Put down that beer! Yes, brewskies and BBQ are classic, but let’s go for something a little off-beat here. Whether you love your meat smoked or grilled, rubbed or sauced, sweet or spicy, wine can always be paired with that BBQ you’ve painstakingly perfected.
Here are some tips for enjoying those juicy ribs and sizzling steaks:
Red meat, red wine. Classic pairing, right? Of course! But what to pick, what to pick… Smokiness begets smokiness, so check out earthier, oaked reds like an Italian Etna Rosso. If you want to go a different route, try pairing a fruit-forward Zinfandel to contrast the seared flavor of that flank steak.
Bright, minerally whites are best to cut through fatty, sauce-rich ‘que, especially pulled pork and chicken. Lean French sauvignon blancs and slightly sweet Argentine torrontes may be the cure for what ails you in this department, with the higher acids complimenting the heavier flavors. These will even pair splendidly with the grilled vegetables you may decide to prep, so it’s a win-win!
Don’t overlook rosés which combine the best of both red and white! While a dry variety will better suit your meals, some rosés pack wonderful fruit notes (think strawberries, cherries and watermelon) which provide a nice contrast to spicier barbecues. Even if you want something with more heft, check out the dry rosés from Provence; the floral qualities and crisp, light finishes are just right for summer, BBQ or not.
For a different kind of fizzy adult beverage, try sparkling wine. Bubblies are the ultimate palate-cleansers as far as vino is concerned, and most of them will carry you through your entire meal. Forget buttery Champagne—we’re talking affordable Prosecco and Cava, both of which provide a lovely compliment to spicy flavors while also cutting through rich fat.
Of course, these are just some humble suggestions: Drink the juice you most enjoy!
(Photo by TheBusyBrain, flickr)