Pairing BBQ and Wine



Food and drink go hand in hand!

So far, I have not been paying much of attention on pairing food and wine. I cannot explain why, but somehow it has been secondary on my cooking. I am very careful on what herbs or spices I put on my BBQ. I am also well aware that making a good choice on seasonings makes a huge difference on cooked meat. Still, I have been very loose on what drinks I serve with grilled food.

On early December however, I had an opportunity to dine with wine expert.

BBQ for the evening was moose tenderloin and wines were chosen accordingly. Venison is lean, tender and mild and we had two red wines from Portugal to compare. Both wines were from Sociedade dos Vinhos Borges, thus Borges Wine Society. This winery was founded already in 1884 and produces wine in four regions in Portugal.

First one was Borges Quinta da Soalheira Vinhas Velhas from Douro Valley. Wine was told to be extremely good pair with veal, pork, game and strong flavored cheese. I experienced some plum and strawberry flavors during tasting. The wine was unoaked, and taste was nice and dense. I found it a very good pair with moose tenderloin.

Second red wine was Borges Touriga Nacional 2015 from Dão region. This wine is aged for 12 months in French oak barrels, giving it totally different structure and flavor compared to the first wine. I found the wine slightly fruity. The oakwood gave quite intense taste, which would have paired well with smoked grill food. Say pulled pork or brisket and maybe even venison if smoked. For moose tenderloin, this wine was a bit too dominant.

Although wines come with millions of flavors, I think it should not be too difficult to find good choices for various BBQ dishes. Comparing two wines for one food made it easy to understand how to pair them.

I enjoyed this experience and might even start building a wine library for the future.


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