In a state where it feels like the outside air is hotter than the flames dancing up from your grill, it’s a good idea to start thinking about some BBQ and wine pairings.
Beer is often the go-to pairing for zesty and sweet grilled meats, but wine actually exhibits some deep complexities that go along with lots of sauced-up offerings. Everything from a trendy rosé to classics like cabernet sauvignon and zinfandel will find a cozy place next to a plate of BBQ fixins.
Here’s an easy break down of what to pair with different types of BBQ. Most side dishes will automatically work with these wine choices because of the balanced acidity in each bottle (it will cut through the butter on a corn of cob or through the sweet notes of coleslaw with lip-smacking ease).
Both of these California vinos have a velvety mouthfeel that washes down tender, juicy ribs singingly well. The Zinfandel bursts with aromas of cherry preserves, framboise and cinnamon, while flavors of cherry and raspberry back up black pepper notes. The Cab boasts aromas of ripe cherry, blackberry and dried herbs; flavors of red fruits, sweet vanilla, tobacco and spice (and also pairs REALLY well with blackberry cobbler).
Chicken + Flegenheimer Shiraz
The medium body of this Shiraz is the perfect amount of structured for a white meat like chicken. Pair that with the notes of plum and clove in the mid-palate and you get a wine that was meant for BBQ chicken. It’s also bright enough to pair with salads and soups, but works best where tomato is the main ingredient (caprese salad, tomato gazpacho, etc.).
Sausage + Ippolito Ciro Rosé
No, rosé isn’t too delicate or fruity for sausages. It’s perfect because the bright acidity mellows out some of the richness from the bratwurst or sausage, and depending how you garnish, will work really well with the ketchup and sauerkraut. This rosé shows hints of black sour cherry with pleasant roundness of berry fruit.
Steak + Ancient Peaks Renegade Red Blend
Steak and red wine are a match as old as time, but we wanted to give you a more fruit-forward option than your usual cabernet or malbec. This Paso Robles stunner is really rich, with a full body. It’s jam like, packing flavor profiles of cassis, touches of rosemary and raspberries. It’s an outstanding value because the quality of the body is often only seen in wines twice the price. A nice ribeye with bleu cheese wedge salad is a match made in heaven here.
Shrimp + Boedecker Cellars Reflection Rosé
BBQ is tangy, sweet and decadent – it’s why we love it! So, it often calls for a wine with a fuller body, but not overpowering. This wine checks off all the above. Because this rosé is made in the Saignee-style (a method of rosé that “bleeds” off a bit of red wine juice after its been with seeds and skins, yielding a bolder, fuller rosé) it works with the delicate flavor of shrimp but also stands up to the BBQ sauce alongside it.
Burger + Chiarli Lambrusco
A sweet Lambrusco with a burger isn’t an amateur’s pairing, it’s the pairing of a genius! Especially if you like extravagant toppings on your burger (i.e. potato chips, bacon jam, guacamole, etc.). Trust on this duo – it’ll have you singing “Cheeseburger in Paradise” all summer long.