Days of Wine and BBQ

Ah, summertime! Baseball, apple pie and BBQ are in season. Which raises the age-old question; “What wine goes best with brisket? Or links? Or ribs?”

A great brisket is dense, thick, heavy beef, and typically requires a wine that can stand up to it. But BBQ brisket is as much about the smoke, the sauce and the spices as it is about the beef, making wine pairing a bit more art than science. While a multitude of sommeliers recommend a robust red zinfandel, it is by no means the only selection.

Consider pairing your brisket with a medium-bodied pinot noir. Joel Fleischman of Vanity Fair once described pinot noir as, "The most romantic of wines, with so voluptuous a perfume, so sweet an edge, and so powerful a punch that, like falling in love, they make the blood run hot and the soul wax embarrassingly poetic." And what could be more romantic than BBQ brisket?

Throwing some links on the grill? You might want to open a bottle of a brawny, highly tannic merlot made in the cabernet style. Much like a cabernet sauvignon, these wines can hold their own with grilled or charred meats.

Meaty, messy, incredibly tasty BBQ ribs go well with Italy’s greatest wine, Barolo. Sometimes described as “having the aroma of tar and roses,” these rust red-tinged wines must be aged for at least 38 months after the harvest before release, of which at least 18 months must be in wood. Ribs really bring out the fruit in this wine.