There is just something about the alluring aromas of the grill and of course anything coated in barbecue sauce.
Often these smoky, spicy and sometimes sweet flavors seem to demand a beer pairing. But cabernet sauvignons and rieslings are just as enjoyable as the cold brew for this barbecue matchup.
Beer’s appeal likely has more to do with serving temperature than flavor profile as it is usually served icy cold.
Many think chilling a red wine is taboo. It’s not. There’s nothing wrong with serving red wine chilled. Keep in mind, I am referring to chilling — not dropping ice cubes into your glass. Many red wines are served too warm even in a restaurant setting and even more at the outdoor grill. Just put your red wines in the refrigerator for a quick chill and don’t leave them sitting out in the sun while you await your grilling perfection. Some of the wines ideal for chilling are Beaujolais (gamay), pinot noir and barbera.
- 2017 Louis Tete Beaujolais Villages, France (about $13 retail)
- 2017 Adelsheim Oregon Pinot Noir, Oregon (about $29 retail)
Most of us don’t consider white wines as a match to the flavors of a barbecue sauce but most are ideal partners. Think high acidity and refreshing aromatics. Pinot grigio and sauvignon blanc are almost always safe bets with almost any sauce. If the sauce takes on spicy and sweet flavors, consider rieslings and gewurztraminers.
- 2018 Montinore Riesling, Oregon (about $13 retail)
- 2018 Daniel Chotard Sancerre, France (about $26 retail)
And then there’s the all-purpose go-to, best bet, never let you down summertime grilling treat. If you read this column regularly you can already guess this match will always be a dry rosé. It’s the refreshing, chilled, slight tannic structure of these wines that make these combinations work.
- 2017 Acrobat Pinot Noir Rosé, Oregon (about $14 retail)
- 2017 Commanderie de la Bargemone Provence Rosé, France (about $17 retail)