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T-Vine Winery
May 3, 2011 | Pairings | T-Vine Winery

BBQ + Zin

Two American Classics!

They say what grows together goes together. This couldn't be more true when it comes to BBQ and Zinfandel. 

Barbecue is the only uncontested, truly American food originating right here on our soil. Zinfandel, a varietal many believe to be the only grape native to the U.S., has long staked its claim as America's wine. 

When it comes to pairing these two American-made delicacies, you'll find that most any Zin is robust and versatile enough to stand up against the bold, smoky flavor profile of barbecued meats. However, there are a few tips and tricks to follow that will make your pairing stand out above the rest.

T-Vine's Top 5 BBQ and Zin Rules:

1. Pair Pepper with Pepper: It may seem counterintuitive, but if you're using a spiced pepper rub on your meat, you'll want to pair it with a wine that elicits notes of delicious cracked black pepper and artisan steak rub.
Our Suggestion: 2017 Black Sears Zinfandel, Howell Mountain

2. Lighter Meat = More Structured Wine: Lighter meats, like chicken and pork, are best served with a wine that is lean but structured. Choose a lighter-bodied Zin that has a long, lingering finish.
Our Suggestion: 2018 LeVois Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley

3. Go Full-Body for Fatty Meat: The fat on barbecued meat gives it its rich, juicy flavor. Paired with a fruit-forward and full-bodied Zinfandel, these flavors become even more pronounced.
Our Suggestion: 2018 Frediani Zinfandel, Calistoga

4. The More Acidity, the More Fruit: Most BBQ sauces are highlighted by their sharp acidity which helps to cut through the richness of the meat. When it comes to wine, instead of cutting through the flavors, the acidic sauce helps elevate and enhance the fruit components.
Our Suggestion: 2018 Bacigalupi Zinfandel, Russian River Valley

5. Don't Forget the Sides!: BBQ's essential sides––mac and cheese, coleslaw, baked beans, collard greens––also pair well with Zinfandel. Just make sure they each have a balance of salt, fat, heat, and of course acid, to bring out the very best flavors from the glass. 
Our Suggestion: 2018 Cherryhouse Zinfandel, Lodi


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