Tag Archive for: steak

Wine and Barbecue Pairings for Your Summer Cookout

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. 

BBQ Chicken

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. 

Grilled Fish

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. 

Grilled Veggies

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. 

Sweet Treats

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. 

The Best Way to Prepare a Steak

Cooking the perfect steak involves more than just taking the meat out of your refrigerator and tossing it on the grill. It involves choosing the right cut of meat, properly preparing the meat and selecting the right cooking method. Here is the best way to prepare a steak to get the results you and your guests will love.

Start With the Right Cut of Meat

When it comes to cooking any good meal, the ingredients you start with are vital. You’ll want to find the highest-quality cut of meat, which means heading over to the butcher section of your favorite local grocer. Our meat department offers not only the best cuts of meat, but we also provide the best service of any meat counter in Southern Maryland. Our experienced butchers with work with you to make sure you go home with the right cut of meat for your meal.

You can choose from different cuts of beef for steak, depending on your preferences. A leaner cut will produce a blander, drier steak. At the same time, a cut with some extra marbling and fat will tend to taste a bit better. If you’re unsure where to start, you cannot go wrong with a ribeye as an easy-to-prepare steak.

Prepare and Season Your Steak

Sometimes, simple is better. You can create a light crust on your steak with a mixture of fresh pepper and sea salt. Use just a bit more than you think might be necessary. You can also coat your steak with olive oil or a mixture of olive oil and crushed garlic. Or, you can use our seasonings to bring out the flavor in your steak – Nick’s All Purpose Seasoning or Nick’s Blackened Seasoning.

To Marinade Your Steak or Not?

Marinading steak isn’t necessary to bring out the meat’s natural flavors. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it and produce some delicious results. If you want to create a steak meal that is a bit different than your typical steak on the grill, you can opt for a marinade. Marinading steak is also an excellent way to tenderize the meat and ensure it remains juicy if you don’t plan to consume it all in one sitting.

You can marinate a steak anywhere from five minutes to 24 hours, but it’s not a good idea to go longer than 24 hours. Here are a few options:

  • Simple Ribeye Marinade – Mix olive oil, Worchestershire sauce, lemon juice, soy sauce, garlic, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Marinade your steak for up to eight hours.
  • Strip Steak Marinade– Mix olive oil, balsamic vinegar, crushed garlic, lemon juice, rosemary, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Pour over the strip steak on a pan and cover. Let sit for up to 30 minutes.

Cooking Your Steak to Perfection

Where and how you cook your steak is a matter of personal preference and the availability of different options. Most people choose the cook their steak on the grill, which tends to produce the best results.

It’s a common practice to brush some oil or butter onto steaks just before cooking them. Doing this prevents the meat from sticking to the grill and adds another layer of moisture to the meat.

No matter where you cook your steak, monitoring its internal temperature will ensure you get the perfect cut of meat that satisfies your tastes. It’s a good idea to pick up a digital meta thermometer so that you can get the job done right. Simply insert the thermometer into the edge of the steak to the center.

These are your target meat temperatures:

  • Rare125 °F
  • Medium rare130°F
  • Medium140°F
  • Medium well150°F
  • Well done165°F

Note: The internal temperature of the meat will continue to rise after you remove it from the cooking source. So, you should remove it from the grill or pan when it is about 5 °F below your target temperature.

Condiments and Sauces to Compliment Your Meal

If you marinaded your steak or seasoned it, you may not want anything additional when you serve it. But many of us love a decadent sauce with our cooked or grilled meat. And there are tons of options.

We provide two sauces for your steak: Nick’s Barbecue and Nick’s Steak Sauce. Of course, you can pick up the tried and true A1, Lea & Perrins Bold, or Heinz 57 steak sauce at the store. You can also create your own steak sauce at home. Some popular choices include Bearnaise, Garlic Herb Butter, Red Wine, and Blue Cheese sauce.

Get the Best Cuts of Meat at Nick’s of Clinton

No matter what type of steak you decide to cook or how you choose to prepare it, you’ll want to start with the right cut of meat. If you’d like help choosing the perfect cut, feel free to ask our butchers for assistance. We are always happy to help customers find the ideal choice for their next barbeque, family meal, or event. Visit our store today or call us at (301) 843-4825.