Wine Pairings: Texas Hill wine and BBQ
June 20th marked the official start to the Summer season, but in The Texas Hill Country, the real start to Summer is the first time you fire up the grill! Various seasonings and sauces can make finding the perfect wine pairing difficult. The flavors of BBQ can vary so vastly that you may not know where to begin. It’s important to understand why a particular style of wine fits well with different types of food so that you’re able to select wines based on your preferences and what will pair well. Here’s a breakdown of what wines pair best with various BBQ flavors.
Sparkling wines are a great way to beat the Texas heat and can add some flair to your backyard BBQ! Sparkling wines pair well with almost any grilled food. They pair exceptionally well with lighter fare, like grilled shrimp or fish. The refreshing flavor and zippy acidity complement grilled seafood, smoked salmon, barbecued chicken, and grilled fruit. Sparkling wines can also help to tame the heat of grilled dishes. Next time you grill up some buffalo chicken, opt for a bottle of sparkling wine!
Similar to sparkling wines, white wines pair well with grilled fish and chicken. The high acidity of a Sauvignon Blanc pairs perfectly with blackened grilled fish or spice rub chicken. For a fattier fish like tuna or trout, a Chardonnay is the best choice! A Chardonnay is also an excellent choice for your vegetarian friends who might be enjoying a veggie burger. White wines are also a great partner to pork barbecue. Typically, pork calls for seasoning with sweet, spicy, smoky, and tangy flavors. Find a wine that is medium to full-bodied to balance the smoke and spice of your grilled pork. If you’re barbecuing chicken thigh in a sticky-sweet sauce, a Gewürztraminer is an excellent choice. A cold Gewürztraminer also works well with spicy food to help cut through the heat. When in doubt, do as the Italians do and use your wine in your sauce!
There is no denying that rosés and Summertime go together! Severed cold, rosés have a bit more acidity than white wines, which makes them great at complimenting grilled flavors. This versatile wine can be enjoyed with a wide array of flavors—a dry rosé pairs well with grilled shrimp, pork, turkey, and vegetarian options. A sparkling rosé would pair best with grilled chicken, smoked salmon, and grilled oysters.
When it comes to red wine, your best pairings will be red meat. Burgers and steaks call for full-bodied options such as Tempranillo, a Cabernet-blend, Sangiovese, or a GSM (Grenache-Syrah-Mourvèdre) Blend. These wines will help to enhance the peppery and tobacco flavors in the dish. A Mourvedré and BBQ ribs are a match made in heaven! They have quite a bit in common, and their differences complement each other. A well-sauced rib helps to bring out the floral and plum fruit notes in the Mourvedré. While the Mourvedré absorbs the richness of the ribs with its heavy tannins and fresh acidity. If you’re looking to grill vegetables like bell peppers or portobello steaks, then a Cabernet Franc is your perfect match. The medium body of the wine helps to complement the earthy flavors of the mushrooms. Cabernet Franc also works well with oregano, rosemary, and thyme.
End your barbecue with the perfect Summer sweet treat, popsicles! You can make your own with so there is a batch for the kids and adults. Check out these recipes for inspiration.
Wine pairing should be fun! Let the pressure of finding the perfect wine go and have fun experimenting. Keep things simple and focus on your sauces; the deeper the BBQ sauce, the deeper the wine. Simplicity is key, don’t choose a wine that requires too much thought because the casual setting of an outdoor barbecue doesn’t call for that! Find a wine that fits the food and the setting. Be sure to tag us in your barbecue photos all summer long! Tag us on Facebook or Instagram @texashillcountrywine or #texashillcountrywine.