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BBQ Pitmaster's Wine Guide

BBQ Pitmaster's Wine Guide

True barbecue connoisseurs battle at the pit for the best in meat. We aim to provide you with a general wine pairing to barbecue.  Barbecue, much like wine, comes in many different regional variations with unique combinations of styles and methods. Both take a great deal of preparation and waiting time, but the end result is worth the wait. When pigs first came to the Americas with the Spanish explorers, they became a widely used ingredient, mostly in barbecue. The origins of American barbecue date back to colonial times in 1697, first published in the writings of a 17th-century explorer, John Lederer, when he marched from Virginia to the Carolinas. You may not think of wines to be the typical pairing with Barbecue; however the smoky, acidic flavors of the barbecue sauces make wine pairing an interesting task. You would be surprised with what wines can bring to enhance your taste and palate.  Here are some suggestions for wine pairing.

Zinfandels Heart Barbecue

Barbecued meats with smoky or sweet sauce with a tomato base such as Kansas City style pork ribs, Memphis style ribs with dry rubs, and Texas style beef brisket are perfect with fruit forward wines with a tad big of spiciness. Zinfandel, for example has lots of personality with great balance of fruit, smoke and spice that will not over power the tangy sauce or a heavily spice rubbed ribs.

Argentinian Global Cowboys 

Malbec has versatility and spice to handle the sweet-spicy barbecue sauces. The concentrated black cherry and black berry fruit components along with smoke, pepper and tobacco spice qualities that is perfect for Lexington style pulled or chopped pork.  Our  Malbec can be paired with Chinese style ribs with fruity barbecue sauce or drumsticks with sweet-spicy barbecue sauce. Of course this Argentinian Malbec is perfect with parrillada mixta, a grilled combination of beef cuts and sausage.

Showy Syrah

Barbecue will always show off a lovely Syrah or Syrah based blend. Especially with a nice Texas dry rub that carries more spice and south of the border influence. The use of chilies and chili powder adds an extra kick along with the rich flavors of beef, calls for a more intense pairing. A powerful and peppery Syrah is a winning combination.

Last but not least, if you are craving white wine, there are some nice crisp, intensely aromatic, high-acid white wines like Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling that will work very well. Sauvignon Blanc is great with grilled vegetables, tomatoes, and shrimp. Rieslings can work with hot dogs, sausage and sweeter barbecue flavors.

  Contributed by Monica Yu, Wine Buyer for Plume Ridge Bottle Shop

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