It’s that time again. Sunshine, clear skies, and of course, plenty of outdoor get-togethers. With summer right around the corner, people are getting ready to fire up the grill for that perfect summertime barbecue. How about, this season we mixing it up a bit, though?!. Instead of beer, why not pair your favorite barbecue dishes with a glass of wine? But which wine? Choosing which wine goes with what can be a bit overwhelming. Luckily for you grilling Gods (or Goddesses), we have done all the work for you.
Here are the best wine mate choices for your favorite barbecue spread.
10. BBQ Grilled Chicken with Dolcetto:
Dolcetto, which means ‘little sweet one’ is low in tannins and acidity, but rich in intense fruity flavors. This means that it can hold its own against the barbecue boldness quite nicely, and competes well with the tangy barbecue sauce and smokey char flavoring that is characteristic of delectable grilled chicken.
9. Grilled Salmon with Dry Rose:
Dry Rose works very well with the natural fattiness of the fish. Grilling the salmon also gives it a smokey taste which is countered nicely by the wine. Salmon in particular can quite easily overpower a lighter wine so this is the perfect middle ground. Having a selection of cookout wines is a great way to cover all your bases.
8. All-American Grilled Cheeseburger with Zinfandel:
I shall get flack for this, but we are going to step outside the box for this pairing. Many champion Syrah as the ideal pairing for grilled burgers, and it’s true, it does compliment it very well. However, Zinfandel makes an astute competitor. It has the exact amount of coarseness to compete with the char of the meat while enhancing, but not overpowering, all of those delicious condiments. Peep this, there are even recipes that add the Zin right in!
7. Grilled Pork Chops with Reisling:
Riesling is succulent with zesty acidity. The spicy overtones mix well with the heartiness of the pork chops, regardless of the style of barbecue sauce. This wine is versatile, crisp, and expressive with a long, creamy finish. It is absolutely the ‘safe’ choice, but it’s also the correct one.
6. Grilled Sausages with Tempranillo:
The contrasting flavors of cherry and leather are quite effective at intermingling with the spiciness of the grilled sausage. Tempranillo is also known for its balanced earthy and fruity notes, with smooth, lingering tannins.
5. Steak Skewers with Cabernet Sauvignon:
Being the most popular choice of wine to pair with red meat, Cabernet Sauvignon might very well be the obvious option, but it also happens to be the correct one. The wines’ black currant, cedar, and sometimes even tobacco aromas, provides the perfect complexity to stand up to the flavors of the steak skewers.
4. Veggie Burgers with Chardonnay:
Depending on the region, chardonnay will be dry, medium to full-bodied wine, with notes of apple, lemon, papaya, and also vanilla when oak-aged. The earthiness of the chardonnay is what makes it go so incredibly well, bringing out the flavors of the grilled veggie burgers.
3. BBQ Ribs with Merlot:
The robust flavor of the barbecue ribs calls for a rich wine that can stand up to the tanginess of the sauce. Merlot is a soft, less tannic red wine, that is smooth with distinct acidity. The fruit-forward flavors, along with just the right amount of spiciness, makes it a perfect partner for your barbecue feast.
2. Shrimp Skewers with Sauvignon Blanc:
Shrimp, of any kind, pairs extremely well with white wine varieties. Sauvignon Blanc is a tried and true companion to this succulent dish. The mild smokiness is offset with the crispness, and dryness, of the wine. The lively acidity offers a balanced taste with both citrus and herbal notes.
1. BBQ Beef Brisket with Rioja:
The structure of the Rioja along with its fruity characteristics, which are primarily dominated by a cherry flavor, is a great red wine to have with hearty, meaty, barbecue-y, beef brisket. There is a good reason that this is America’s favorite Spanish wine. Its unique blend of grapes, including tempranillo and Garnacha, gives it a certain flavor that stands out from the rest.
Everyone has their own tastes and preferences, feel free to have fun with it. While most beverages are simply an accompaniment to the meal, a bottle of good wine can make the meal more of an experience. The flavor profiles are so distinctive and they manage to bring out all of the underlying qualities of the food, which you might not have even noticed otherwise. Here’s hoping that your summer is filled with family, friends, and some great cookout wines!