Pairing Texas Wine and Barbecue for a Match Made in Heaven

By  | 
Tony Maples Photography


Texas is famous for so many things, not the least of which is great barbecue. But it’s also famous for amazing wine, and learning how to pair these two Lone Star State successes into one outstanding meal is a skill that’s acquired over time. With October being Texas Wine Month, what better time to stop by a local vineyard, winery, or tasting room to pick up a bottle of wine which you perhaps haven’t tried before, to share with friends and family over a great course of real-deal barbecue?

Wine complements meals like no other drink. With the tremendous restaurants and recipes that tout the barbecue expertise of Texans, the linking of these two is a match made in mouthwatering Heaven. Although having a glass of wine with your barbecue isn’t the first thought on the minds of many (unless it’s a juicy steak), Bill Fore, a wine educator at Bending Branch Winery in the Texas Hill Country, is aiming to change that. “They might think there would be a limited amount of finesse and sophistication involved in pairing wine with barbecue, which seems like more of a match for a full-bodied beer or, because we’re in Texas, a Dr Pepper. But that doesn’t mean it can’t work,” Fore told

Pairing Texas Wine and Barbecue for a Match Made in Heaven

Photo: Instagram/bombeefsantos

The trick is to know which wines would best pair with each kind of barbecued meat. Fore explained in his interview with Austin360 that barbecue which is served with a sweet sauce will leave your palate sensing that the wine pairing is bitter, even if the wine isn’t necessarily so on its own. Fore and Dave Reilly (who is the Duchman Family Winery winemaker in Driftwood) have prepared basic guidelines to assist you in pairing Texas wines with our famed barbecued meats. They’ve stated that full-bodied wines go best with full-flavored foods, and that wine and barbecue pairings should be made with either contrasting or similar flavors for the ultimate complementary effect.

Pairing Texas Wine and Barbecue for a Match Made in Heaven

Photo: Instagram/pentagoncitywine

As an example, Fore stated that brisket would pair well with a full-bodied red such as a tempranillo or tannat. “Tempranillo can have a nice spicy character to it, so if the brisket was rubbed with a spice compound before it was smoked, the wine would play really well with that,” he explained to Reilly said some rosé wines as great complements to brisket as well as other such fatty smoked meats (i.e. pork ribs). As well, white wines (identified as being generally lighter-bodied) would pair well with lighter-bodied meal items such as chicken breasts or grilled shrimp. There is also a place at the table for sweet wine and barbecue pairings. According to Fore and Reilly, they go well with spicy foods like sausage.

Pairing Texas Wine and Barbecue for a Match Made in Heaven

Photo: Instagram/wine_a_little_dine_a_little

There’s truly something for everyone when it comes to Texas wine and barbecue pairings, and the “rules” aren’t as hard to follow as you might imagine. Why not consider stopping to pick up a bottle of great Texas wine tonight to try your hand at pairing it with some delicious barbecue of your own? You might be surprised at the bold and daring taste sensations that are created by the mixture of the two. Who knows what world of wine and barbecue tasting might open up for you?