Saturday, May 1, 2010

Beverage Pairings for Everyone at the BBQ

Continuing on from yesterday's backyard party inspired recipe I found a burger that will make guests at your party smile. Today I am going to offer beverage selections for everyone at the party, including children and non-drinkers.

Jennifer at the Wuthering Iris blog shared the recipe for BBQ Chip Beef Burgers which is featured in today's Foodbuzz Top 9. Check it out at:

The burger will definitely have a spicy backbone so you will need some refreshing drinks to manage the heat.

Serving a medium sweet iced tea infused with peach will be cool and refreshing with flavors that will balance well with the savory and spicy beef. Lipton makes a powdered iced tea mix with peach flavoring. Using such a mix allows the maker to manage how sweet and strong the tea ultimately is. For kids and those with a sweet tooth who crave soda on a hot day, the Pure Cane Strawberry Lime soda from Jones Soda will provide the fruit and sweet to go very well with the burger.

Every day beer drinkers might not give too much thought to pairing specific beers with party food, but I have had so many wonderful experiences when I have that I believe it is well worth it to try. In 2007 I made a honey lemon infused wheat ale that paired very well with everything we served in the backyard that summer. I would recomend trying the Rogue Somer Orange Honey Ale with this burger. This beer has gentle citrus aromas and flavors and a slight sweet taste on the finish. Another choice might the Allagash White. With aromas and flavors of citrus and spice and a mild wheat body it will be refreshing and subtle with any food it is paired with. Both of these beers are easily found in my area for between $7 and $9 for a 22oz/750ml size bottle.

Wine pairings with spicy barbeque food can be done in one of two ways. Medium to off-dry whites with fanciful aromas to tame the spice or fruity bold reds that join with the food to add more complexity to the flavors. I say serve both. Inevitably you will have guests that are more white or more red in their orientation and having both options will bring you much appreciation. When serving wine outdoors during warm weather you will want to keep an eye on the temperature even more than you might other times of the year. Red wines in particular do not taste any good when they are too cold or too warm, and too warm is especially an issue for reds with higher alcohol content. Storing wines in a bucket with ice coming 1/3 or so of the way up the bottle will ensure they stay cool but not cold. The Dr. Loosen QBA Riesling is a wonderful, approachable white wine with enough sweetness to manage any heat, but plenty of fruit flavors and aromas to be enjoyed on its own. This wine is also a steal at $13 and often cheaper when on sale. I have enjoyed a bottle of the Two Hands Angel's Share Shiraz with slow cooked spicy pulled pork and would recomend it here. This wine is very fruity and rich and is an wonderful example of Australian Shiraz. At $23 it is more expensive than my everyday choices, but a backyard party doesn't happen everyday!




Sandy said...

Jason, I love your pairing options, so nice that you give non-alcoholic options too! I love BBQ and beer so I'm also happy to see some beer options. thanks!

Jason Phelps said...

Thank you so much for taking a look. Beer and BBQ is hard to beat!

As part of my sommelier training I need to be able to pair beverages across many potential options looking for specific matches or maximizing enjoyment. I thought I would try a few things new types of suggestions see how the worked.