Wine Advisor Express



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Wine Advisor Express:
Food and wine - barbecue

As summer draws near in the Northern Hemisphere and steamy, sultry weather settles in for the duration, a lot of us will be firing up our barbecue grills this weekend.

The smoke and spice and sweet or hot tomato-based sauces that often accompany barbecue aren't really friendly to the finest wines, which is why cold beer in long-neck bottles or oversize glasses of freshly brewed iced tea are the traditional beverages.

But there's no reason you can't enjoy wine with barbecue, particularly if you define "barbecue" as grilled meat or poultry and hold back on the sauce.

Zinfandel, that quintessentially American red, is an obvious choice. Its exuberant berrylike fruitiness makes it a natural match with grilled meats, and even the big, alcoholic styles meet their match in the hearty flavors of barbecue. If you live in parts of the world where Zin isn't readily available, you can do just about as well with plummy Southern Italian reds or the fruitier styles of Australian Shiraz. Grenache and Syrah-based wines from Southern France, from the Rhone to Languedoc, will also make a fine barbecue match, as will the fruity Spanish reds made from Grenache, which the locals call Garnacha.

The common denominator is fruit, and all these fruit-laden wines will marry with barbecue as well as, and more elegantly than, the traditional grape Kool-Aid.

Express Notes:

This is Wine Advisor Express, daily edition of The 30 Second Wine Advisor, distributed Tuesdays through Fridays. To change your E-mail address, switch from daily to the weekly (Mondays only) distribution, or for any other administrative matters, E-mail Please be sure to include the exact E-mail address that you used when you subscribed, so we can find your record.

Friday, June 15, 2001
Copyright 2001 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.

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