It’s a Sunday afternoon and your friends are hosting a barbecue and you were asked to bring booze. For some, beer would have been the quintessential beverage for a barbecue party while others go for something rather different. Although wine has garnered a reputation of being ideal for only indoor events, it is certainly not always the case.
Wine is most definitely a suitable substitute for beer, and you can certainly serve wine at a BBQ without looking ostentatious. Here are some tips on how to do so:
Chill your wine
Red wine can be delicious when chilled. Wine aficionados may balk at this concept but chilling your wine makes it more like iced tea and this is seemingly refreshing. Cold beverages taste better and chilled sparkling wine acts as a palate cleanser, so be bold enough to pour that wine on the rocks and keep your cool.
“Nothing cleanses the palate or pairs well with salty food like fresh, crisp bubbles. The acidity and effervescent action cleanses the palate like no other beverage” David Broglie says, so pour up the bubbly!
BBQ wines don’t need to be expensive. There is a time and place for your top-shelf bottle of wine but a backyard event such as a BBQ doesn’t require such extravagancies. There are a myriad of inexpensive wines you can source from your local shop.
Think about the body of the wine
Sweet, spicy, saucy, and salty flavors often pair well with heavier bodied wine such as Zinfandel or a Sangiovese. This is because the umami and high fat in the meat will balance out the tannin in the red wine. If you have an idea of what you’re having at the party, make sure you put this into consideration.
Match wine with entrée
Staring down the wine aisle of your local grocery store may seem a bit daunting, but there are a few suggestions you can keep in mind when planning your menu:
- White wine— If you’re serving lighter fare, such as fish, chicken, or even a few pork dishes, white wines will pair with them beautifully. Consider a chardonnay for tuna, trout, rockfish, veggie burgers, or even regular hamburgers that will be garnished with mushrooms.
- Rosés— Rosés are an excellent choice for most grilled food as they are spirited enough to match with almost any flavor. A lively rosé will go particularly well with pulled pork.
- Pinot Noir— If you’ve taken the extra time to smoke your meat and imbue it with salty, bacon-type flavors, then a pinot noir might be exactly what your palate is yearning for.
- Cabernet— Are you dishing out flavorful brisket? Take a chance on a vibrant Cabernet blend.
- Syrah/Shiraz— If you’ll be chowing down on ribs, a rich Syrah will likely bring out the best of the flavors.
- Zinfandel— Spicy sausage calls for something just as bold, so you might want to uncork an equally spicy zinfandel to really give your guests something to relish.
- Syrah/Shiraz/Malbec— Are you a big fan of spice rubs? A Shiraz or Malbec will be able to boldly go toe-to-toe with them.
- Red wine— A classic red wine is always a safe choice for hamburger, steak, BBQ ribs, and beef tenderloin, though almost certainly more unexpected than pulling the tab on a run-of-the-mill brew.
Have fun at the party!