By Georgene Mortimer, Island Winery
Are you going out for barbeque tonight and thinking about washing it down with an ice-cold beer? Well, think again, because wine is also fantastic with barbeque. Depending on which famous barbeque region you’re from, you may argue that your hometown barbeque style is the only real style. But on Hilton Head Island, we serve all regional styles, so check out this guide to see which wine will go best with the different sauces.
Eastern North Carolina Style sauce has a vinegar base, sugar and is loaded with pepper. This thin sauce is the most acidic of all barbeque styles and needs some sweetness to balance it out. Just like a big cold sweet tea would do the trick, so would a sweet Riesling, preferably from a warm climate such as California.
Western North Carolina Style sauce basically is an eastern style sauce with ketchup and more sugar. Since there is enough sweetness in the sauce to balance out the acid, there is no need for a real sweet wine. Petite Sirah’s subtle tannins and high acidity compliments without overpowering the delicate taste of the pork.
South Carolina Style sauce is unique because it has a mustard base. Despite the honey or brown sugar that is added, it should not be mistaken for honey mustard; it is hotter and contains spices such as Worchester sauce, garlic and cayenne pepper. This unique blend of sweetness and spice requires a wine that is intense, slightly sweet and acidic. A big Zin or Shiraz is the perfect red wine companion and a spicy, floral Gewürztraminer is the perfect white wine.
Memphis Style ribs are heavily seasoned with a dry rub made of brown sugar, pepper, chili powder and cumin. Sauce is served on the side, used as an accent and not slathered over the ribs, so a wine that will compliment the heavy spice in the rub is ideal. A cool climate Merlot or a Pinot Noir will achieve this with their light body and powerful fruity flavors.
Kansas City Style sauce is the style of sauce that is familiar to most of us. It is thick, fruity and applied generously to smoky pork. The heavy sweetness of the sauce needs a big assertive red wine. A California Cabernet or a Spanish Tempranillo has the ripe fruit, boldness and spice to contrast with the heavy sweetness of the ribs.
Of course, you could also fire up your own backyard smoker and get creative. On a hot summer day an ice cold pitcher of Sangria will be the perfect companion to all barbecue styles. You can use either a red or white wine base or choose a Specialty Wine at the Island Winery as your base. Served chilled, our Sangria Style Southern Passion is delicious.
The perfect bottle of wine awaits at Island Winery on Cardinal Road. Store and tasting hours are Monday-Saturday from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wine Flights and Cheese are available from Monday-Friday, 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., and Saturday from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. A Wine & Cheese Happy Hour is offered Monday-Friday starting at 4 p.m. For more information, call (843) 842-3141 or go to islandwinery.com.