American Barbecue is currently experiencing a renaissance. It’s one of America’s true indigenous cuisines, and just like America, there is a cornucopia of varying flavors and styles. Everyone has a favorite, but thanks to the popularity of ‘Que, these varying flavors have expanded well beyond the regions that have made them famous and you can now get them almost anywhere. But because the styles of BBQ are so varied, the wines you would drink with your BBQ of choice is just as varied as the styles themselves.
Here’s your guide to the perfect red and white wine for every regional style of American BBQ.
The BBQ Styles:
Pairing Trait: Vinegar Based
North Carolina is a “house-divided” when it comes to the style of barbecue they prefer. Both styles focus on a sauce that is vinegar and pepper based but depending on which side of the state you are in, that sauce will also feature tomato to create a thicker and redder concoction..
Pairing Trait: Mustard Based
South Carolina is known for their mustard based sauce (properly named ‘Carolina Gold’). The sauce also brings sweet and tangy flavors to the party with the addition of brown sugar and vinegar.
Pairing Trait: Dry Rub Ribs
When it comes to Memphis barbecue, go ribs or go home. Memphis ribs are known for their dry rub and are smoked until they fall off the bone. While the majority of the barbecue is served dry, you can sometimes find a thin, slightly tangy, slightly sweet sauce to accompany the meat.
Pairing Trait: Molasses Based
Kansas City doesn’t discriminate on the meat you use, but they’re most famous for their burnt ends (crispy tips of brisket that are smoked again) that are doused in a sweeter, thicker sauce that is made with molasses.
Pairing Trait: Dry Rub Beef
Texas is all about the protein—specifically beef. Your plate will consist of a huge pile of brisket or ribs that are simply seasoned with salt and pepper and have been smoked to perfection. Like Memphis, you’ll be expected to leave the sauce at home.
Pairing Trait: Worcestershire Based
Kentucky is known for their mutton barbecue. The smoked sheep is then served with a Worcestershire-based sauce that is tangy and has hints of allspice.
Pairing Trait: Sweet, Thick Tomato Based
The slip-and-slide of barbecue, St. Louis is all about grilling and saucing (and saucing, and saucing, and saucing). The sauce is an extremely thick tomato based concoction that is often on the sweeter side.
Pairing Trait: White Sauce
Like many other regions, hickory smoked pork is the staple of Alabama style barbecue. However, their the only region whose sauce of choice is white. The unique white sauce is made of mayo, vinegar, salt and pepper is both rich and tangy. It’s served often on pork, but is also delicious on chicken.
Pairing Trait: Spicy, Oak Smoked Pork
Georgia isn’t often recognized for its BBQ, but the state makes a uniquely spicy oak-smoked pork that is often doused in a thick sauce that adds a second layer of spice with a touch of sweetness. Try it and you’ll become a believer.
This is a sponsored post by Viña Zaco.