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Jul 2, 2007 02:42 PM

Best wine pairing for barbecue?

Smoky spareribs. Sauce on the side so no need to worry about the sweet / sour issue.

Big zinfandel's a classic.

Other suggestions?

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  1. pork spare ribs? argentine malbec, perhaps?

    1. I like sangiovese with BBQ...most 2004s from Tuscany I've tasted have been excellent (either Chianti Classico or Rosso di Montalcino).

      1 Reply
      1. re: Husky

        I am a zinfamaniac but I second the suggestion of sangiovese with BBQ. I think it's a perfect match. May I also suggest, at @ $9 a bottle, Norton Sangiovese from Argentina.

      2. How bout a petite sirah?

        David Bruce is available at a lot of places, though it's nothing special.

        Rosenblum Heritage Clones from SF is very good for the price.

        If you feel like shelling out a little more, the Stags Leap is always good, although it may be better suited for something like a steak au poivre.

        1. robert...a list of wines from parker's column in the magazine at the center of the food and wine universe, Business Week. just kidding. first his pick on rosés, the second specifically for BBQ. enjoy:

          Dominio de Eguren 2005 Protocolo Rosada (Castilla, Spain)

          89 points. A dry, zesty rosé with surprising body, a fragrant personality (strawberries and cherries), and a crisp, zingy finish. It is a blend of 50% bobal and 50% tempranillo. $6

          Château Guiot 2005 Rosé Costières de Nîmes (Languedoc, France)

          87 points. A blend of 55% syrah, 40% grenache, and 5% mourvèdre, it displays a nose of spicy raspberries and pepper. Light to medium-bodied and satin-textured, it offers a flavor profile of red fruits with a note of peach that makes an appearance in the finish. Drink it over the next six to nine months. $10

          Falesco 2005 Vitiano Rosé (Umbria, Italy)

          87 points. It's a blend of merlot, sangiovese, cabernet sauvignon, and a touch of aleatico. The dramatic ruby color is followed by a floral, kirsch-liqueur-like nose, fresh, lively strawberry and cherry flavors, and a zesty finish. Consume it before the end of 2006. $10

          Turkey Flat Vineyards 2006 Rosé (Barossa, Australia)

          90 points. A dramatic neon pink color (will it glow in the dark?) is followed by a full-bodied, dry, fresh, flamboyant rosé made from a combination of grenache, cabernet sauvignon, shiraz, and dolcetto. It boasts a knockout bouquet of strawberries and cherries, terrific fruit, and plenty of body as well as flavor volume. Enjoy it over the next 12 months. $16

          Torbreck 2005 Saignée (Barossa, Australia)

          92 points. One of the finest rosés in the marketplace, this 100% mourvèdre is fashioned by one of Australia's most brilliant winemakers, David Powell. Barrel-fermented in neutral wood, it reveals a light salmon color along with a blockbuster nose of plums, anise, pepper, and sweet cherries as well as currants. Dry, but full-bodied with amazing length, it is a serious rosé for true connoisseurs. Drink it over the next year. $20

          Tablas Creek 2005 Rosé (Paso Robles, Calif.)

          90 points. It's a full-throttle, big, exuberant, dry example bursting with character. Made from mourvèdre, grenache, and counoise, its deep pink color is followed by a stunning nose of plums, raspberries, and figs. Full-bodied, with superb fruit and tremendous crispness and authority, it is amazing stuff. Drink it in the first year to take advantage of its fresh flavors. $27

          Billecart-Salmon 1996 Cuvée Elizabeth Salmon Rosé (Champagne, France)

          95 points. Vivid strawberry, raspberry, and berry fruit with hints of smoke, crushed rocks, and a touch of rhubarb. Light pink in hue, this sparkling wine is boldly flavored, with crisp acidity. Most of its character is at the back of the mouth. It's a brilliant, medium- to full-bodied vintage rosé to drink over the next 10-plus years. $150

          "Most people serve beer at a barbecue. But the right wine can transform a humble hamburger into a special meal. Barbecue wines should be inexpensive, immensely fruity, largely un-oaked, and have loads of red and black fruit. In the best cases, the wine has more personality than you would expect for the price. Although some will stay for two or three years, most are meant to be enjoyed now. Here are some of my favorites from around the world."

          Hugues Beaulieu 2006 Picpoul de Pinet
          87 points. An absolutely delicious light-bodied, tank-fermented and -aged white. Crisp grapefruit, lemon, and lime notes jump from the glass. This wine is a perfect match for grilled seafood or chicken. $9

          Guigal 2005 Cotes du Rhône
          89 points. A blend of 50% syrah, 40% grenache, and 10% mourvèdre, this wine is an amazing value with terrific texture, a deep ruby/purple color, loads of cassis, black cherry, licorice, and spice. It is an all-purpose red with enormous crowd appeal. $12

          Georges Duboeuf 2005 Fleurie Flower Label
          87 points. Duboeuf is the emperor of Beaujolais, and this one has a beautiful, spicy taste of black cherries and an expansive mouthfeel. It is a fruit-forward crowd-pleaser. $12

          Thorn-Clarke 2005 Shiraz Terra Barossa
          91 points. This is a heady, full-flavored, inky-purple wine that saturates the mouth. It will stand up to just about anything you throw on the grill and will deliver plenty of fruit no matter how much mustard, ketchup, horseradish, or spice you put on the dish. $13

          Cavas El Cep Marques de Gelida Brut Exclusive Sparkling White (2002 or 2003)
          90 points. This Spanish sparkler offers plenty of yeasty brioche, apple skin, and white peach characteristics. It's a perfect palate-cleanser, and an absolute steal. $14

          Les Garrigues 2005 Côtes du Rhône Cuvée Romaine
          90 points. Made mainly from old-vine grenache, this is an inky-purple-colored wine with a knockout perfume of melted licorice, roasted meats, black cherries, and jam. Hints of roasted herbs and smoky, meaty notes make it an ideal wine for grilled foods. $15

          Falesco 2005 Merlot dell'Umbria
          89 points. If you're grilling steak in the Florentine style (brushed with olive oil), select a wine from central Italy such as this merlot. It boasts a deep ruby/purple color and a big sweet nose that includes mocha, espresso roast, and loads of black cherry fruit. $16

          Monti 2005 Montepulciano d'Abruzzi
          89 points. This wine is a perfect match for charcoal and wood-fired food, because it tastes as if it emerged from scorched earth. It displays an inky-purple color and huge, almost volcanic notes of fire, roasted meat, licorice, and truffles. $16

          Caggiano 2004 Aglianico Arpinia Tauri Campania
          88 points. This wine from southern Italy seems to have been created to be enjoyed with outdoor cooking. A dense ruby/purple-colored wine, it has loads of sweet black fruits mixed with charcoal, spice, and a hint of mint. $17

          Source: Business Week 6/26/07 and 7/2/07

          9 Replies
          1. re: revets2

            Côtes du Rhône can be a great match.

            Never tried Beaujolais with BBQ, goes plenty well with cassoulet which has vaguely similar flavors. I suppose Madiran would be good, too.

            Picpoul de Pinet, don't see that one every day.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              personally, my favorite varietals with BBQ are usually a carmignano, sagrantino di montelfalco, like CDR syrah, or a big toro. lastly, soju with lots of lemon is terrific, too.

              buen provecho!

              1. re: revets2

                The Turkey Flat Rose listed above is dynamite ! It's nice to have a chilled yet flavorful wine with BBQ. I also like Petite Syrah and have enjoyed most from Paso Robles and especially Victor Hugo.

                1. re: TonyO

                  I agree with the Syrah form PR Victor Hugo.. I am a fan in general having a
                  Syrah with grilled smoky pork or beef..

                  1. re: Lori SF

                    I agree with the rose pairing. They tend to go very nice with a bbq. Gargiulo Vineyards in Oakville has an awesome rose.

                    1. re: adefiori

                      I believe you, but since I don't drink a lot of roses, I'm not really able to picture why a rose would go well with barbecue. can you explain?

                      1. re: cimui

                        Rose's are the perfect wine because most bbq's tend to take place outdoors where you don't have the luxury of air conditioning meaning if it's 95 degrees outside your red wine is going to be as well. Strong red wines like zin, rhones, syrahs, etc. are a great match with robust bbq sauces etc, but they don't taste great warm. White wines are refreshing when served chilled but are not strong enough to stand up against the smokey flavors from the grill or bbq sauce. This is where rose is perfect - dry rose may I add. Rose wines are served chilled so they are refreshing on a hot day but they have more depth and richness and can stand up to stronger foods. Rose can be made from any red grape and the darker varietals make deeper color wines. The best thing about rose is the price. Most are under $20 and for the care free days of summer - it's perfect.

                        1. re: cherrypielover

                          My question was about pit-smoked spareribs, not about meat cooked on a grill, which is a much more open-ended topic since we're talking about hundreds of very different dishes. E.g. with an aged Niman steak I'd probably drink an old Bordeaux, with duck sausages a light pinot noir, with antichuchos maybe a Tempier rose.

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                            If we're talking about "deliberate smokiness"... as in throwing on some wet hickory chips, etc... without alot of goppy sauce, then IMO chardonnay has to be considered, regardless of the meat. There's no better "smoke" wine than Chardonnay, IMO, and when it's a pronounced taste note in the dish, give it a try.

          2. For BBQ chicken and shrimp if you're using a spicy SAUCE, consider a riesling...

            For BBQ chicken and seafood where there's not alot of sauce but plenty of SMOKE, consider chardonnay especially if you have a heavy-garlic marinade.