Professional pitmasters and backyard chefs know that a great bottle of wine can turn an ordinary barbecue into a rich and flavorful feast. We craft Redwood Creek wines to pair perfectly with decadent, savory foods, and barbecue is no exception. Pick your favorite Redwood Creek varietal, and try these tricks of the trade from grilling pros Mike and Christine Peters.
Seasonings and Marinades
Season and marinate your food well before you grill it, making sure to evenly cover the entire cut of meat. For a steak that gets flipped once, put extra seasoning on top, since you'll lose some of the seasoning when you turn the steak over.
A great wine needs time to develop. The same is true for a grill – it needs some time to achieve the perfect level of heat. Try this test: Hold your hand over the cooking surface. If your hand feels too hot and must be pulled away within three 3 seconds, it's cooking time.
Vegetable sprays can cause a flare-up on a hot grill. Instead, use a high quality, restaurant-grade olive oil to grease your grill. You can also use the fat trimmings from your steak, or slice an onion in half and wipe it over the grates.
Just as oak can add wonderful nuances to a wine as it ages, wood chips can impart delicious flavors to grilled foods. For a strong, savory flavor, try hickory or mesquite wood chips. For a hint of sweetness, use wood chips with fruit flavors. And, for a quintessential food and wine experience, try oak chips from barrels used for aging wine.
Steak needs time to rest – before and after you grill it. Letting your steak warm up prior to throwing it on the grill will ensure a thoroughly cooked cut of meat. Grill it over direct heat and let it rest again to absorb all the flavorful juices. This is the perfect time to drizzle a savory seasoning over your masterpiece.
Every bottle of Redwood Creek wine needs a wine opener, and every grill needs a nice pair of tongs. Whether you're grilling classic hot dogs and burgers or gourmet steaks, you'll need a set of tongs to properly turn and cook your food.
Take a Peek
Pitmasters like to think of barbecue as an art from that is low and slow. As the saying goes, "if you're looking, you aren't cooking." There's no need to hover over the grill, but when cooking over direct heat, it's a good idea to check on your food every now and then to ensure it doesn't over cook.
When it's time to serve, food is just like wine – the right temperature is key. Whether you use a digital quick read thermometer or a basic probe thermometer, make sure whatever you cook up on the grill reaches the proper temperature. Grill chicken to 165°F, pork to 140°F, medium-rare steak to 130°F, and well-done steak to 160°F.
Keep it Clean
A great cut of meat deserves a sparkling grill. As your grill is cooling off after cooking, use a wire brush to clean it while it's still hot. Don't have a brush handy? Crinkled aluminum foil does a great job in a pinch.