Wine & Beer Pairings

Wines can be categorized according to their color, their degree of sweetness, their comprehensiveness in carbon dioxide and in whether they are fragranced or not.
According to their color, wines can be:  According to their comprehensiveness in carbon dioxide:  According to the amount of sugar they contain: 


 Use the tables below as a guideline but don't be afraid to experiment with new barbeque - wine pairings. 

glass3.jpg Red Wine & Barbeque Pairings
Red Wines Type Of Food

You may be wondering why hamburgers and hotdogs aren't listed. That is because virtually all red wines go well with hamburgers and hotdogs. When it comes to barbeque-wine pairing, red wines are the easiest. If you want to play it safe, both Zinfandel and Merlot are good all-around red wine-barbeque pairings. 

Again, hamburgers and hotdogs have been omitted. Most white wines go very well with both hamburgers and hotdogs. The one exception here is Chardonnay which is often a difficult barbeque-wine pairing. Gewurztraminer and Riesling wines pair well with spicy BBQ sauces while Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon's light body is the perfect white wine-barbeque pairing when it comes to vegetables and seafood (especially shrimp).

glass2.jpg White Wine & Barbeque Pairings
White Wines Type Of Food

 Dessert wine-barbeque pairing can be rather tricky. Champagne and Sparkling Wine are sometimes great with other things but pair up best with grilled vegetables and seafood. Sherry is often great with grilled meats but Port wine is a hard match.

glass4.jpg Dessert Wine & Barbeque Pairings
Dessert Wines Type Of Food

So lets start with some general principles on food and wine pairing (or food and beer pairing!):

Drink what you like with the food that you like - Food and wine pairing can seem overwhelming. But it doesn't have to be! Despite what some "snobs" will tell you, there are no right and wrong answers in pairing beverages with food. If you like it, then it is good! So drink what you like to drink with what you like to eat. If that works for you then you'll be happy. As you gain experience, you'll learn on your own that some things work better with others for your taste. But don't let anyone tell you that just because they like or dislike a food and wine pairing combination that you have to as well. That being said, years of research and experimentation has taught us a lot about matching food with wines, so read on if you want to benefit from some of that learning and skip the years of experimentation it took to get it.

Match intensity of flavors - A general principle of matching food with a beverage is to match the flavor intensity. In other words, food with bold, rich flavors (such as a grilled steak for instance) pair well with wines that will stand up to that boldness. Therefore, a rich red wine such as a Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah-based wine will pair well with a rich grilled steak. Likewise, a dark, rich beer like a stout or porter will work well in this setting. A lighter wine or beer (such as a white Sauvignon Blanc or a Pilsner) would clash with the steak and the drink's more delicate flavors would get overpowered by the rich meat and fat. On the other end of the spectrum, lighter, more subtle and delicate wines or beers with some acid bite pair beautifully with some lighter seafood dishes.
Most barbecued foods are relatively rich and full bodied. The caramelization and smoke flavors imparted to the food by fire grilling is strong and distinct in flavor. Therefore, although it is a generalization, for many grilled foods more full bodied and robust wines and beers will stand up to and compliment the flavors best. There are always exceptions to every rule. After all, you can grill scallops or some vegetables which may be perfect with a white wine like a Chardonnay, white Burgundy or Loire Valley Chenin Blanc, to name a few.

Cocktail Suggestions: The daring, bold flavors of barbecue pork require a refreshing drink filled with light, airy flavors, but ones with a darker spirit base. Aged whiskies and rums are excellent bases for this pairing and when topped with soda, they add freshness to the meal. A few suggestions include the whiskey-based John Collins, Lynchburg Lemonade or the simple Highball. For a rum drink, the Anejo Highball is perfect and a little darker than the others thanks to the ginger beer.

 Beer Suggestions: Although this is a relatively simple dish to make it has a lot of different flavors. The savory meat, sweet onions andbeer-glasses.jpg garlic would be enough but the addition of barbecue sauce with, depending on the bottle you choose, tomato, spice, heat and even smoke leaves this recipe bursting with many different tastes and aromas. This plus the fat from the pork leads me to want to pair it with a contrasting flavored beer; a beer with comparable flavors would get lost in the taste of the pork and be little more than just wet. So my pairing choice here is a bright and citrusy American Pale Ale. The strong hops notes will dance with the spices of the barbecue sauce and the malt from the beer will match up with the savory meat while the bright notes of the beer will nicely cleanse the palate.

Greek Wines: Last but definitely not least, let me get this out of the way; Greek Wines. I have done a little research on this subject and have found that the varieties of Greek wines easily stands on its own feet when compared with other wine producing regions of the world. The tastings I have personally done have all been a joy when paired with good food and good friends.