TIME Food & Drink

Delta Ordered Pizza for Passengers on Delayed Flights

After bad weather grounded or cancelled flights

When inclement weather delayed Delta flights nationwide on Tuesday, the crews ordered pizzas.

Passengers like Riley Vasquez, whose plane to Atlanta got diverted to Knoxville, Tenn., have been sharing pictures of these impromptu “pizza parties” on social media:

The airline experienced more than 100 flights cancellations and more than 650 delays on Tuesday, CNN reported via data from the flight-tracker FlightAware.

What makes a few hour delay of your night flight better? Free pizza! Thanks @delta #MLItoATL #pizza

A photo posted by Jill (@jill_hohnecker) on

Earlier this month, ABC News reported a similar pizza party took place on a Delta flight that was diverted to Charleston after the cabin was enveloped in smoke.

TIME Food & Drink

How Your Favorite Fast-Food Meals Are Changing

Chains from Taco Bell to Pizza Hut are throwing out the additives and embracing the natural ingredients

Are the days of pink slime, antibiotic-fed chicken and other fast food controversies over?

On Tuesday, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut announced that they will begin to nix all artificial colors and ingredients from their food. The restaurants, both owned by Yum! Brands, are the latest in a string of fast food outlets shaking up their menus to prove to increasingly health-conscious customers that what they’re eating is, in fact, “real food.”

But are these changes actually making your favorite fast food meals different? Here’s a look at five of the nation’s favorite guilty pleasures, and how exactly they’re changing:

1. Taco Bell’s Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco Supreme

The nacho cheese on Taco Bell’s most popular item will lose its artificial food coloring — Yellow No. 6 — as the chain strips out all artificial ingredients from its menu. Some of the tastes in the taco’s seasoned beef, which Taco Bell’s menu says may contain artificial flavors, will also be replaced with natural flavors.

It’s arguable that customers may not notice the difference in taste from artificial to natural flavoring, but that’s not to say the move won’t have an impact: For decades, experts have blasted artificial colors and ingredients for their links to health problems, such as hyperactivity in children, allergic reactions and even cancer.

2. Pizza Hut’s Cinnamon Sticks

The pizza chain’s popular sweet snack contains an anti-foaming agent called dimethylpolysiloxane, according to its ingredients statement. Small amounts of the artificial ingredient can be found in the oil used by several fast food chains in order to prevent splattering oil while cooking.

For years customers have noted how the scary-sounding silicone compound is used in Silly Putty. However, the additive has been deemed safe by the FDA, and numerous studies show no link between dimethylpolysiloxane and decreased health. Even so, it’s likely to be stripped from Pizza Hut’s menu.

3. McDonalds’ 20-piece Chicken McNuggets

The box of golden-brown nuggets — only $4.99 in many stores — is one of countless chicken dishes at McDonald’s that’ll be affected by the company’s announcement in March to stop sourcing chickens raised with antibiotics.

The direct harm to humans of eating antibiotic-fed meat is still up for debate, but the FDA has long argued that excessive, unnecessary antibiotic use could eventually lead to antibiotic resistance, putting humans at risk for drug-resistant diseases. It’s not been proven either that naturally-raised meat tastes better, or even that different.

4. Subway’s $5 Footlong

Subway announced last year that a mysterious, hard-to-pronounce chemical — azodicarbonamide — would no longer be used in its bread. In reality, though, azodicarbonamide, a “bread conditioner” that improves texture, is safe: the chemical is FDA-approved and found in many breads.

More importantly, though, the move was one of several steps that Subway has taken to make its bread more natural — including pro-health initiatives like fortifying bread with vitamins, and eliminating high fructose corn syrup in some items.

5. Chipotle’s Burrito Bowl

Your Chipotle meal will soon be made without genetically modified ingredients — a move that has drawn controversy to the fast casual chain, long a leader in featuring healthier, environmentally-friendly foods.

While GMOs are generally regarded as safe by the FDA, some experts warn that they may hurt the food chain and environment. Others say that GMOs are the reason why millions of people in the world aren’t going hungry, and have blasted Chipotle’s campaign as being bad PR for science.

TIME Food & Drink

Here’s How to Make McDonald’s French Fries at Home

This recipe explains how to make those delicious, crispy fries without ingredients like citric acid

A few months ago, McDonald’s shared an inside look at how the chain makes its signature french fries. Now, thanks to this handy tutorial from PopSugar, you can make your own copycat snack at home.

It’s certainly a much more labor-intensive process than simply walking to the nearest McDonald’s location and buying some — but this way, you can make them without chemical additives like citric acid and sodium acid pyrophosphate. According to another McDonald’s video released earlier this year, the recipe contains 19 ingredients, but to make this at-home version, you just need potatoes, corn syrup, peanut oil, beef lard, water and salt. Oh, a decent knife will help too.

Watch the video tutorial above, and check out the full recipe here.

MONEY Shopping

The Best (and Worst) Dollar Store Deals

Dollar Tree Inc. dollar store in Shelbyville, Kentucky, U.S.
Luke Sharrett—Bloomberg via Getty Images Dollar Tree Inc. dollar store in Shelbyville, Kentucky, U.S.

Skip the bottled water.

Believe it or not, dollar stores have been around since at least 1955 when Dollar General opened its first one in Springfield, Kentucky.

Granted, a dollar went a lot further back then — equivalent to almost $9 today. Even so, that inflation has done very little to reduce the size of my local dollar store’s qualifying inventory; it carries so many products — including a limited selection of fresh produce — that I’m certain I’d get along just fine if it were the only store in town.

So, just how big are those dollar store bargains? Well, to find out, I recently took a little shopping trip and compared the prices of items found at my local dollar store to similar items at the local Walmart, Rite Aid pharmacy, and Albertsons supermarket.

The Best Dollar Store Deals

Razor blades. Any man who uses a traditional razor will tell you that replacement blades are not cheap — and just as my last dollar store survey discovered in 2010 — the comparison didn’t result in a close shave this time either. Here’s the catch: The dollar store only sold an off-brand. The name-brand blades at Walmart, Rite Aid and Albertsons are about seven times more expensive.

Toilet Paper. On an equivalent per-roll basis, the dollar store rolled over the competition — especially when you consider that runner-up Rite Aid was more than twice as expensive.

Batteries. Don’t be fooled by claims that dollar stores sell inferior poor-performing carbon zinc batteries. Mine had plenty of higher-quality alkalines on the shelf. And they were half the cost of those sold by my local grocer, which also happened to be its closest competitor.

Bananas. My local dollar store doesn’t sell a lot of produce, but what they had seemed reasonably prices. In fact, their bananas were cheaper than the ones being sold at both Walmart and, most surprisingly, my local grocery store.

Baby Shampoo. The dollar store baby shampoo was almost half the price of similar generic shampoo being sold at Walmart. The disparity was even greater compared to Rite Aid and my local supermarket.

The Worst Dollar Store Deals

Chili powder. The conventional wisdom is that when it comes to price, dollar store spices can’t be beat. This survey turns that train of thought upside down — just as it did in 2010 — as Walmart once again had chili powder on sale for less than half the dollar store price. Talk about a spicy deal!

Bottled Water. If you’re a bottled water drinker, you’re better off buying at Walmart, which was offering it for 12% less than the dollar store.

As you can see, in most cases the dollar store did indeed offer the best deals. Here are the results of all 12 items I surveyed:

Dollar Store 2015

Summing it all up, I’d say the most surprising thing to be learned from my little shopping experiment is that not everything at your local dollar store is a bargain — so you have to be a little bit careful. On the other hand, if you aren’t afraid to purchase off-brands, there are lots of really great deals there — especially when it come to razor blades.

More From Len Penzo dot COM:

Len Penzo blogs at lenpenzo.com, “the off-beat personal finance blog for responsible people”.

TIME Food & Drink

The Hands-Off Way to Create Ideal Burger Patties

All you need is ground beef and two takeout container lids

One of F&W’s top burger commandments is thou shalt not overwork the ground beef. If you take too much time to form the patty, the heat from your hands emulsifies the fat and results in tough, chewy burgers. In this week’s episode of Mad Genius Tips, F&W Test Kitchen hamburger helper Justin Chapple demonstrates his easy hands-off approach to forming a perfect patty. All you need is ground beef and two takeout container lids.

For more smart cooking hacks, watch all of F&W’s Mad Genius Tips videos.

This article originally appeared on Food & Wine.

Read more from Food & Wine:

TIME Food & Drink

Why You Should Spiralize Your Hot Dogs This Summer

And add some DIY condiments

Cutting hot dogs into a spiral isn’t just fun—it makes the hot dog better, because it gets crispier on the grill and condiments like relish and mustard fall into the meaty grooves. In this week’s episode of Mad Genius Tips, F&W Test Kitchen grilling guru Justin Chapple reveals an easy way to spiralize your hot dogs using a sharp knife and a wooden skewer.

Here, three great DIY toppings for spiral hot dogs:

Chicago-Style Salsa
In a bowl, toss 1 finely chopped Persian cucumber with 1/2 cup celery leaves, 1/2 cup quartered cherry tomatoes, 1/4 cup thinly sliced peperoncini, 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion, 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper; serve on hot dogs.

Apricot Mostarda
In a saucepan, combine 1/2 cup each of apple cider vinegar and water with 1 cup chopped dried apricots, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 minced shallot and 1 minced garlic clove. Bring to a boil, then simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the apricots are soft and coated in a light syrup, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard and 1 tablespoons Dijon mustard. Season with salt and let cool; serve on hot dogs.

Pickled Pepper Slaw
In a bowl, toss 1 cup sliced sweet and/or hot pickled peppers with 1/2 cup shredded romaine, 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/4 cup each chopped parsley and dill. Season with salt and pepper; serve on hot dogs.

For more smart cooking hacks, watch all of F&W’s Mad Genius Tips videos.

This article originally appeared on Food & Wine.

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Grilling Tips for Your Summer Barbecue

Become the grill master

  • Fennel-Garlic Chicken Legs

    Food And Wine
    Con Poulos June Grilling

    Tip: Cut slits for better flavor.

    To get the most from a marinade—like the fennel-garlic one used for the chicken here—slash the skin and meat so the flavors can seep in.

    Go to recipe.

  • Juicy Grilled Tomatoes

    Con Poulos

    Tip: Grill tomatoes in a foil packet.

    The only way to grill tomatoes without losing their delicious juices is in a foil packet. Flavor the tomatoes with any fresh herbs or aromatics, then use them in a briny summer clam chowder or crostini.

    Go to recipe.

  • Harissa Chicken

    Con Poulos

    Tip: Add smoky ingredients.

    Grilling gives foods a great smoky flavor, but for even more of that flavor, turn to wood-fired ingredients like smoked paprika and chipotle chiles.

    Go to recipe.

  • Grilled Glazed Salmon

    Con Poulos

    Tip: Add sweet glazes at the end.

    As with any sweet glaze, brush the honey-horseradish-mustard sauce on the salmon in the last minutes of grilling, or else the sugars in it might burn.

    Go to recipe.

  • Smoky Glazed Asparagus

    Quentin Bacon

    Tip: Use mayo in marinades.

    Chef Nate Appleman swears by coating vegetables with a mayonnaise-based marinade; it creates a beautifully blistered crust when grilled. Here, he offers a marinade for asparagus that is also fabulous on broccoli and fennel.

    Go to recipe.

  • Middle Eastern Lamb Skewers

    Quentin Bacon

    Tip: Tenderize in onion juice.

    Chef Michael Solomonov of Zahav in Philadelphia adds onion juice or pureed onions to his Middle Eastern-style marinades to tenderize and caramelize the meat. The marinade is great on chicken breast as well as lamb.

    Go to recipe.

    Read the rest of this article at Food & Wine.

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TIME Food & Drink

How to Stay Healthy While Eating at Chain Restaurants

The best and worst options from popular restaurants

Making smart choices when dining out is not as difficult as you might think. Research the restaurant’s nutrition information in advance, so you know what to avoid. More than likely, the culprit is portion size—so ask if a dish can be halved or check to see if a lunch portion is available. In general, stick to grilled, baked, or steamed dishes over fried, choose leaner proteins such as chicken, fish, or sirloin steak, and load up on the veggies.

With the Cooking Light Diet, you can enjoy delicious homemade meals, and eat at your favorite restaurants when you choose foods like these in your calorie range.

  • Arby’s

    Junior Roast Beef Sandwich
    Cal: 210, Fat: 8g, Sat Fat: 2.5g, Sodium: 530mg
    or Roast Beef Classic Sandwich (without Arby’s Sauce)
    Cal: 360, Fat: 14g, Sat Fat: 5g, Sodium: 970mg

    One small packet of mayo-based Horsey Sauce adds 50 calories, 5g of fat, and 160mg of sodium. Choose barbecue-flavored Arby’s Sauce instead.

  • Chick-Fil-A

    Grilled Chicken Sandwich
    Cal: 320, Fat: 5g, Sat Fat: 2g, Sodium: 800mg
    with a Fruit Cup (medium)
    Cal: 50, Fat: 0g, Sat Fat: 0g, Sodium: 0mg

    With 430 calories, 22g of fat, and 1370mg of sodium (all before salad dressing!), Chick-Fil-A’s Chicken Cobb Salad is a poor choice. Opt for a salad that avoids fried chicken nuggets, bacon, and cheese, such as the Grilled Market Salad.

  • Chipotle

    Kid’s Steak Tacos with 2 Soft Corn Tortillas, Fajita Vegetables, Cheese & Chips

    Cal: 380, Fat: 11g, Sat Fat: 3g, Sodium: 350mg
    Or Chicken Tacos with 3 Soft Corn Tortillas, Lettuce, Cheese & Tomato Salsa
    Cal: 515, Fat: 7g, Sat Fat: 3g, Sodium: 1030mg

    When it comes to tacos, fajitas, or quesadillas, choose corn tortillas whenever possible. Flour tortillas—even whole-wheat varieties—are usually higher in calories, fat, and sodium.

  • California Pizza Kitchen

    Kid’s Traditional Cheese Pizza
    Cal: 560, Fat: 12g, Sat Fat: 6g, Sodium: 1180mg

    CPK’s pizzas strike out in nearly every category—they are all loaded with calories, fat, and sodium. TheThai Chicken Pizza may look like more salad than pizza, but it has 1290 calories, 45g of fat, 15g of saturated fat, and 3190mg of sodium. Even halving this pizza still sets you back significantly.

  • Domino’s Pizza

    Small Cheese Pizza with Chicken with Spinach & Mushroom Marinara Sauce & Hand-Tossed Crust
    Cal: 380, Fat: 11g, Sat Fat: 4g, Sodium: 810mg

    When ordering pizza, use your common sense. Any pizza likened to a cheeseburger or Philly Cheesesteak is probably not a smart choice. We recommend building your own pizza using the menu’s healthiest ingredients. Beef, pepperoni, sausage, bacon, and extra-cheese are the greatest fat and sodium offenders, so opt for leaner proteins such as chicken or ham, and make sure to pile on the veggies!

  • Jack in the Box


    Cal: 280, Fat: 11g, Sat Fat: 4g, Sodium: 620mg
    with a Side Salad
    Cal: 20, Fat: 0g, Sat Fat: 0g, Sodium: 10mg
    with Low-Fat Balsamic Dressing
    Cal: 30, Fat: 1.5g, Sat Fat: 0g, Sodium: 350mg

    After 9 p.m., Jack in the Box offers“Munchie Meals” menu. Most of the options are overloaded with fat and sodium. The worst offender—Loaded Nuggets—has 760 calories, 56g of fat, and 2030mg of sodium. Stick to the regular menu.

  • Jason’s Deli

    Half Mediterranean Wrap

    Cal: 180, Fat: 5g, Sat Fat: 0g, Sodium: 610mg
    with a Fruit Cup
    Cal: 60, Fat: 0g, Sat Fat: 0g, Sodium: 0mg
    and Steamed Veggies
    Cal: 60, Fat: 0g, Sat Fat: 0g, Sodium: 55mg

    If you’re eyeing a sandwich with the word “club” in its title, think twice. A club sandwich might be tasty, but it’s little more than a fat and sodium bomb. Jason’s Deli’s version, the California Club Sandwich, piles guacamole on top of roasted turkey, Swiss cheese, bacon, and mayo, and clocks in at 770 calories, 52g of fat, 19g of saturated fat, and 1400mg of sodium. Yikes!

  • McDonald’s

    Egg White Delight

    Cal: 250, Fat: 8g, Sat Fat: 3g, Sodium: 770mg
    or Egg McMuffin
    Cal: 300, Fat: 13g, Sat Fat: 5g, Sodium: 750mg
    with Clementines
    Cal: 40, Fat: 0g, Sat Fat: 0g, Sodium: 0mg

    McDonald’s offers several healthy breakfast options, but the Steak & Egg Biscuit, with 540 calories, 32g of fat, 16g, of saturated fat, and 1470mg of sodium, is not one of them. The Egg McMuffin is a much healthier choice.

  • Olive Garden

    Baked Tilapia with Shrimp

    Cal: 360, Fat: 12g, Sat Fat: 6g, Sodium: 980mg

    Olive Garden’s Cucina Mia menu allows customers to create their own pasta dishes from a selection of noodles, sauces, and proteins. In theory, this sounds like a smart choice. However, a simple combination of Cavatappi pasta, Five-Cheese Marinara sauce, and grilled chicken has 1080 calories, 49g of fat, 22g of saturated fat, and 1510mg of sodium. Stick to smaller portions, such as the lunch-size Spaghetti with Meat Sauce.

  • Panera Bread

    Power Steak Lettuce Wraps

    Cal: 230, Fat: 10g, Sat Fat: 4g, Sodium: 250mg
    or Half Roasted Turkey & Avocado BLT on Sourdough
    Cal: 250, Fat: 9g, Sat Fat: 2g, Sodium: 490mg
    with Fresh Fruit Cup
    Cal: 60, Fat: 0g, Sat Fat: 0g, Sodium: 15mg

    We often associate Mediterranean flavors with health, but the Greek with Chicken Salad (with Greek-Herb Vinaigrette) has 710 calories, 58g of fat, 13g of saturated fat, and 1620mg of sodium. Opt for a different salad dressing, such as reduced fat balsamic, and ask for it on the side.

  • Red Lobster

    Oven-Broiled Wild-Caught Flounder/Sole

    Cal: 340, Fat: 8g, Sat Fat: 0g, Sodium: 460mg
    with a Plain Baked Potato
    Cal: 200, Fat: 0.5g, Sat Fat: 0g, Sodium: 310mg
    and Broccoli
    Cal: 50, Fat: 0.5g, Sat Fat: 0g, Sodium: 105mg

    The Cheddar Bay Biscuits
    are delicious, so indulge with one—but stop after that. Each biscuit has 160 calories, 10g of fat, 3g of saturated fat, and 380mg of sodium.

  • T.G.I. Friday’s

    Thai Pork Tacos
    Cal: 280, Fat: 14g, Sat Fat: 3.5g, Sodium: 700mg
    or BBQ Chicken Flatbread
    Cal: 460, Fat: 23g, Sat Fat: 8g, Sodium: 790mg

    The majority of T.G.I. Fridays’ signature Jack Daniel’s-glazed items are sodium bombs—the burger has 4040mg, the chicken sandwich has 2770mg, and the ribs has 3220mg! The plainer, the better. Order a simple steak “From the Grill” to save on calories, fat, and sodium.

  • Subway

    6” Turkey Breast on 9-Grain Wheat with Lettuce, Tomatoes, Onion, Green Peppers & Cucumbers

    Cal: 280, Fat: 3.5g, Sat Fat: 1g, Sodium: 670mg
    or Double Chicken Chopped Salad(without dressing)
    Cal: 220, Fat: 4.5g, Sat Fat: 1.5g, Sodium: 490mg

    The 6” Chicken & Bacon Ranch Melt
    sub has 570 calories, 28g of fat, 10g of sat fat, and 1050mg of sodium. Stick to the “6 Grams of Fat or Less” menu.

  • Tim Hortons

    Oatmeal with Mixed Berries

    Cal: 210, Fat: 3g, Sat Fat: 0.5g, Sodium: 220mg

    Timbits—Tim Horton’s version of doughnut holes—give you much more bang for your buck than the traditional doughnuts. Four Apple Fritter Timbits have significantly less calories, fat, and sodium than one Apple Fritter Donut!

  • Dairy Queen

    Grilled Chicken Garden Greens Salad
    Cal: 150, Fat: 2g, Sat Fat: 0.5g, Sodium: 730mg
    with Light Ranch Dressing
    Cal: 80, Fat: 4.5, Sat Fat: 0.5g, Sodium: 330mg

    Dairy Queen’s Veggie Quesadilla Basket
    sounds harmless, but it’s loaded with calories, fat, and sodium. Cut the damage by eating only half of the quesadillas, skipping the sour cream, and substituting a side salad for the onion rings.

    This article originally appeared on CookingLight.com.

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TIME Food & Drink

6 Best Cheeses for Burgers

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Go beyond cheddar

As chefs Michael Chiarello and Sang Yoon discuss in their Chefs in Conversation video, there are a lot of ways to screw up a burger. One way to make sure you’re treating a burger right is to top it with really great cheese. Here, the six best cheeses for burgers.

Perhaps the most popular option behind American cheese, salty cheddar holds up to strong flavors like the barbecue sauce on these incredible chicken burgers or the bacon and Russian dressing on these BLT burgers.

Ultra-gooey, creamy Brie takes any burger to the next, luxe level. Try it melted on top of these bacon burgers or stuffed into these scallion-flecked burgers.

Goat Cheese
Tangy goat cheese is a lighter choice for cheese. It’s great on these salty, sweet, piquant green-chile bacon burgers or these simple but super-filling double-decker burgers.

Smoked Gouda
Smoked Gouda and smoky barbecue sauce are a perfect match. Try the pairing on these messy burgers from Slows Bar-B-Q. It’s also a perfect complement to spicy horseradish on these flavorful turkey burgers.

Monterey Jack
This is one of the best cheeses for melting, which makes it perfect for a super-gooey cheese sauce like the one on Bobby Flay’s nacho burgers. Thanks to its mild flavor, Monterey Jack can also handle bold Italian flavors like those in Michael Symon’s 50/50 burgers made with hot Italian sausage and ground chuck.

Pungent, salty and stinky, Stilton is for real cheese lovers and big, bold burgers like these topped with an insanely good port reduction. Or try it in small doses, like on these mini cheeseburgers topped with onion jam.

This article originally appeared on Food & Wine.

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TIME Food & Drink

These Are the 25 Absolute Best Wines for Summer 2015

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From rustic, spicy reds to versatile rosés, everything you need to know

When it’s warm outside and our focus turns to summers at the lake, grilling, and watching the kids water ski, we want different kinds of wines than we do when we’re indoors and have less to distract us. We want the carefree, vinous equivalents of “Summer of ’69” or “Empire State of Mind,” and with all of the entertaining that we do this time of year, we need a pretty versatile soundtrack of summer wines to carry us through. Here are the kinds of wine you’ll want over the next few months—the best wines for nearly every outdoor occasion.

A signature summer wine.

This is your theme wine, the one that you buy cases and cases of and serve as your default house wine until the first week of September. It shouldn’t be too expensive a bottle—you’ll feel better about the pace at which your stash dwindles if you don’t spend too much. If you don’t have a signature summer wine yet, borrow one of mine: The Crossings 2014 Sauvignon Blanc Awatere Valley ($15) is the house summer white at our place. This Marlborough, New Zealand white is crisp and bright but not too lean, with hints of lemon, lime and grapefruit—and maybe even some melon—through the substantial finish. From the same region, Yealands Estate 2014 S1 Single Block Sauvignon Blanc Awatere Valley ($30) has racy lime, mineral and fresh herb flavors and is also quite delicious. If you’re new to New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, the Kim Crawford 2014 Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough ($18) is a good place to start. It’s a round, approachable wine with a pear and tropical fruit rather than citrus core.

My other go-to summer pours? Verdejo-based whites from Rueda, Spain. Lively acidity and flavors of pear and lime zest make Bodega Matarromera 2014 Melior Verdejo Rueda ($12) an enjoyable quaff. Sophisticated, minerally Bodegas Angel Rodríguez 2013 Martínsancho Verdejo Rueda ($22)is another very good choice.

A few fresh and versatile rosés.

Rosés are refreshing, food-friendly and beautifully hued; for all of these reasons rosés also make stunning summertime hostess gifts.

I prefer rosés that are fuller-bodied and flavorful rather than demure, which is probably why so many New World versions made my list. The Stoller 2014 Pinot Noir Rosé Dundee Hills ($25) has fresh raspberry flavors, with a bright citrus snap on the finish. It’s delicious, and killer with turkey burgers. Justin 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé Wine Paso Robles ($20) is tasty, racy and mouthwatering, with tangy plum and raspberry flavors. Case production is limited on Virginia’s Stinson Vineyards 2014 Rosé Monticello ($19), which is 100% Mourvèdre aged sur lie in stainless steel, but the wine is really enjoyable and worth seeking out for the nose—super floral, fresh garden, fresh pea—alone. The Chapoutier 2014 Belleruche Rosé Côtes-du-Rhône ($16) and the E. Guigal 2014 Côtes-du-Rhône Rosé ($16) are also both very good and are fairly easy to find. The Inman Family 2014 Endless Crush Rosé of Pinot Noir Russian River Valley ($25) is probably the most subtle of the bunch, with strawberry, mineral and fresh whipping cream flavors center stage. Read more about winemaker/owner Kathleen Inman.

Rustic, spicy reds for backyard barbecues and cool nights by the fire pit.

Hearty reds have their places in summertime, too, but the devil is in the details. Some people like to pair Zinfandels with barbecued food, but I find most of them too heavy—and too alcoholic—for hot weather. As a rule, try to avoid overly oaked and extracted reds wines of any variety this time of year.

To pair with barbecue I prefer Carmenères because their spicy, oftentimes herbaceous character really complements condiments and marinades. The Santa Rita 2009 Medalla Real Gran Reserva Carmenère Colchagua Valley ($20) has a round feel, judicious oak, and pretty mint and dried chili pepper accents. Inama’s 2012 Più Carmènere Colli Berici DOC ($20) has nice black cherry and plum flavors and good staying power on the midpalate, but feels more a match for grilled steak than burgers.

There’s nothing herbaceous about the Brandlin 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Mount Veeder ($60), but it does feel like a throwback Cabernet—and that’s a good thing. There are no amped-up, creamy vanilla notes here; instead the wine serves up classic, outdoorsy flavors of bramble, nut, and tangy, just-picked plum. From a longtime farmer and grapegrower who has just started his own wine brand, Tom Gore Vineyards 2012 Field Blend Alexander Valley ($40) is a burly, Petit Verdot-dominant red blend with ripe black fruit and spice flavors. It will hold its own alongside barbecue or warm you when the sun is down, the air is chilly, and you’re getting a fire pit or beach bonfire going.

A few new-to-you white wines for porch swinging, poolside sipping and alfresco lunches.

Summer is the perfect time of year to expand your stable of go-to white wines because there’s so little risk involved: If you try a new white and it’s just so-so, throw it on ice a little longer (cold temperatures mask flavors, which is not a good thing if you love a wine but is a godsend if you don’t). That said, I don’t think you’ll have any quibble with these white finds.

I could drink the Dutton Goldfield 2014 Chileno Valley Vineyard Riesling Marin County ($30) all day. It is really nicely balanced, with bright but not bracing acidity, and sunny stone-fruit and tropical-fruit flavors that fade into a long finish. If you prefer your Rieslings a touch sweet (and you’re trying to hold your own against your beer-drinking friends), S. A. Prüm 2009 Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Kabinett Mosel ($25) is a classic. It has German Riesling’s hallmark apricot and honeysuckle notes, and a low 7.5% alcohol content that is on par with that of many craft beers. On the next rack over from Germany at the wine shop look for the Joseph Cattin 2013 Pinot Blanc Alsace ($14). A terrific introduction to Alsatian wine, the Cattin has a steely backbone and a subtle pear-and-citrus flavor profile.

Whether there’s shrimp and chicken on the grill or you just like your whites with a little more heft, Rhône varieties fit the bill nicely. The Roussanne-dominant Anaba 2013 Turbine White Sonoma Valley ($28) has nice floral, tropical and stone fruit flavors and pretty nutmeg and graham cracker accents on the nose. Tahbilk’s 2014 Viognier Nagambie Lakes ($18) from Australia is clean and crisp, with pineapple core flavors and a dry, floral finish.

If summer just isn’t summer to you without favorites like Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay, seek out the Elena Walch 2013 Castel Ringberg Pinot Grigio Alto Adige ($23), with mineral and yellow apple flavors and some unctuousness on the palate. It’s nicely balanced and delivers a lot of class for the price. The Durant 2013 Lark Chardonnay Dundee Hills ($25) balances a creamy mouthfeel with pure stone-fruit flavors and seems a natural choice for lunch on the lanai.

A special stash of “Thank goodness we have our house back” wines.

You’ve hosted your extended family at your beach house for the week without losing your cool. You’re a rock star. Whatever you may already know about wine pairings, I can tell you this: The best match for a killer bottle is a quiet house. At our place, this kind of quiet celebration means that it’s time bust open a really nice red. A few excellent wines to try are Swanson 2011 Merlot Napa Valley ($38), a polished, smooth Merlot with bright cherry and blackberry flavors along with coffee and mocha accents. It goes downso easily. Ruffino 2010 Riserva Ducale Oro Chianti Classico Gran Selezione ($42) is Ruffino’s first Gran Selezione-designated Chianti Classico, and it’s a find. Its tannins are nicely knit and its plum fruit is swathed in a bitter chocolate, iron ore and oak. When the evening calls for something particularly indulgent pull out the Il Poggione 2010 Brunello di Montalcino ($85), a wine that is so texturally beautiful and intricate it feels as though it were designed by an architect; there’s really nothing out of place here. Is it too young to drink? Probably. Should you open it anyway? Pop that cork, rock star.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com.

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