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Hot Time in the Summertime: Beer & Wine Pairings for Barbecue

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Most oenophiles, even the most officious, admit that the rules have all changed.  Anything goes with most anything, if that’s what you like. Still, a few basic guidelines are commonly accepted. Red meats and rich, robust sauces are generally paired with red wines—the heartier and heftier the recipe, the bolder and deeper colored the wine. White meats like chicken, pork and fish similarly pair well with white wines. Bone-dry, tart and citrussy whites work well with spicy Asian or Mexican styles. Beer and ale work similarly, though more forgivingly. Rich, heavy, strongly flavored or spiced meats balance well with light crisp beers but stand up to the fuller flavors of toothsome ales, porters and stouts.  

Here are a few favorites meals partnered with local brews and wines:

Roast lamb (leg or shoulder roasts or steaks, chops, kebabs) with spicy mid-Eastern rub, paired with a pine-resin infused Greek Retsina, followed by a hearty red of choice— South Stage or  Troon Zinfandel, Cliff Creek Syrah, Abecela Tempranillo; or a Caldera IPA. (For sides, add similarly spiced roast potatoes, with cool cucumber salad rife with garden fresh tomatoes, onion, peppers and herbs.)

With Roast beef tenderloin, prime rib or ribeye steaks; or on a budget, marinate tri-tip roast or steaks, to tenderize. Caprice Cabernet Sauvignon, Dana Campbell Malbec, or Roxy Ann’s Claret (bright rich and complex Bordeaux-blend of Cab Sauv, Cab Franc & Merlot), or a Lifeline Coffee Vanilla Porter from Portal Brewing. (On the side: roast sweet potatoes and corn on the cob, basted with savory blend of fresh thyme, oregano & rosemary.)

Whole roast chicken, stuffed with onion, fresh herb fronds and lemon slices, perfect with Ledger-David’s Primoris Chenin Blanc, Upper Five Sauvignon Blanc or Wooldridge Merlot.

Grilled Salmon/Scallops/Shrimp, basted with olive oil, garlic and lemon, with DanCin Pinot Noir, Ledger-David’s Sangiovese Rose, or Cliff Creek’s MRV (Marsanne-Roussanne-Viognier). Serve with grilled summer fresh veggies—zucchini, peppers, onions, corn on the cob, etc., the same garlic-infused oil baste, salt and pepper

Grilled Tofu or Tempeh, marinated in spicy garlic-ginger-peanut sauce, with Foris Gewurtztraminer or Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA.

Sweet and sour cabbage slaw, spiced yogurt and cucumber raita sauce.

All manner of sausages, dogs, pork ribs—sauce with robust, tomato-base bbq sauce, and pair with Basecamp Ripstop Rye Pils. (Side: Raisin/apple/bok choy slaw.)


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