Smoke, Spice, & Everything Nice: Wines Pairings for Barbecue

The unofficial start of summer is just weeks away, so you know what that means. It’s time to dust off and fire up the grill, for barbecue season has arrived! Whether you’re gathering with local pals or newly vaxxed loved ones from afar, we’ve got wine to suit just about any menu and any gathering. Just in time for National Barbecue Day, here are some grill-worthy ideas to get you started.

Wine Pairings for Any Barbecue

Tilth California Old Vine Zinfandel 2019

Perfect for pork ribs or brisket, this Zinfandel is California sunshine in a bottle. Notes of black cherry pack just enough of a fruity punch to stand up to a juicy pork chop, balanced by espresso and tobacco notes to amp up the smoke, allowing you to go sweet, smoky or spicy with your meat. A good backbone and lingering finish this wine punches well above its price point.

Goodbye Horses Riesling 2017

Surprised to see Riesling on the list? Riesling can enhance spicier dishes like pork sausage, grilled black pepper seitan or pulled pork, providing lift and flavor. From the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, this zesty Riesling is bursting with green apples, white peaches, and apricots, balanced by beautiful white floral aromas. The juicy fruit notes and lengthy finish make this a compelling partner to just about any barbecue fare.

Esporao Reserva 2016

For cheese burgers and sirloin you best bring in the big guns. This blend of Alicante Bouschet, Aragonez, Trincadeira, which are all native Portuguese grapes, and a little Cabernet Sauvignon. On the nose, aromas of dark plum preserves and warm, baking spice notes with hints of clove and cocoa. The wine is balanced on the palate, with velvety tannins full of character, in harmony with the fruit ending in an intense and elegant finish. All killer no filler with this robust wine that still manages to exude elegance and finesse as well as intensity.

Vicentini Agostino Vicentini 'Terrelunghe" 2018 

Our pick for wings and blue cheese hands down! Hailing from Valpolicella, Italy, this wine is noted for its lush, well developed fruit and floral notes like acacia and dried white peach. This dry white has everything you need, fruit and acidity come together in perfect harmony to make a stunning option that won’t overwhelm your food. Just enough flavour to stand up to the spice and heaviness of those super-sauced wings.

MIB Pinot Noir Rosé 2019

An excellent rosé for grilled jerk chicken, portobello or turkey burgers, this sustainably farmed 100% Pinot Noir rosé has enough body and flavor to stand up to some seriously seasoned chicken. Notes of cherry, rhubarb, and sweet herbs make it the perfect partner for something smoky or spicy.

Joao Pato “Ducking” Pet Nat 2020

Fried chicken, grilled salmon, grilled asparagus, this orange bubbly can do it all. Duckman is a fictitious character meant to question almost everything, including notions of what “sparkling wine” is and can do. Made from 100% Sercialinho harvested from 15-year old sustainably farmed vines and bottled unfined and unfiltered. Funky and refreshing, there are hints of citrus peel, bright tree fruit, and crushed white flowers. A great addition to any menu!