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Cupcake and BBQ

The Ultimate List of BBQ and Wine Pairings

Light the coals, load up the propane, or plug in the grill, because it’s grilling season! Smoky BBQ flavors and backyard gatherings are where summer memories are made, and we want to make these moments even more joyful with our top BBQ and wine pairings! Whether you’re cooking up pork, chicken, or the all-American hot dogs and hamburgers (no worries, we haven’t forgotten veggie burgers!), there’s a perfect pair for you.

BBQ and Wine Pairing Tips

  1. Pair sweet with sweet

If your BBQ sauce has a slight sweetness to it (was it made with brown sugar?), then consider pairing it with a slightly sweet wine like Riesling or, in some sweeter cases, Moscato. Pairing sweet with sweet helps to bring out more complex flavors like the spice in the sauce.

  1. Pair big and bold with bigger and bolder

You’ll hear this just about all the time with steak pairing recommendations, pair a bold red meat with a big, bold wine like Cabernet, Shiraz, or Petite Sirah. These big, tannic wines pair nicely with a complex BBQ dish because they bring out some of the more subtle flavors.

  1. Add bubbles to cut through the spice

If you’re serving a spicier dish like Moroccan chicken or Cajun style BBQ, turn to sparkling wines like Prosecco or Sparkling Rosé. The bubbles are a refreshing cold front after a pippin’ hot bite.

BBQ and wine pairings like hamburgers and Chardonnay from Cupcake Vineyards   

Our Favorite BBQ and Wine Pairings

  1. Pulled Pork and Riesling or Black Forest

Ah delicious BBQ pulled pork… the rich and juicy taste is a reminder of potlucks past. The complexity in flavors of the dish is what make it a joy to pair. No joke, take a second and think about all the deliciousness you taste in a bite of pulled pork. There is a slight tang and sweetness from the sauce, yet a fatty boldness from the meat. This combination of flavors make it a perfect pair for both white and red wines! In the case of pulled pork, the sweet and zesty citrus flavors of Riesling are a perfect pair for the BBQ sauce, while the rich and fruity flavors of Black Forest take on the intensity of the meat.

  1. Chicken and Pinot Noir or Chardonnay

BBQ chicken can be a tricky meat to pair since it can be prepared in so many different ways. If you’re looking to pair with a blackened, smoky chicken, then a jammy Pinot Noir is a fantastic complement to your BBQ. That said, if you’re looking to make a delicately grilled or lightly sauced BBQ chicken, then Chardonnay can help to amplify these softer flavors in a seriously wonderful way!

  1. Steak and Cabernet Sauvignon

Steak is a big, bold, BBQ favorite, and one of the few wines that can take on such flavors is Cabernet Sauvignon. The peppery, tannic flavors of Cabernet help cut through the fat of the steak, while the steak brings out the dark fruit flavors of the Cabernet. Steak and Cab are a dynamic duo and you’re along for the mouthwatering ride!

BBQ and wine pairings from Cupcake Vineyards

  1. Hamburgers and Shiraz or Prosecco

Hamburgers are another difficult pairing since they can be dressed in so many different ways. If you’re planning on an all-American cheeseburger or bacon burger, then Shiraz is a great go-to with its peppery, dark fruit flavors. This wine will also work well with bleu cheese, buffalo, or other strong burgers. For simple sliders or lettuce-wrapped burgers, lean toward Prosecco for a bubbly, semi-sweet refresh after each bite!

  1. Hot Dogs and Pinot Grigio or Sparkling Rosé

Hot dogs are chock full of salt, fat, and tart deliciousness courtesy of mustard, relish, and other tasty toppings…The perfect pair for these flavors? Pinot Grigio, of course! A zesty, crisp Pinot Grigio with balanced minerality complements the salty meat and tangy toppings. It’s a simple must try! Similarly, a sparkling slightly-dry Rosé adds crisp, freshness that elevates the classic meal.

  1. Veggie Burgers and Rosé or Sparkling Rosé

Veggie burgers come in a variety of flavors depending on their base. Whether your veggie burgers are lentil, quinoa, chickpea, or black bean based, dry Rosé is an all-around great option since it pairs well with most veggie and legume centric meals. Our crisp sparkling and still Rosés are food-friendly and complementary, especially when you’re working with vegetable dishes like veggie burgers or summer salads.

Friends cheersing with Cupcake Vineyards wine

February 18, 2022
Cupcake Vineyards, Livermore, CA

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