National Wine Day (May 25) is almost here just as we’re marking the start of grillin’ season! But how can you turn this year’s backyard BBQ into a classy affair. Wine and Swine, anyone?!
The experts in-house sommeliers at Vivino have you covered with the ultimate guide and pairings to hosting a wine-soaked summer wine day barbecue.
Pair with: Oregon Pinot Noir
Pork chops pair well with both red and white wine, but with a dry rub on the grill, red wine has the edge. Medium-bodied Pinot Noir has a little bit of everything.
North Carolina-style Pulled Pork
Pair with: Off-dry Riesling
For a wine to stand up to North Carolina-style pulled pork’s vinegar-based sauce, two things are crucial: sugar and acid. Off-dry Riesling is the answer, with mouthwatering acidity and just a touch of residual sugar to keep the wine from seeming too austere.
Memphis-style pulled pork
Pair with: Juicy Zinfandel
Slightly sweeter than the North Carolina-style, smokey, spiced Memphis-style pulled pork calls for a wine with juicy, round fruit, like a classic California Zinfandel.
Pair with: Northern Rhône Syrah
Full of smoke, meat, and black peppery goodness, Syrah from the northern Rhone is perfect, as if someone took the smoked ribs themselves and put them into the wine.
Pair with: Cru Beaujolais
Pair with Vivino’s number one summer barbecue wine: cru Beaujolais. Light, fresh, and fun, cru Beaujolais is food-friendly, with peppy red cherry and strawberry flavors and a touch of earth.
Pair with: Dry, textured rosé
Think about the toppings, find a wine versatile enough to pair with anything you can throw on a dog, e.g. a dry rosé with character; earthy minerality, zippy acidity, or unique, savory flavors.
Pair with: Unoaked (or slightly oaked) Chardonnay
Think about a wine that will accent but not overwhelm, which is why Chardonnay aged in steel or old oak is natural match.
Pair with: Mountain Napa Cabernet Sauvignon
Matching steak and Napa Cab is a no-brainer.
HOSTING TIPS AND HACKS to keep the vino flowing for your guests on a hot day.
Red or white?
- Since sunny days prompt cravings for chilled wine, prep more white or rosé than red.
- Keep s two-to-one ratio, e.g. in a ten-guest scenario, eight bottles of white or rosé and four of red should suffice (an extra bottle of each stashed in the house never hurts)
Time to chill
- It’s handy to stock the white and rosé wines the night before in order to take that step off your to-do list in the morning.
- One hour before guests arrive, fill a large bucket with the wines to be chilled, cover in ice, and add two to three cups of cold water. To allow the ice-cold water to make contact with the wines more readily.
- If your bucket isn’t tall enough for an ice bath to reach the neck of the bottle, just give the bottles a quick flip after a half-hour to gently mix the cold and warm wine in the bottle.
- A barbecue is the occasion to experiment with chilled red wines. The reds shouldn’t be ice cold, so add them to the ice bucket five to ten minutes before guests arrive for the perfect temp
- Keep the reds on top of the ice—not pushed all the way in like the whites—throughout the party.
- If there’s an extra cooler on hand, stash reds in there with one ice pack and you’ll be good to go.
By Elena Murzella