The barbecue season is in full swing, and choosing the proper wine to serve with grilled foods is a key element in maximizing the enjoyment of your meal.
The wine selection requires you to consider two simple, but important things: what type of food is being prepared and what is the dominant flavor?
Lighter foods such as chicken, sole, snapper, or vegetables should be paired with a light- to medium-bodied red or white wine. Heartier foods like burgers, ribs, steaks, or lamb require a more robust, mediumto full-bodied wine.
But you can’t stop there, because a dominant flavor, such as black pepper or a spicy barbecue sauce can overwhelm the taste of your wine. In that case, you have to choose something that can either match or beat the food’s dominant flavor or provide a contrast to it — such as a wine that’s slightly sweet or high in acidity.
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Regardless of what’s on your grill, the versatility and variety of wine means there’s always something that will provide the perfect match. Here a couple of wines you might consider serving at your next barbecue:
King Estate 2005 Pinot Gris (about $16): This lovely white wine from Oregon features gentle pear and citrus flavors backed by crisp acidity, allowing it to go well with lighter grilled foods.
Zefina 2003 Serience Red Wine (about $29): This full-bodied blend of syrah, grenache and three other red varietals from Eastern Washington is loaded with berry flavors plus touches of oak and spice on the finish.