I love going to outdoor barbecues.
If you’re hosting an outdoor cookout, there can be many creative ways to reinvent classic dishes, from the side dish you end up putting on the table to the kinds of drinks you serve.
One of the things that continues to stump me is how to best balance out the flavors of every dish that is offered. One of the primary ways to do this is by superbly pairing drinks with our all-time favorite barbecue meats.
I absolutely love the cheatsheet you’re about to see. Inspired by some of the food and wine experts out there, it has profoundly simplified the barbecue meat and drink pairing process for me, and has taught me a thing or two about complementing savory flavors.
Hopefully, you will find it useful, too, and apply it to your own barbecue. What did you think of the pairings below? Let us know in the comments, and please SHARE!
1. Beef Brisket
Try a stout beer. Its smoky, slightly chocolatey flavors will enhance the already rich, roasted meat. For a wine pairing, try a Bordeaux red, as they have a little more “weight,” or structure. For a fruitier wine, go with the Merlot.
2. Beef Ribs
Beers like the Samuel Adams Octoberfest have a little spice and a crisp sweetness that will go well with the ribs. If you’d prefer wine, go with the perfumed and slightly sweet Pinot noir.
Red and amber lagers like the Yuengling or Blue Point Toasted lagers have a dense maltiness. This will go well with the caramelized crust of the sausages. Or, try a wine with ripe, fruity berry and pepper notes, like the Primitivo.
4. Pulled Pork
Blonde ales, like the Narragansett or Blue Point Summer ales, are sweeter and less bitter than the traditional ale. For a lighter zing, you can try a sparkling rosé for a wine.
5. Smoked Chicken
Amber lagers like Brooklyn lager are pretty versatile. Or, try a nice Riesling — made from a white grape variety and higher in its sugar content, which will do well with the spices on the chicken.
6. Pork Shoulder
Beers with a high amount of hops and smoked malts, like the Sierra Nevada Hoptimum, are ideal. If you’d like a wine, go with a classic Chardonnay, which gives a leaner taste.
7. Baby Back Pork Ribs
When it comes to pork, it’s always nice to pair it with something that will help cut through the grease. Try a hoppy beer, like the Dogfish Head IPA, or the Samuel Adams Latitude 48. The robust Zinfandel, with its occasional raspberry and blackberry tones, can be wonderful, as well.
8. Grilled lamb
The lamb’s rustic, earthy flavor can be well complemented by a Belgian-style abbey double, like the subtly sweet Ommegang Abbey Ale. For a wine, try Italian reds, like Chianti or Barbera, which are less fruity.
9. Sliced Turkey
Any sweet “summer-style” session beer will pair well with turkey. And, with its hint of sweetness, a dry rosé can help cut through the fat of the meat.
10. Vegetable Grill
Wheat beers, like Blue Moon, are the ultimate favorites for a light pairing. On the other side, full-bodied wines like Chablis can help enhance the flavors of the vegetables.
Are you going to try out these pairings at your next summer cookout? Let us know, and please SHARE!
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