Summer is a time for being outdoors, friends & family, and of course, BBQs. While it may be easy to reach for a beer while on the grill, wines actually make for a better barbecue companion. Whether you are a white or red lover, there is a perfect wine pairing to match the various tastes of every BBQ dish. With summer in full swing, try pairing these wine pairings at your next outing:
Seafood: The crisp green fruit flavors of Sauvignon Blanc are high in acidity, which pairs best with grilled seafood, cutting the fatty texture of the fish. Try the 2013 Estate Reserve Sauvignon Blanc for crisp flavors to complement your grilled salmon.
Vegetables: Grilled vegetables are full of fresh flavors and carry a crunch. It is best to serve them with the crisp flavors of green apple, lemon and pineapple that come from an unoaked Chardonnay. Try this pairing with the 2012 San Francisco Cup Chardonnay for a refreshing experience.
Brisket: This hearty and thick cut of meat is best paired with a wine that can stand up to it in weight and structure: Cabernet Sauvignon. The full-bodied wine has flavors of dark cherry, vanilla and hints of green pepper, which highlight the richness of brisket. Try this pairing with our Monsieur Omo, a Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel blend that’s perfect for the job.
Ribs: Juicy meats like ribs need a bold wine to cut their fat. Wines like Syrah are high in tannins and complement the flavors of ribs while cutting the fatty texture. Try this pairing with the award-winning 2012 El Dorado Syrah, which received 92-point rating from Wine Enthusiast.
Mushrooms: The meaty quality of mushrooms pair best with Cabernet Franc. As a food friendly wine, Cabernet Franc pairs well with mushrooms because the balanced flavors of plum and blackberry are not overpowered by the mushroom. Try the 2012 El Dorado Cabernet Franc for a balanced palate.
Sausage: Jammy and brambly flavors of ripe cranberry and a black pepper finish are characteristics of Zinfandel that pair nicely with spiced barbecue dishes. The spice in the wine highlights the spicy notes in sausage, while it’s acidity cuts the fat in the meat. Try this pairing with our 2013 Old Vine Spanish Creek Zinfandel.
Steak: The intensity of the steak you’re grilling should be matched by the intensity of the wine. For medium-sized cuts, try a medium-bodied Zinfandel. The berry aromas and lively fruit flavors complement the range of sauces to pair with the steak. Our medium-bodied 2013 Green Vineyard Reserve Zinfandel is a perfect complement.
Burgers: Burgers are a blank slate for people to add the flavors and textures of their choosing, though you have to be careful not to overpower these creations with an overly sweet wine. Zinfandel offers the perfect balance of pepper and spice and will pair great with any burger. Add a 2012 Amador County Zinfandel with your burger for a complete meal.
Chicken: When pairing wine with chicken, it is best to try a lighter wine and avoid sweet sauces. A Grenache blend, with its pronounced red fruit flavors, offers tannin and acidity levels that are generally medium along with a medium body that are a perfect match for full-flavored BBQ chicken. Try this pairing with our Cote du Cosumnes, a versatile Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre blend that’s perfect for any BBQ dish.