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Wine suitable beer alternative with BBQ

PHOENIX — Beer and brats are as America as apple pie, but an Arizona winery owner has some alternatives to the tradition.

Sam Pillsbury, owner of Pillsbury Wine Company in Wilcox, Ariz. said while party goers are heating up the barbeque, they might want to bring out a bottle of wine to try with their meal.

There are many different varieties of meats that can be thrown on the barbeque so Pillsbury said it’s important to experiment to find optimal pairings.

For lighter and more complex sausages, such as Aidells Chicken and Sausage, Pillsbury recommends his Symphony wine, which compares closely with lighter white wines such as Chardonnay.

“That’s what I would call quite a good balance,” he said. “They’re sort of equal in intensity to each other.”

Pillsbury said the heavier meats such as Polish Kielbasas should be paired with heavier red wines, such as his Diva wine, that can handle the high fat content.

“For Kielbasas, you could go for a Cab or Merlot to balance out with that fat and pork and that little more smoky (flavor),” he said.

And if the barbeque is serving up traditional beef franks, Pillsbury said light to medium reds, such as his Wild Child, make a good duo.

“It’s not really smoky and really fatty and I think you could go with a lighter red like a Pinot Noir or Beaujolais,” he said.

As for condiments, Pillsbury said adding a little bit of ketchup and mustard doesn’t seem to ruin the flavor, but putting on too much could overpower the flavor of the sausage or wine.