Rosé: The Wine For BBQ, Grilling, and Living

Posted on: August 19th, 2013 by

smoked pork tenderloin

What’s the best wine for BBQ? Sheesh, that’s a topic akin to opening a can of worms. (Sorry if I have you thinking about grilling worms.) For some, BBQ means one thing only: slow and low cooking. For others, if you’ve got burgers and dogs on the grill, that’s BBQ. Not only do you have different techniques, but when you throw in all the rubs, sauces, condiments, and sides, you’ve got a wine minefield. (Winefield?)

Luckily, I am able to turn to my friend Mary Cressler for some advice. She’s a wine educator, consultant, and writer; you can find the culmination of all these pursuits on the Vindulge Wine Blog. And she grills and smokes (food) with the best of ’em. Seriously, she’s got tongs in one hand and a corkscrew in the other right now. Luckily, she can still talk with her hands occupied in such a manner, and was able to be my guest on the Wine Without Worry podcast. Mary probably has some kind of badass grilling utility belt befitting a brisket superhero. At least that’s what I think.

But don’t just take my word for it. That meat you see on the smoker? And sliced below? That would be Mary’s Award Winning Cheddar Beer Kettle Crusted Smoked Pork Tenderloin. Damn, she used finely ground potato chips as part of her rub. Genius. (And thanks to Mary for letting me use her photos.)

Cheddar Beer Kettle Crusted Smoked Pork Loin sliced up_ Vindulgeblog

One of the things that Mary and I both agree on is that whatever you have on the outdoor table, you need rosé. Because while you’re standing around, enjoying salty snacks, socializing, and waiting for your meat to be ready, why not enjoy one of the most pleasurable and versatile wines on the planet? Don’t fear enjoying your steak, burgers, dogs, whatever with rosé. And vegetarians rejoice, as it’s one vegetable-loving wine. Also, rosé looks really pretty in a glass. That matters, right?


Mary, is this a good spot for the grill?


“Do you own stock in a white T-shirt consortium?” –Mary Cressler

Rosé would also look very pretty on the Greek island of Santorini, where Mary and I met while on a press trip together. We were both awed by the blues and whites, the impeccable vegetables and otherworldly feta producing the ultimate Greek salad, the rugged, one-of-a-kind vineyards, and one dry white wine in particular: Assyrtiko. Additionally, Mary was impressed with the amount of white T-shirts I own. We take a bit of stroll down memory lane.

Also discussed: Gruner Veltliner, Rioja, Oregon, my lack of fashion, Soter pop. And what’s the big deal with aged wines?

Wine Without Worry Episode 17 on iTunes: BBQ and Wine: Celebrate the Thrill of the Grill

And check out Mary’s Wine Pairing Guide to Barbecue.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Tags: , ,

9 Responses

  1. […] was honored and admittedly a bit terrified when Jameson Fink asked me to be a guest on his podcast Wine Without Worry to discuss this very topic.  The later because the subject of BBQ alone can spark very heated […]

  2. Mary says:

    For those interested in our style of smoker, we use an electric pellet grill, a Traeger specifically. Electric smokers come in a variety of styles from water smoker to pellet style. Ours mirrors a typical indirect smoker as the pellets are fed to a fire box with an auger, the pellets are real wood, and a fan rotates the smoke and an airflow through the smoker itself providing even heat throughout. A down fall with any airflow is dry air, so we add a water pan of some kind for humidity. Any smoker runs the risk of dry air, so a water pan of some kind is normal for humidity.

  3. I’m the biggest rose’ proselytizer around, unsung hero and all that, but a big problem with overall rose’ production is that many are simply insipid and you have to seek one out that would stand up to bbq. Not that the seeking would be a bad thing!

    A good Manhattan would also get things rolling!

    • Jameson says:


      The seeking out is a tough job that I’m willing to do. I’m also a big fan of Manhattans; I like how you roll!



  4. […] has his pasta tenets; I (Jameson Fink) have my wine ones. Like what’s my go-to wine for BBQ. I’ve got a pick to pair with a potato chip-crusted smoked pork tenderloin. It’s also a wine to pair with life. And […]

  5. Love the article and just subscribed to the podcast.
    Rosés are so versatile with food…and with life! Too bad they are so misunderstood. I just heard a couple at a bar saying how they loved this rosé because it was dry unlike most rosés…too bad! At least they had ordered it!
    Even in Spain, where I drank so much cheap and good rosado, it was largely dismissed.
    Things are changing I think, I hope…

    • Jameson says:


      Thank you for your comment and podcast subscription. You said it best: “Rosés are so versatile with food…and with life!”

  6. […] for more wine and BBQ pairing ideas, here’s my Wine Pairing Guide to Barbecue and a podcast, BBQ and Wine, where I discuss the topic with Jameson […]

Tell Us What you Think