BBQ Ribs: Smoky and Unbelievably Juicy
Many have the impression that to make BBQ ribs, you must be a pitmaster. Well, that’s so wrong. Everyone can cook delicious, mouthwatering barbecue specialties, including BBQ ribs, at home, even if they are not an expert. All you really need for the perfect BBQ ribs is a hot grill, honey or barbeque sauce marinade, and an abundance of dried herbs, like thyme and oregano.
Once you collect your ingredients, pre-cook your ribs low and slow in the oven. Then finish them off on the grill just before dinner time. Tip: Add barbeque sauce (or honey) after heating your pre-cooked ribs on the grill. When warmed up, glaze them with the BBQ sauce for an extra savory sensation. The secret is to cook the ribs in your oven at a low temperature before putting them on the grill. By doing so, you get super tender ribs, with the meat falling off the bone. Yummy!
What Kind of Ribs to Choose When Making BBQ Ribs?
Any pork type suffices to make delicious BBQ ribs. For optimal taste, go with spare ribs, cut from the belly, the place where you get your bacon and pancetta. In fact, this cut is fantastic: meaty and juicy. Additionally, you can opt for baby back ribs, which are also ribs taken from the belly. Keep in mind, though, that baby ribs are taken from the loin instead. They’re smaller than the other types of rib and have lean meats, making them a favorite of meat lovers.
What Wines Pair Well With BBQ Ribs?
Firing up the grill and cooking some juicy BBQ ribs is one thing; matching them with the appropriate wine is another. When we grill, we usually grill meat more than anything else, like poultry or fish. As a general rule, the best pairing with barbecued meats are bold, audacious, robust red wines. The reason for this is that the high fat and the umami in the meat balance out the heavy tannin structure of red wines.
When cooking BBQ ribs, you do not only add the typical barbecue sauce. But you season your meat with different smoky, sweet, and spicy flavors, too. So, you need to offset the intense smoke and spices of your BBQ ribs by using a wine that shares the same smoky and spicy elements. In every case, aim for heavier wines like Barolo, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sirah/Shiraz for the ultimate barbeque experience.
What About White Wine?
That is a common question among barbecue fans. White wines are suited to grilled chicken or fish, not meat. However, for some pork recipes, like BBQ or blackened ribs, there are some white wines you could try to pair. A creamy and barrel-fermented Chardonnay could be the best white wine with BBQ ribs. Likewise, a white Burgundy also makes an excellent choice, even if the ideal pairing with the latter is rockfish and trout.
Best Red Wines With BBQ Ribs
Domaine du Plantey Castillon – Côtes de Bordeaux
- Winery — Domaine du Plantey
- Country/Region — France, Bordeaux, Côtes de Bordeaux, Castillon – Côtes de Bordeaux
- Type — Bordeaux Red
- Aroma — Blackberry, Plum, Fig, Strawberry, Licorice, Cassis
- Grapes — Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot
- Taste — Cherry, Prune, Blackberry, Bramble, Mushroom, Leather, Game Meat, Earth, Toasted Oak
- Alcohol Content — 14%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — BBQ Ribs, Lamb Rack, Smoked Venison, Braised Chicken, Meatloaf, Salmon
Côtes de Bordeaux is a 100% Merlot produced from 35-year-old vines in the most traditional and balanced style of Bordeaux. With dominating red fruit on the nose and the mouth, the wine shows complexities, boldness, and finesse until the gratifying, albeit short end. An ideal wine for the best BBQ ribs wine pairing!
This densely structured wine is packed with aromas of dark fruits, namely blackberries, plums, and figs, as well as nuances of strawberries, licorice, and burnt cassis. On the palate, a layer of fine-grained tannins combine with smoky flavors from wood aging and tastes of cherries, prunes, and brambles. On top of this, subsequent elements of leather and mushroom give a meaty and earthy character to the mouth. The finish is slightly disappointing, as it is short. Yet, it does manage to show lingering notes of both black and red fruits.
The Domaine du Plantey winery is based in Gironde in southwest France and is known for constantly producing high-end vintages. In fact, it has received numerous awards and accolades for its wines, making it one of the most successful wineries of Gironde. If you happen to stumble upon a Domaine de Plantey wine, don’t miss out on the opportunity and buy it without a second thought!
The Paring Red
- Winery — The Paring
- Country/Region — United States, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County, Santa Ynez Valley
- Type — Californian Bordeaux Blend
- Aroma — Mulberry, Raspberry, Thyme, Oregano, Barnyard, Coffee, Anise
- Grapes — 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot
- Taste — Plum, Strawberry, Graphite, Cassis, Underbrush, Tobacco, Thyme
- Alcohol Content — 14.1%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — BBQ Ribs, Kebab, Sausage, Marbled Steak, Pork Chops, Oven-baked Chicken, Manchego
With a nose of black fruits, thyme, coffee, and anise, this wine opens delightfully. In the mouth, the flavors alternate between sweet and savory. Gentle and smooth tannins drive into a long finish. As you pour The Paring Red into a glass, you experience a fascinating nose blending mulberries, raspberries, green herbs, like thyme and oregano, with savory notes of barnyard, coffee, and anise.
Vibrant flavors of cassis, underbrush, herbs, and tobacco dominate the palate, as tastes of plums, strawberries, and graphite, contribute depth. Dusty, fine-grained tannins accompany a bright acidity and lead to the super long and also precise aftertaste. Elegant and balanced, The Paring Red is wonderful to drink.
Producing Vibrant and Versatile Wines Ideal for Every Occasion
The Paring winery focuses on producing honest and yummy wines perfect for any table and occasion. The inspiration behind the winery’s name is the Paring knife, which is every chef’s staple for its effectiveness and versatility. In the same way, The Paring wines are crafted with equal intention. Vibrant, complex, and versatile, these wines aim to complement every occasion and moment. It’s possibly the best red wine with BBQ ribs.
Monchiero Carbone I Nobili Barolo
- Winery — Monchiero Carbone
- Country/Region — Italy, Piemonte, Barolo
- Type — Italian Barolo
- Aroma — Raspberry, Strawberry, Grapefruit, Thyme, Mint, Leather, Smoke, Blackberry
- Grapes — Nebbiolo
- Taste — Cherry, Plum, Redcurrant, Bramble, Fig, Prune, Tobacco, Anise, Flint
- Alcohol Content — 14%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — BBQ Ribs, Tomahawk Steak, Spareribs, Beef Burger, Leg Of Lamb, Brie
Red fruits, subtle citruses, crushed savory herb aromas, and leather define the nose. The palate is linear, offering cherries, coffee, tobacco, and anise alongside dusty tannins and uplifting acidity. The oak-influenced finish is medium but pleasant. Raspberries, strawberries, grapefruits, and thyme scents emerge as you pop the cork from the bottle. But, the aromatic pleasure is not over yet.
Soon, you experience bold aromas of leather, smoke, mint, blackberries, and tomato leaf. As the wine enters the mouth, you find yourself indulged in flavors of cherries, plums, coffee, and sweet tobacco, as well as sensations of anise and minerals. The dusty tannins are great and join a refreshing acidity before finishing in the medium oak-driven aftertaste.
Resuming Wine Production After Decades
Located in Canale, in the center of the Roero hills, Monchiero Carbone was founded in 1987 when a local farmhouse was purchased. After years of working in many Italian wineries, Marco Monchiero was returning to his hometown when he decided to buy the farmhouse. The decision was influenced by an extensive wine cellar previously owned by a well-off local family. That happened sometime in the early 1900s.
Around that time, Marco and his wife Lucetta Carbone started producing wine commercially, but their venture was interrupted. It didn’t continue until 1990 when their son Francesco decided to take on the family vineyards and continue the heritage from where it had stopped.
Frank Family Zinfandel
- Winery — Frank Family
- Country/Region — United States, California, North Coast, Napa County, Napa Valley
- Type — Californian Zinfandel
- Aroma — Raspberry, Blackberry, Blackcurrant, Coffee, Potpourri
- Grapes — Zinfandel
- Taste — Blackberry, Cherry, Redcurrant, Smoke, Pepper, Butterscotch, Sage, Eucalyptus
- Alcohol Content — 14.6%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — BBQ Ribs, Fillet Mignon, Flank Steak, Smoked Sausage, Fried Chicken, And Lasagna
Frank Family Zinfandel is an earthy but fragrant wine with a core of dark and red fruits. You can expect flavors such as raspberries, blackberries, and a touch of coffee and cardamom. Robust tannins blend nicely with the lingering finish, producing an inspirational aftertaste.
This Zinfandel shows deep garnet-purple colors, which appear very attractive in the glass. Aromas of raspberries, blackberries, and blackcurrants add to the wine’s acidity, while fragrances of potpourri, mocha, and baking spice complete the nose. In the mouth, the wine is full-bodied with a core of black and red fruits, joined by smooth, rounded tannins. The lengthy finish has a light, peppery twist.
A Historic Winery
Frank Family Vineyards is considered one of the oldest wineries in the United States. Originally named Larkmead Winery in 1884, it changed its name after it was re-finished in sandstone in 1906. The wines are produced by the owner, Richard Frank, and are only sold from the winery to selected wine merchants. Frank Family Vineyards has a large catalog of wines, including Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and sparkling wines produced in a traditional method.
Domaine Terlato & Chapoutier Lieu dit Malakoff Shiraz
- Winery — Domaine Terlato & Chapoutier
- Country/Region — Australia, Victoria, Western Victoria, Pyrenees
- Type — Australian Shiraz
- Aroma — Blackberry, Redcurrant, Fig, Chocolate, Coffee, Eucalyptus, Pepper
- Grapes — Syrah
- Taste — Plum, Cherry, Bramble, Clove, Leather, Game Meat, Smoke
- Alcohol Content — 14%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — BBQ Ribs, Braised Beef, Lamb Rack, Duck, Barbequed Pork, Aged Gouda
Deep ruby in color. Very aromatic with fragrances of black fruits and overtones of chocolate, coffee, and eucalyptus. Medium-to-full-bodied, elegant, and delicious, this Shiraz is exceptional. Opening with a highly aromatic nose of blackberries, redcurrants, and figs, alongside whiffs of chocolate, coffee, eucalyptus, and pepper, Domaine Terlato & Chapoutier Lieu dit Malakoff Shiraz perfumes wonderfully.
On the palate, the wine boasts explosive notes of plums, cherries, brambles, and cloves, as well as soft tastes of leather and game meat. Elegant tannins give a lasting, almost creamy aftertaste, while the brisk acidity stimulates. Rich and structured, this wine has tremendous aging potential.
A Powerful Partnership
Domaine Terlato & Chapoutier is the realization of the vision of Anthony J. Terlato, founder of luxury wine importer Terlato Wines International, and Michel Chapoutier, a renowned Rhône Valley grape grower and vintner who produces exalted wines.
This partnership dates to 1998, when Chapoutier told Terlato about a great vineyard site in Central Victoria, Australia, on the southern edge of the Pyrenees Hills. The region’s iron-rich and schist soils proved fantastic as Domaine Terlato & Chapoutier crafts fine single-vineyard Shiraz and Shiraz-Viognier blends.
Granted, finding the perfect BBQ ribs wine match is not easy. It requires dedication and persistence to try out a vast variety of, mostly, red wines. However, the above bottlings should suffice, at least when it comes to the wine pairing for your juicy barbecued ribs. Just choose any of them, invite your friends over and make for the patio to indulge in a smoky and finger-licking experience!