Become a BBQ Master with these Weekend Cook-Out Wine Pairings

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It’s finally time to venture out of the house, fire up a barbecue and throw some meat (or fish, or vegetables, whatever) over some coals. While most people see barbecues as having more of a beer-friendly vibe, you’re missing out if you’ve never sipped vino over the grill.
bottlesxo bottle bottles xo china shanghai suzhou barbecue bbq wine pairing cabernet sauvignon pinot noir zinfandel pulled pork beef brisket fish vegetable skewers how to pair wine and food sauvignon blanc riesling bordeauxIf you feel like switching it up this summer, here’s a short introduction to the basics of wine and BBQ pairing that will have you crowned king or queen of your next cook-out.

BEEF

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The rules are pretty clear on this one; red, red, red. The most popular choice of beef on a BBQ would be burgers while toppings could be anything from mild cheddar, bacon and BBQ sauce to blue cheese and arugula. Either way you’ll generally be looking at a robust but light, summery red. The same goes for other sorts of beef too.

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That means you’re also safe it steak is on the menu. And, if your BBQ is an all afternoon type of deal, the same wine will also work with huge hunk of low and slow cooked brisket or some short ribs.


Pair it with… 
Cabernet Sauvignon

LAMB

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Juicy grilled lamb chops or skewers are simple and reliably awesome; they go perfectly with hummus, creamy tzatziki or harissa, (if you like it spicy). You can also go for some Xinjiang style, cumin-spiced lamb skewers too. They should definitely be paired with a red, but as lamb has a slightly subtler flavor than beef, lighter reds with lower tannins are the way to go.

Pair it with… 

Bordeaux, Rioja, Rosé Champagne

PORK

Pork is definitely one of the bosses when it comes to BBQ; you’ve got pork chops, sausages and even pulled pork if you know what you’re doing. All styles have pretty distinct flavors, but some general rules still apply. Sparkling rosé and dry Rieslings are a good look, as they complement both the juicy, sweet and smoky flavors of a pulled pork sandwich and the herbal kick of a good sausage.

Pair it with… 

Riesling, Chianti

FISH

BBQ’d or grilled fish should – surprise surprise – go with white wine. Fish tastes great on a BBQ – grilled sea bass is particularly tasty – with little more than a squeeze of lemon, a delicate flavor to be complemented with a dry white rather than overpowered with a red. Light reds aren’t totally off the table if you feel like going against the grain, though, especially if you’re cooking up something a little richer, like fatty salmon or tuna.

Pair it with… 
Chardonnay, Pinot Noir

VEGETABLE SKEWERS


Decent veggie skewers are the saviors of any nicely rounded barbecue spread. The ideal skewer will vary with preference, which will also determine which wine pairing works best. As a rule, go for a light and fruity white.

If you want flavor without having to add too many seasonings then onions, bell peppers, zucchinis and eggplants are a good bet, and anyone will enjoy it if you throw a few chunks of haloumi cheese in there.


Pair it with… 

Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc

There you have it! It’s hard to find something better than a barbecue in the summer. Get your wine pairings right, and you might achieve the impossible feat of making it even better.

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