For all practical purposes, wine is rarely associated with barbeque. That’s sad. Beer and fancy umbrella-style cocktails seem to be the norm, yet many wines would compliment a barbeque quite well. Is it the robust and spicy flavors that makes wine selection for a barbeque difficult? Maybe.
The various flavors of barbecue offer up a wide spectrum of choices. Spicy sauces, grilled meats, hamburgers or seafood could all be complimented by wine. It’s a well known fact that White Zinfandel goes well with hot dogs.
Grilled meats such as steak, pork chops, chicken and even hamburgers go well with just about all red wine. A choice cut of beef goes well with a Merlot or Syrah, while a slightly chilled Cabernet works wonders with chops or burgers. A good choice for white wine would be a Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc. Try a White Zinfandel with your next hamburger.
Smoke flavored meats that are lathered with sweet and spicy sauces are another thing. A smoked slab of baby back ribs or pulled pork sandwiches complicate wine selection, yet pair well with some reds as well as some whites. A choice red that holds up well with the vibrant flavors of barbecue is Chianti. A Zinfandel or Syrah are also good choices. White wines that compliment spicy barbecue are the Gewurztraminers and Rieslings. A chilled Prosecco really mixes things up, in a good way. Remember, as the barbecue flavors play heyday with your taste buds, so should your wine.
Grilled fish, vegetables or seafood take on a grilled flavor, yet not in an overpowering way. Normal wine selection criteria is a good bet. Although lacking the intense flavors of most barbecue, it still has a grilled, smoke flavor. When choosing wine for these foods, look for a wine that is a bit fruitier and less dry than you may otherwise choose. The increased vibrancy will compensate for the smokey flavor.
There’s really only one major rule you should follow when selecting a wine for your next barbeque. In the spirit of a good barbeque, let your hair down and relax. It is one of the few times in life where it is socially acceptable to have barbeque sauce on your face or a dribble of mustard on your shirt. Wine selection for a barbeque should be done with the same attitude in mind.
I’m a wine expert by no means. Do you have any wine selection ideas that complement the grill?