Whether enjoying 4th of July with family or firing the grill up for a summer party, choosing the right wine for the occasion can be entertaining and rewarding. First decide what you will be grilling—for burgers and darker meat, a rich fruity red will match its weight. Pork and chicken pair better with a medium bodied wine and into the whites or sparkling. There is a debate regarding oaked level with BBQ, and the answer is to choose what you personally enjoy.
BBQ Chicken Wine Pairings
This classic, light-hearted fare is delicious for a casual afternoon gathering, and should not be overwhelmed with a heavy red wine. Complimenting the touch of burnt spices, a fruity and smooth Zinfandel will add zest to the occasion, and you cannot go wrong with a solid Pinot Noir, especially after decanting the wine to allow its smoke aroma to mingle with the BBQ atmosphere.
Carignan, from Southern France, bursts with berry flavor that will pair well with the tender texture of chicken. For a specially frothy summer delight, find a sparkling rosé. The bright color is a cheerful addition to table settings, and the bubbles envelop flavors, rushing them into the senses.
BBQ Ribs Wine Pairings
Strong bodied wines with hefty tannins stand up best to BBQ ribs. An Australian Shiraz is spicy enough to hold its own and is designed as a table wine to enjoy for multiple glasses. A cherry and plum flavored Malbec augments BBQ sauce for a masterful combination. Tempranillo is a hefty red that is fruit forward with touches of tobacco and cedar aroma that is balanced enough to stand with rich food.
BBQ Vegetables Wine Pairings
If there are mushrooms on your skewers or dishes, a Cabernet Franc is the ideal pairing, with vibrant pepper flavors and lighter acidity. Malbec is a mouth-watering addition, and works with a variety of meat dishes or baked beans that are usually to be found at a BBQ. For white wine enthusiasts, Verdejo from Spain is an aromatic summer wine with peach notes, melon and herbs that is a gentle companion for vegetables.