“Wine makes every meal an occasion, every table more elegant, every day more civilized.” Andre Simon

As promised, we’ll be doing a mix of savory and sweet wine pairings on TSV from now on. As much as I love dessert, I really want you to have some ideas in your back pocket for good food and wine pairings you can easily serve if you have guests over unexpectedly or want to serve a nice dinner with carefully thought out wine pairings. Hopefully these pairings will also inspire you to try out pairings of your own. The beauty of wine and food pairing is that there truly is no wrong pairing- just different palettes.

Today’s pairing is all about BBQ. Although Labor Day has passed and all the kids are back in school, the weather is still plenty warm enough for backyard barbecues. Since I’m from Texas, when I think of BBQ sauce, I think a hearty, thick red sauce with a little bit of heat to it. You can put this kind of sauce on anything- seriously. Ribs, brisket, chicken, pulled pork. Heck, put it on fish! I think I’ll draw the line at chocolate, but hey, who I am to judge if you want to throw some BBQ sauce on chocolate. I’m sure I’ve something stranger.

A great pairing with a hearty red sauce, whether you’re having chicken or beef, is a medium to full bodied red wine, like Traveling Vineyard’s Whiskers red blend. This is a serious wine that won’t get overpowered by strong sauces, but the blending of multiple wines helps soften the flavors and balance the final product. The wine has a lot of earthy flavors like tobacco, tree bark, brown earth, and leather along with fruit flavors like plum, cherry, and blueberry. It’s bold but not so full-bodied that you can’t stand to sip on it on a hot September afternoon- just make sure you’ve chilled it to the right temperature, about 65-68 degrees. This will cut the hot finish you experience with red wines and help bring out the fruit flavors.

An added bonus of Whiskers is that it pairs well with a lot of BBQ friendly side dishes- apple mashed potatoes, potato salad, roasted vegetables, baked beans, and BBQ chips. You can check out the wine and use the sommology tool on Traveling Vineyard’s website.

Or, consider hosting a wine tasting so you can try before you buy!

Now you tell me: what is your perfect BBQ pairing?

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