Wines for a Backyard Barbecue
Written by Lynne Webb
Barbecue season is a great time to entertain friends and family, and you'll want to be sure to pop open a bottle of wine that best complements your delicious grilled dishes.
Traditionally, grilling season brings out spicy and rich BBQ ribs, hearty steaks and juicy burgers.
A bottle of red is generally a good choice - for example, a Spanish Rioja, a nice medium-bodied red made from Tempranillo grapes.
Riojas often have spicy aromas and red fruit flavors and pair beautifully with red meats like lamb, pork or veal as well as chicken with barbecue sauce and dry-rubbed ribs.
Another good selection for spicy and saucy barbecued meats is a Petite Sirah - a full-bodied varietal with blackberry and spice flavors.
A deep crimson Shiraz from Australia is another nice choice for hearty steaks and burgers. Shiraz, otherwise known as Syrah, is typically a full-bodied and tannic red with berry, pepper and smoky flavors.
For grilled seafood, fish and vegetables, a crisp white is the ideal accompaniment. Sauvignon Blanc, with its acidity and citrus notes, partners well with oysters, barbecued shrimp and grilled swordfish.
Lastly, if you're entertaining guests who aren't big wine drinkers, try mixing up a fresh and fruity sangria. This "wine punch" is typically made with red wine (although white varieties, sangria blanca, are popular in Northern Spain) along with sliced fruit, a sweetener, brandy or triple sec and often club soda.