Perfect pairings for your Memorial Day cookout

The original Memorial Day was on May 30, 1868 when people were urged to decorate the graves of soldiers who died in the Civil War. The date is believed to have been chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country. Today, Memorial Day Weekend marks the unofficial start of summer and many Americans observe the holiday with a barbecue.

Here are some of our favorite wines for a cookout. All of them are under $20 and are available at BevMo, Specs, Total Wine, and many other retail outlets.

Steak
Go with a Hess Select Cabernet Sauvignon. This was one of our first go-to wines and remains a favorite to this day. It's also on our list of Great Wines Under $20.

Pork
We're huge fans of Cycles Gladiator Pinot Noir, which won a blind taste test at our HalloWine party in 2010. It's a great match with Pork but is also enjoyable on its own.

Chicken
Simi Sonoma County Chardonnay is a good choice if chicken is on the menu. We often recommend this wine for gatherings because it is nicely balanced without too much oak or citrus.

Hamburgers
Our selection here is Cline Zinfandel. It's a repeat from last year's Memorial Day BBQ list, but it's also one of the few tasty Zins that's available at BevMo, Specs, and Total Wine.

Hot Dogs
Most of us will go for a beer if hot dogs are on the menu, but why not wine? Caymus Conundrum, a distinctive white blend, would actually make an excellent pairing. It's a perfect summer wine and we always try to keep some in the house.

National Moment of Remembrance
Let us not forget that Memorial Day is a time to remember all of the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. In 2000, Congress passed the National Moment of Remembrance Act. It calls on all Americans to pause at 3 pm local time on Memorial Day for a moment of silence to remember those who have died while serving our country.

After the moment of silence, consider raising a glass of something good to honor the memories of our fallen heroes.