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Smokehouse to Vineyard

Smokehouse to Vineyard: Red, White & ‘Cue

When you think of barbecue, I bet more than likely you think of beer. But with the growing popularity of wine and with more affordable wines getting better and better, you might want to start thinking Vino.  

Across the country, a variety of cities and wineries are promoting the marriage of wine and barbecue. Napa does a Pigs and Pinot festival, while Sonoma hosts a Wine Country Big Q event. Schooly Mountain State Park in New Jersey hosts an annual event, as does Ohio with the Taste For Summer festival at Clary Gardens. Closer to home, Chateau Morisette winery in Virginia hosts a weekend BBQ and wine festival with concerts and fireworks.

At Dead End BBQ, it is well known that wine and barbecue are a match made in heaven. With that in mind, and with the 4th of July being the biggest holiday for backyard barbecues, here are a few suggestions to help the wine lovers out there.

If you’re going the traditional route with smoked pork, try a dry Rose, like the Herencia Altes Rosat from Spain. It has little residual sugar, which lends itself to a light sweetness, but with great acidity and fresh fruit flavor. If you prefer a red, try an earthy blend like Bogle Essential Red from California. This blend is a mix of Old Vine Zinfandel, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Syrah. It’s earthy, rich, rip and luscious.

If you’re throwing some ribs on the smoker or grill, they pair amazingly well with a smoky, spicy Syrah. I suggest the Klinker Brick Farrah Syrah from Lodi. It’s full bodied with a balance of smoky oak, spice and earthy fruit that will stand up to barbecue ribs.

If smoked sausage is a staple at your 4th of July get together, open a Zinfandel, and not just any Zinfandel, but I suggest Haraszthy Amador County Zinfandel from California. This is a manager favorite at Dead End Maryville, and is one of the best sellers. 100% Zinfandel, it’s rich yet subtle, and it has a perfect balance of dark fruit, vanilla, oak and white pepper spice. It will bring out all the flavors of the smoked sausage.

Finally, you may want to go all out at your barbecue and offer the beef brisket with burnt ends. This is my personal favorite. Brisket done right has tons of flavor and it needs a wine that will stand up to what is has to offer. Try a full-bodied Cabernet like Rodney Strong Sonoma or Alexander Valley Cab or even a Chilean Cabernet like Root 1 Cab. While Rodney Strong is rich with subtle tannins, Root 1 is typically more earthy and medium-bodied with stronger tannins.

Even though these are great suggestions and I have tried every one of the pairings, you can never go wrong with your favorite wine. Just remember to pair your wine and food, body to body – lighter wines with lighter foods and full-bodied wines with richer foods. Hopefully after these pairings, instead of reaching for a beer at your barbecue, you find yourself reaching for a glass of Vino!

Kim Kallenberg
Knoxville Beverage Company

(865) 212-5655

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