I ran across a statistic the other day that I found hard to believe: 75 percent of Americans own a grill — which is a higher percentage than own a dishwasher.
One of the biggest grilling weekends of the year is upon us, and that means a review of the lingo might be worthwhile. After all, you don’t want to insult practitioners of the art of barbecuing.
Here’s the main difference: Barbecuing is undertaken slowly with a low fire, whereas grilling takes place at a much faster pace.
Whichever activity you plan to pursue this weekend as we celebrate the Declaration of Independence, keep in mind the one hard-and-fast rule of wine pairing: Select a wine that will complement the main flavor of the dish.
And with either grilling or barbecuing, virtually all other “rules” are out the window.
With a thick, juicy steak, it’s not just about the beef; it’s about the rub, or perhaps the type of coals or wood chips being used.
With a hamburger or hot dog, it’s not just about the flavor of the patty or the link; it’s largely about the condiments.
With pork chops or other cuts of meat, the marinade used comes into play.
And if you’re hosting a lot of people and need just a few bottles that are likely to please virtually everyone, opt for a rosé-style wine and a sparkling wine. They’ll refresh the palate and complement beef, poultry and fish, as well as rubs, marinades and flavors from the grill.
Finally, don’t worry if you have a grill but don’t have a dishwasher. Wine glasses should be washed by hand anyway.