Wine Pairings for BBQ
Break out the barbecue: it’s time for some tasty wines that go hand-in-hand with grilled foods from around the world.
Some cool wines for quenching your thirst come in all shades:
For an Indian-inspired BBQ, like tandoori marinated shrimp or chicken, treat friends to white wines that are fruity with some residual sugar. Typically, a perfect option is to pair food styles from the sub-continent with gewurztraminer, a varietal that shows off with spice elements and floral notes of rose. But other floral, fruity white varietals, like the latest fashion with moscato, do the trick, too!
Jacob’s Creek Moscato (1), from Australia, with its slight frizzante effervescence has a pleasing peachy sweetness. It’s low in alcohol (i.e. low-cal!), making it a great choice for swimsuit season, as well.
Dry to slightly off-dry rosés make a good pairing with many types of BBQ offerings, from the simplicity of a burger to grilled vegetables. The popularity of this wine style rises with the temperature. It can handle the higher fat content of fish like salmon and tuna, yet it stands up to the spice of a zingy smoke sauce for ribs. Load up flatbreads with veggies from the grill, or simply skewer marinated veggies, kebob-style. Pick a fruity rosé with residual sugar to go with a lightly marinated jerk pork roast. (If you are pinched for time, purchase meat or chicken already prepped. Mastro Cucina Italiana, for example, has just come out with a selection of marinated ribs that are grilled in 15 minutes!) Mediterranean-inspired garlic and herb marinades for chicken also pair wonderfully with rosé.
Stoneleigh Pinot Noir Rosé (2) from Marlborough, New Zealand, displays vibrant red berry fruit intensity. Fresh raspberry and blueberry fruit flavours dominate on the nose with the palate showing balanced, ripe fruit flavours and fresh acidity. The flavour is long and elegant, with the cherry, spicy notes following through. A small amount of residual sugar gives mid-palate weight. The acidity gives the wine freshness and balances the sugar, leaving the palate crisp and dry.
Fruit forward reds like zinfandels from California can take the bold spice and heat of many types of sausage or seasoned burgers. Add Portobello mushrooms to the grill alongside the kings of the BBQ, i.e. steak and a juicy cut of beef that is well marbled with fat, which softens the tannins in bold wines like California zinfandels.
Ravenswood Old Vine Zinfandel (3) from Sonoma County sports black cherry, blueberry and plummy fruit flavours, along with vanilla and oak spice, carry into a finish that can handle many styles of hearty and rustic outdoor fare.