What’s the best wine for BBQ? Sheesh, that’s a topic akin to opening a can of worms. (Sorry if I have you thinking about grilling worms.) For some, BBQ means one thing only: slow and low cooking. For others, if you’ve got burgers and dogs on the grill, that’s BBQ. Not only do you have different techniques, but when you throw in all the rubs, sauces, condiments, and sides, you’ve got a wine minefield. (Winefield?)
Luckily, I am able to turn to my friend Mary Cressler for some advice. She’s a wine educator, consultant, and writer; you can find the culmination of all these pursuits on the Vindulge Wine Blog. And she grills and smokes (food) with the best of ’em. Seriously, she’s got tongs in one hand and a corkscrew in the other right now. Luckily, she can still talk with her hands occupied in such a manner, and was able to be my guest on the Wine Without Worry podcast. Mary probably has some kind of badass grilling utility belt befitting a brisket superhero. At least that’s what I think.
But don’t just take my word for it. That meat you see on the smoker? And sliced below? That would be Mary’s Award Winning Cheddar Beer Kettle Crusted Smoked Pork Tenderloin. Damn, she used finely ground potato chips as part of her rub. Genius. (And thanks to Mary for letting me use her photos.)
One of the things that Mary and I both agree on is that whatever you have on the outdoor table, you need rosé. Because while you’re standing around, enjoying salty snacks, socializing, and waiting for your meat to be ready, why not enjoy one of the most pleasurable and versatile wines on the planet? Don’t fear enjoying your steak, burgers, dogs, whatever with rosé. And vegetarians rejoice, as it’s one vegetable-loving wine. Also, rosé looks really pretty in a glass. That matters, right?
Rosé would also look very pretty on the Greek island of Santorini, where Mary and I met while on a press trip together. We were both awed by the blues and whites, the impeccable vegetables and otherworldly feta producing the ultimate Greek salad, the rugged, one-of-a-kind vineyards, and one dry white wine in particular: Assyrtiko. Additionally, Mary was impressed with the amount of white T-shirts I own. We take a bit of stroll down memory lane.
Also discussed: Gruner Veltliner, Rioja, Oregon, my lack of fashion, Soter pop. And what’s the big deal with aged wines?
And check out Mary’s Wine Pairing Guide to Barbecue.