It’s Barbeque time in Tennessee. I’m talking about a “low and slow” Southern version of Barbeque. And that usually means strong, spicy sauces whether we are talking dry rub or wet rub. It’s the smell of Summer, outdoor cooking in the South.
When grilling you want a wine that will not just accompany the barbeque but enhance the grilled extravaganza. Zinfandel is a marvelous pairing with barbeque.
The big bold flavors of Zinfandel pair up nicely with just about anything on the grill. Zinfandel is the quintessential California wine with descriptors such as blackberry, raspberry, boysenberry, cherry as well as black pepper, cloves, anise and herbs. These characteristics make Zinfandel a great partner for grilled and herbed meats.
Avoid pairing Zinfandel with sweeter BBQ sauces. Doing so would violate a fundamental rule: never serve a food that is sweeter than your wine! So, find a sweeter wine if you are making a sauce with lots of sugar. Zinfandel can also pair well with grilled lamb chops, marinated baby back ribs, open-fire grilled pizza, chorizo sausage and hamburgers as well as roquefort, cheddar and gruyere cheeses. Some of my favorite Zinfandels at the shop include the Ridge Three Valley– beautiful lush like blackberry pie, Four Vines– every zinfandel they make is great and the entry level old vine zin is a good place to start, Folie a Deux– from Sonoma, makers of Menage a Trois, Saini- family vineyard, more fruit forward style, Hendry- Dr. Hendry makes a big zin with lots of structure and good tannins and Castoro Cellars- Their Zinfusion is a truly unique wine experience. Rosenblum– Rockpile Road is like blackberry pie in a bottle These are all varied examples of California zin at different price points. Fire up the Weber and break out the Zinfandel. Your ribs will never be lonely again.