who died serving our country. And somewhere on our 3-day weekend agenda, we’d also gather with friends and family to eat, drink, and be merry around the grill. But this year most of those local celebrations are cancelled, so it’s on us to individually raise a toast to those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom while we have smaller than usual cookouts on what’s destined to be a fabulous-weather weekend.

Here are 14 different ways to pair Cayuga Lake wine with your BBQ foods and celebrations.

Americana Vineyards, Baco Noir– A medium-bodied, deep red burgundy with hints of dark cherries, raspberries and a smooth peppery finish. Pairs best with grilled vegetables, red and white meats.

Buttonwood Grove Winery, Unoaked Chardonnay– A popular alternative to barrel-aged Chardonnay. In contrast to traditional oaked Chardonnays, this vibrant wine is crisp, clean, and refreshing. Bursting with the fresh aromas of crisp orchard fruits, its bright grapefruit and lemon flavors mid-palate evolve into a lingering finish with soft notes of pineapple and white peach.  At 2.0% RS, it’s the perfect complement to spicier fare, grilled chicken, fresh fruit, and cheese plates.

Cayuga Ridge Estate Winery, 2012 Chardonnay Select– Malo-lactic, honey with hint of butterscotch. Pair this Chardonnay with meaty fish (halibut and cod), shellfish, corn, sweet potatoes, and foods that are caramelized from roasting or grilling, like crisp-skinned roast chicken.

Goose Watch Winery, 2015 Chambourcin– An exciting deep red, dry varietal wine with vibrant raspberry aromas that are enhanced with richness and finesse from aging in oak. Serve with leaner red meats or pasta.

Hosmer Winery, 2017 Gruner Veltliner– The nose is bright, driven by lemon zest and toasted lime. The palate is smooth and creamy carried by a rich texture. Pairs well with grilled fish, grilled vegetables, and potato salads.

Knapp Winery, Unoaked Cabernet Franc– Notes of black cherry, currant, and licorice with a silky smooth finish. Pairs well with red meats, pasta salads, or a nice brie cheese.

Long Point Winery, Zinfandel – Dry Deep Red Wine with bursting flavors of blackberries, anise, coffee and a hint of dark chocolate, with a spicy finish.  Aged 20 months in American and Hungarian Oak. This pairs best with anything from the meat aisle, from pork ribs to poultry. Also pairs well with grilled fish.

Lucas Vineyards, 2019 Dry Rose– This adored Dry Rose will tingle your taste buds with juicy strawberry, peach and delicate citrus. It will leave you feeling refreshed and your mouth watering for more. We use high quality, estate grown Cabernet Franc grapes in this dry, yet fruity wine. Pairs well with chicken salad, pulled pork sandwiches, cheese and crackers, and fresh fruit salad.

Montezuma Winery, Dragonfly– Rich and refreshing tones of black currants with a subtle apple finish. Black currants are a beneficial fruit, high in antioxidants and vitamin C. Pairs best with BBQ, poultry, and pork.

Six Mile Creek Vineyard, Rosatto– A Finger Lakes Merlot rosé with light notes of Strawberry rhubarb and cherry. Combines the dryness of a red with the fresh and lighter feel of a white. Pairs well with grilled fish, hamburgers, grilled sausages, grilled chicken,

Swedish Hill Winery, Bourbon Barrel Aged Red Wine Blend– Aging in wine barrels followed by aging in premium bourbon barrels has created a unique and smooth red wine blend. Our winemakers have created a mellow rich satisfying wine with deep raspberry spice notes and smoky flavors that pairs best with foods such as barbeque chicken, baby back ribs, pulled pork, or even flat bread pizzas off the grill.

Thirsty Owl Wine Co., 2017 Syrah– Warm and smooth, with notes of blackberry and peppery spice. Velvety tannins and a full mouthfeel throughout. Pairs especially well with barbeque foods like spareribs, chicken, grilled meats and vegetables, hamburgers, tuna, and venison.

Toro Run Winery, Dry Riesling– With wonderful, fruity characteristics, this Riesling finishes with an ever-so-slight dryness that the wine maker has intended to achieve. Riesling is a versatile wine and can be paired with almost anything. A general rule to follow is to pair it with delicate fish dishes, leaner meats like pork, and even oysters.

Varick Winery, Country Porch- A delicate blend of equal parts Baco Noir, Catawba & Vignoles create a sangria-like wine with a light sweetness. Great with corn-on-the-cob, grilled veggies, and sweet BBQ.

Right now, wineries are part of phase 3 of the reopening plan. This means the earliest they can open up their tasting rooms for on-site consumption would be June 12th– but this could change as we move through phases 1 and 2. For now, all 14 wineries offer shipping directly to your door, in addition to many offering curbside pickup, and in some cases, free local delivery.

Regarding shipping wine across state borders: each state has its own rules and requirements related to permits and shipping wine to consumers inside their borders. Each winery decides which licenses to purchase/obtain; therefore not every winery can ship to every state. See their individual websites to see if they can ship to your state.