Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Spanish Wine Pairing for All Barbecue Regions

Summer without barbeque is unthinkable. Summer without wine is boring. Mix wine pairing and barbecue together, add some friends, and you’ve got the ideal all-American get-together.

While cooking meat, poultry or fish over an open pit fire is prevalent in cultures around the world, America has made its own finger-lickin’ contribution to the gastronomical world with numerous styles of barbeque, each with a unique, distinctive twist. While sampling these regional barbecue specialties, do a little wine pairing and celebrate an American pastime.
Sipping on something a little more sophisticated than sweet tea along side your BBQ spare ribs may be a welcome change. For all things slathered in sauce, consider wines from Spain.

Earthy and juicy fruit flavors enhance food cooked over fire and won’t compete with or overpower the sauce. For great grill-side sippers, check out the Osborne Solaz series, four easy-drinking wines of exceptional flavors that pair amazingly well with many barbeque styles. The best part: they are all under $10, a deal certainly worth investigating.
In North Carolina, barbequing is serious business and means only one thing: pork. North Carolina barbeque is recognized by its unique regional flare, namely the thin and tangy vinegar-based sauce spiced with peppers, all done up in grand Southern style. Wine pairing suggestion: Solaz Blanco 2006 ($9); made from 100% Viura grapes, this is a crisp, easy drinking white wine that will keep you cool from sip to sip. With a bright nose of pear and vanilla, fruity flavors, and just enough acidity to clear the palate, this ripe refresher is a natural with Carolina barbecue.

Memphis brags about its barbeque almost as much as its blues, claiming to make the world’s best, at least according to the judges of the annual World Championship BBQ Cooking Contest held there each spring. In the center of the mid-South, barbeque means pork ribs and pork shoulder sandwiches, often topped with tangy sauces that are tomato-based and spiked with brown sugar, making the flavor mildly spicy and sweet. The Memphis pork ribs and sauce call for a side of slaw, baked beans and B.B. King crooning in the background. Wine pairing suggestion: Solaz Shiraz-Tempranillo 2005 ($9), an equal blend of Shiraz and Tempranillo grapes. Smoky, earthy flavors envelope the palate, leaving behind a hint of nutmeg and a kick of spice! This unique Shiraz from Spain complements the zingy sweetness of a Memphis-style pulled pork sandwich.

In the land of cattle, Texans make their thin tomato-based sauce with a little south-of-the-border flair by adding hot jalapeño chiles and cumin. Pit masters from the Lone Star state slow cook their beef over mesquite wood and serve alongside Texas toast and cobbler. Word of advice: don’t ask a Texan for his secret sauce recipe. Big portions of brisket, big mouth-watering side dishes, big flavors. You’re getting the idea. Wine pairing suggestion: Osborne Solaz Tempranillo-Cabernet 2004 ($9), a blend of 80 percent Spanish Tempranillo and 20 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, is barbeque friendly and drinkable with hints of raspberry and spice with a chewy finish. The moderate tannins and full flavors make a great match for basket of brisket.

Kansas City, the self-proclaimed BBQ Capital of the World, can hold its own. Barbeque here is traditionally dry-rubbed with spices and slow roasted for hours over a pit of hickory. Geographically situated between the other barbeque hubs, Kansas City took the best of both Carolina and Texas barbeque sauces and created their own. A tomato base and touch of molasses make this thick sauce sticky and sweet and oh-so-good. Wine Pairing suggestion: Solaz Merlot-Tempranillo 2005 ($9); medium bodied and smooth, this is an approachable wine for relaxed backyard affairs. Many merlots can be too soft to stand up to barbeque, but Tempranillo gives this wine from the Osborne family a sturdy backbone. Food brings out the best in this blend, making it an easy choice for KC’s smoky best.

Eat BBQ, drink Spanish wines, and be merry. Barbecue Recipes:


2 quarts cider vinegar

1 cup brown sugar

1 Tbs hot pepper sauce

3 Tbs red pepper flakes

2 Tbs crushed red pepper

¼ cup salt

1 clove garlic

Mix together ingredients in large bowl. Cover and let stand for 3 hours before using.


3 cups ketchup

½ cup water

½ cup white wine vinegar

3 Tbs butter

2/3 cup brown sugar

¼ cup minced onion

2 Tbs mustard

½ tsp ground black pepper

Dash of ground red pepper

1 tsp salt

Dash of cayenne

Dash of Tabasco for heat

In saucepan, melt butter and saute onions until golden. Stir in remaining ingredients and cook on low for 20 minutes.


2 cups water

2/3 cup molasses

½ cup tomato paste

½ cup white vinegar

2 Tbs mustard

½ tsp hot pepper sauce

1 tsp black pepper

½ tsp curry powder

½ tsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1 Tbs onion salt

½ tsp paprika

¼ tsp allspice

¼ tsp cinnamon

1 tsp liquid smoke

Sift all dry ingredients together in bowl. Stir in vinegar and then add the remainder of the ingredients and mix until thoroughly blended. Serve heated or at room temperature.  LONE STAR BBQ SAUCE: 
1 cup ketchup

2 jalapeno chilis, diced

1 Tbs Worcestershire

12 oz Texas beer

¼ cup fresh lime juice

2 Tbs ground red chilis

1 medium onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tsp Creole mustard

1 Tbs corn oil

½ cup brown sugar

1 Tbs cayenne pepper

Heat ingredients to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

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