With the arrival of spring, it is once again getting to be barbecue season. Whether you prefer Texas-style, Kansas City barbecue, or Memphis, a key to serving good barbecue is pairing it with the right beverage. While barbecue may conjure thoughts of beer or bourbon, wine actually pairs quite well with barbecue. Let’s take a look at the best wine pairings for your next cookout.
Pair Wine By Meat
One way to select the best wine pairing for your barbecue is to make your choice by the type of meat being served. This works great for barbecue that is cooked with a rub or completely dry. While Texas barbecue is primarily beef and Carolina often pork, Kansas City and Memphis have a wide range of meats. Let’s take a look at what pairs with which protein.
Beef Pairs Well with Red Wines
For the staple of barbecue culture, opt for a Bordeaux, Shiraz, or even a chianti. These wines are able to really enhance the peppery flavors in beef. In general, bold red wines are good for meat as the meat helps balance the high tannins.
Chicken Can Pair with Either!
Just as chicken is a versatile food, barbecued chicken is quite versatile when it comes to pairing wines. Light to medium-bodied red wines are excellent choices for this. If you’d prefer to go a different route, a pinot gris works well too.
Pork Pairs Well With Lighter, Sweeter Wines
When cooking barbecued pork, the best wine pairings tend to be a Ruby Port, Riesling, or Gewurztraminer. Pork can be supplemented by wines that have a fruitiness or even a bit of sweetness.
How to Pair Wine with Barbecue Sauce:
When working with barbecue, it often comes down to the sauce. If you are cooking your barbecue with the sauce already added or plan to pour lots of sauce over it after serving, this is the best way to make a pairing. Here are our recommendations.
Kansas City barbecue is perhaps the most classic sauce that has tang with a bit of sweetness. Go with a Cabernet Sauvignon or cabernet blend.
Carolina barbecue is known for its sweetness. While KC has a sweet and tangy mix, Carolina doubles down on the sweet factor. Pair with a Petite Sirah or Pinotage.
While not as popular as the others, some people love the spicy mustard kick that comes from Georgia barbecue sauce. Bordeaux or a California cabernet both pair quite well with this flavor.
When In Doubt You Can't Go Wrong Bringing Pinot Noir to a Barbecue
When in doubt about what to choose, a pinot noir is typically a good choice as it is one of the most versatile wines. It will typically pair well with smoked meats due to its earthiness.
Rosé - A Sweet Option for the Barbecue
A dry rosé is another choice that works well with a wide variety of smoked or grilled meats due to its high acidity. Additionally, the fruity smells make it a very fitting companion for barbecue.
Nothing says spring like breaking out the smoker or grill and cooking barbecue. Pairing them with wine is a great way to add new flavors to your dinner. While enjoying wine with your barbecue, remember that serving them in a Big Wine Glass is a great idea as the greater surface area brings out the flavors and scent of your wine.