But because those flavors can be so assertive, many wines that see extensive time in new oak can be challenging to pair with food.
That said, there is one type of “cuisine” that works extremely well with oak-aged wines, particularly reds — barbecue. The char of the meat and the smoky (and sometimes sweet) flavors of the wine meld like a beautiful voice with a beautiful melody. Think: Julie Andrews singing “The Hills Are Alive” in “The Sound of Music.”
Among the wines that work well with various types of barbecued fare are Zinfandel, Syrah and Pinot Noir. Check out some tasty choices here.
By the way, if you happen to be traveling to California’s North Coast wine country this summer and are looking for a fun barbecue experience, consider attending one of Rancho Nicasio’s “Barbecues on the Lawn” concerts in western Marin County.
The concerts take place on Sundays at 4 p.m., and feature a wide array of “Americana” acts, ranging from acclaimed singer/songwriter Paul Thorn to blues siren Marcia Ball. This summer, the schedule also includes the subdudes, Elvin Bishop with Charlie Musselwhite, Asleep at the Wheel, and Leon Russell. For the full July and August lineups, click here.