wine and bbq pairing what wine

Our next pairing wine with BBQ stop, is Memphis

There are plenty of nuances that make Memphis BBQ special, but three unique features define its ‘style’.  The dominant protein here is Pork, usually either as pork ribs or a pork butt that is served ‘pulled’.  

The Memphis Barbeque spice used here is a dry rub that is used to prepare the meat for the smoker. Often this is the only preparation used and the pork is served what is known as ‘dry’.

Memphis Sauce, which is either served alongside the meat or applied after the meat is cooked, is a thinner type of sauce that has vinegar as a primary ingredient.

What makes the ‘spice’ in Memphis rubs and sauces truly different, is it is not a hot spice, such as that found in Texas Style barbecue, so wines with a distinct oak signature are certainly to be considered.

Since pork is not as fatty of a meat as beef, I tend to go for a nice vintage Malbec, Pinot Noir, Barbera, Sangiovese or Tempranillo instead of the bigger Cabernet, Syrah and Zinfandel type varieties.

pairing wine with bbq

If the meat is to be served and eaten dry, there will be a large spectrum of wines that will wonderfully enhance the meal. The challenge comes when you choose to add the unique flair of the Memphis sauce.

When the sauce is considered, the pairing gets more complicated. The vinegary essence off the food brings a need for a wine with a good level of acidity, wines grown in cooler climates that will retain the natural acidity.

With reds, a Malbec brings a good amount of acidity to the table. (give me a call, I’ll steer you in the right direction!) So will a Pinot Noir. Pairing wine with BBQ, especially the Memphis type leaves us plenty of options!

For a change of pace though, a nice acidic Sauvignon Blanc or a dry Riesling from Australia will enhance the pork ribs better than any red, and certainly with the pulled pork when served with a generous ladle of sauce.

Either way, remember to trust your own palate as it will never lie! If you like the wine and food combination then it is perfect!

For more tips on pairing wine with BBQ, preparation tips and recipes, visit my buddy, Bubba Q at The Smokin’ BBQ Pit!

And, as always, if you have questions about wine you can email me at Pat The Wine Guy.

Always remember,  “the difference between eating and dining is a glass of wine. Enjoy one today.”

pairing wine with barbeque
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