Want to add a great smoky flavor to your food and give it some real terroir? Then get yourself some grapevine trimmings. Vineyards prune their vines after the harvest to prepare them for the following growing season. All those pruned canes tend to be a nuisance for many vineyards, so they’ll be more than happy to let you take enough for a great grilling session or four.
Grapevines actually are a great wood for smoking your food with; less assertive than hickory or mesquite, the vines lend a softly smoky, earthy flavor to any dish. If you go for a lightly smoked dish using high heat, this profile is killer with Pinot Noir. But lowering the heat amps up the effects of the smoke, perfect for your richer reds like Cabernet or Merlot.
Photo courtesy Williams-Sonoma