It’s sundown on a clear summer’s evening.

Little pillows of smoke rise from behind every other fence in our little town. The strong scent of burning coal and slow burning wood is carried by the Benicia breeze. As I sit on my balcony enjoying the aromas, what the hell am I doing drinking a basic beer? With my senses being awoken like this, I need something more complex. I need wine!

The beauty of BBQ meat is that it goes great with so many options. We could go robust with a hefty cabernet, or even a merlot to enhance the grape jelly marinades. But the 9pm sundown wouldn’t allow something so heavy. Staying awake for second helpings and dessert is key. We need something light to enjoy in the late night heat. Before we dig in, we need something refreshing to start. A crisp rosé will refresh the pallet and the nose from the overpowering smoke. A great starter to sip on while “patiently” waiting for the pork to tender down in it’s long smoldering smoke bath. I have just the line up for such a savory evening. Mt. Beautiful wines will pair perfectly.

Mt. Beautiful, a winery located in the South Island of New Zealand.

Taking center stage in the North Canterbury region, this winery produces much more than a Sauvignon Blanc. The rolling hills and unpredictable coastal weather creates a complex pinot noir, a bright chardonnay and a textural acidic riesling. This wine aims to surprise your tastebuds. Their 2020 rosé is a fragrant wine, created with a slight touch of savory pinot noir skins and blended with refreshing pinot gris. The blend creates a subtle strawberry and freshly cut pear flavor. The finish is simple and crisp. Goes beautifully with a few taste tests of pulled pork, in my opinion.

When going further into the evening, you’ll need something to pair with your full tower of meat. When I think of BBQ, I think of my dad’s slow cooked/smoked ribs. A rich rack of baby backs. Every bite is tender, sweet and graced with a little kick of spice. Mt. Beautiful pinot noir would be my choice to wash these bad boys down with. The pinot noir gives an exceptionally juicy introduction to the pallet. Softening and complimenting the spicy kick from the ribs. Finishing with a slight tannic and an earthy aroma.

You can find these wines or pick them up in our very own town. Mt. Beautiful has a US office located in the Benicia Arsenal District. Feel free to order online and note for pick up in Benicia.

Just mention baby back ribs. They’ll know what you’re looking for. Unfortunately, there are no tastings, but if you’d like to try a glass or two, The Chill and Lucca’s offer a few Mt. Beautiful wines by the glass.