Summertime has arrived, and it’s getting hot. It’s time to fire up the grill and create a delicious meal of your favorite barbecue recipe. Just thinking about it is probably making you thirsty. But what if you’d rather enjoy a glass of wine with your barbecue? No problem!
Pairing food and wine is about balancing flavor profiles to create combinations that enhance rather than overpower each other. Choosing the right type of wine to go with your barbecue should elevate the entire meal and experience.
But there are so many different wine options available. This is where things can quickly get confusing. It’s not always as simple as saying a white or red wine will do. Here is a guide to bring you the best possible results, so you’ll enjoy your next barbecue and be a hero in front of your guests.
General Wine and Barbecue Pairing Tips
Before getting into specific types of wine for your barbecue, here are some general tips to consider:
- Your primary goal should be to match the similar characteristics between the wine and food, such as the acid, weight, and intensity of flavors.
- Contrasting flavor profiles is another way to balance the taste of your meal. For example, sweet and spicy or salty and sweet are excellent combinations.
- The bold flavors you get from smoked foods can overpower some lighter wines. When trying to pair wines with these bold flavors, consider bolder options.
- It’s not always accurate to pair white wines with fish or red wines with meat. For example, red wine pairs better with grilled salmon, which has a bold flavor, and white wine might pair better with chicken or pork.
- Temperature is important. Even the boldest red wine should be served at room temperature, which is considered about 65 degrees. But if it’s hot outside, the wine might need to be slightly chilled to get there.
- If possible, avoid serving wine out of plastic cups or glasses. This impacts its taste.
Wine and Barbecue Pairings for Your Summer Cookout
Another way to pair barbecue and wine is based on the type of meat you are grilling. Here is a breakdown by the kind of barbecue and wine:
Steak and Ribs
Steak and ribs generally go well with a full-bodied, bold red wine, like a Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec. But if you slather your ribs in sauce, you can match those spicy flavors with a nice Zinfandel or Syrah.
What’s a backyard barbecue without burgers? For classic beef burgers, you’ll want to choose a wine with some tannins, like a Cabernet Sauvignon. If you’re cooking turkey burgers, you can select a more fruity wine, like Pinot Noir. Finally, veggie burgers pair well with white wines like Chardonnay or Gewurtztraminer.
Hot Dogs and Brats
If you like to dress up your dogs or brats with salty condiments, you should pair it with a dry white wine like Sauvignon Blanc. But a well-seasoned sausage would taste amazing when paired with a Spanish Tempranillo or Italian Chianti.
If you grill your chicken without BBQ sauce, consider serving it with a sweet wine like a Pinot Gris or Riesling. If you douse it in your favorite sauce, you may wish to pair it with something like a Zinfandel.
If you’re grilling white fish, match it with a lighter wine like Verdejo or Friulano. But salmon should be paired with something like a Chardonnay or Beaujolais.
Nothing is more delicious than fresh veggies straight off the grill. If you are cooking veggie skewers with peppers and zucchini, you can pair them with a light-bodied white wine. Grilled corn would taste amazing when served with an off-dry Riesling or unoaked Chardonnay.
What if you plan to include some treats with your barbecue? For example, you might decide to make s’mores, which would pair well with a dessert wine like a port. On the other hand, a peach cobbler would pair better with a sparkling or light white wine.
Get the Best Barbecue Supplies and Wines at Nick’s of Clinton
Now that you know how to pair different wines with your barbecue dishes, you can start planning your next summer cookout. Nick’s of Clinton offers one of the largest selections of wine, beer, and spirits in Southern Maryland — all at the most affordable prices. And our full service meat counter is the centerpiece of our store.
Come to Nick’s of Clinton to choose from a wide variety of wine selections and the finest quality of beef, pork, chicken, and seafood. If you need help with your selection, just ask! Give us a call at (301) 843-2825 or stop by our location on St. Charles Parkway in Waldorf.