Wines That Will Stick To Your Ribs

Sweet, spicy, chewy, meaty, salty, crispy and tender; welcome to the wonderful of words to describe one of the great decadent comfort foods of the world – BBQ’d ribs.

Classics foods have a tendency to establish a footprint in food cultures around the globe, so from Korean style bulgogi preparations, to the down-home tastiness defining classic southern American BBQ, you’ll find grilled ribs have become a delicious vehicle delivering bold flavours representative of countless regional cuisines.

And the news just keeps getting better. In addition to the choices before you today in terms of sauces, glazes and rubs, we also have access to a growing and delicious selection of meats to choose from. Whether we’re talking classics like beef and pork, or more adventurous choices like bison, venison or even lamb ribs, we today have access to better quality meats and more options to from which to choose.

While the 8 amazing recipes we’re sharing with you today will add their own gourmet flare to your next BBQ, another way to elevate an amazing rack of fall-off-the-bone ribs is with the addition of a couple of tasty wines.

But what makes a wine well-suited to matching with BBQ’d ribs?

First and foremost, it must be drinkable, refreshing an unpretentious. I mean seriously, no one wants to smear BBQ sauce all over their fancy Riedel stemware each time they reach for a sip of wine. Rather, for me, rib wine has to be the kind of vino you’re comfortable quaffing, preferably from casual stemware, like tumblers.

Classics smoky, sauced-up and spicy renditions call for red wine, as do red meat bases (beef, lamb and other game) but – as you’ll see from the list below – there are an increasing number of pork rib recipes showcasing dry rubs, aromatic herbs, stone fruit and even citrus rind that invite the introduction of a well-matched white wine.

Let’s start with the white. Even more delicate rubs featuring aromatic herbs tend to bring a bit of heat to the mix, which in my mind calls for a white wine with a touch of sweetness. In addition, I prefer whites with explosive aromatics, forward fruit and brightness. Off-dry Riesling and Chenin Blanc fit the bill, but my top wine pick alongside ribs this summer is this brand spanking new Gewurztraminer.

There’s no shortage of red wines I’d enjoy with great rack of ribs, but today I want to share a few that’ll be topping my list this summer. When looking at reds, I place a value on refreshment as a counterpoint to the fattiness, saltiness and overall intensity of flavour you’ll find in bolder rib recipes. When I talk about “refreshment”, I guess what I am really after is great freshness and acidity, with sufficient flavour intensity to match the flavour of the ribs.

So, when I start thinking about red wines that are big, bold and refreshing, my mind immediately goes to Spain (like this wine – which I consider to be the hands-down champ with ribs) where we find fabulous values Garnacha, Monastrell and Tempranillo-based reds that fit the bill. Other solid choices alongside ribs include wonderfully peppery Syrah or Shiraz (here’s a winner for your non-chicken dinner) from Australia or the south of France, or Argentina’s famously popular reds made from Malbec.

Now that you’re armed with a killer arsenal of rib-friendly vino, let’s get cooking. Here are 9 Delicious BBQ Recipes & Wine Pairings that will have your neighbours lining up at your door posturing for a dinner invite the moment the smoke starts wafting from your grill!

1. Calabrian Grilled Dry-Rubbed Pork Ribs – RECIPE

2. Citrus Dry-Rubbed Pork Ribs – RECIPE

3. Peach & Balsamic Glazed Pork Ribs – RECIPE

4. Apricot & Mustard Glazed Pork Ribs – RECIPE

5. Smoky & Spicy Bison Ribs – RECIPE

6. Rosemary & Balsamic BBQ Pork Ribs – RECIPE

7. Honey & Sherry Vinegar Glazed Lamb Ribs – RECIPE

8. Classic BBQ Sauce Glazed Venison Ribs – RECIPE

9. Soy & Sesame Glazed Beef Shortribs – RECIPE

Andrew Hanna /

Wines That Will Stick To Your Ribs: 9 Delicious BBQ Recipes & Wine Pairings

More about Andrew Hanna

Pulling corks and pushing cases as a third generation wine importer in Ontario, Canada selling fine wines and spirits produced by families - not factories. Get the full story at