Sweet Plum BBQ Ribs & Pinotage

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Sweet wine pairings can be some of the most intimidating, especially for those who aren’t a big fan of sweeter wines to begin with. Describing a wine as sweet often brings up images of dessert reds or cheap blends you drink when you are a young college student just trying to have glass after finals. The truth is that some pretty amazing, complex, and delicious flavors can come from a food and wine pairing with the right level of sweetness and balance. These sweet BBQ ribs with this delicious Pinotage will show you just that!

Amy’s Wine Pick : Kuduland Pinotage 2017

Laura’s Food Pick : Sweet Plum BBQ Ribs

Sweet Plum BBQ Ribs & Pinotage

This gorgeous red comes to us all the way from coastal South Africa, and the beautiful packaging hints at its rich heritage. South Africa’s signature grape, it comes from a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault. You’ll notice hints of caramel and leather, with intense notes of dried cherry.

This wine is definitely on the sweeter side, but don’t let that deter you from serving it during the main course at your next backyard barbecue.  The balance of acidity, earthy flavors, and sweet notes compliment both sweet and smoky sauces making it an excellent match for a variety of grilled meats.

The Trick To Sweet & Savory Pairings

Many worry that the combination of a sweet sauce and a sweet wine will be too much during dinner. But the reality is that sweetness in food will naturally diminish the perception of sweetness in the wine, leading to a perfect balance. The wine will feel a bit drier than it does when enjoyed on it’s own, allowing you to notice a greater depth of complex flavors.

The trick with this pairing, and any savory pairing with sweet wine, is seasoning the dish properly. Since the sweetness will enhance other flavors, you’ll want to be sure your dish really packs a punch in the seasoning department to stand up next to your wine. Sweet and salty is also an age old favorite. Don’t shy away from the salt. Some salty potatoes or sweet n’ salty roasted corn cobs would be a great accompaniment to this pairing.

This original version of this recipe actually calls for it to be cooked in a slow cooker. And let me tell you, they come out delicious! We also like to do a version on the grill using the snake method to smoke our ribs. If you choose to go this route, hold off on adding the sauce until they are almost done. For a full tutorial on smoking pork ribs, check out this great step-by-step.

When summer time rolls around, you are sure to find us in our backyard. Lounging around the pool with the kids, my husband manning the grill. It is our absolute favorite! So you can be sure this recipe will be a summer staple for us! Now to get my hands on a few more bottles of this Pinotage!!

Do you have a go-to summertime food & wine pairing? Share it with us in the comments!







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Recipe : Sweet Plum BBQ Ribs

Courtesy of Wildtree
Sweet Plum BBQ Ribs
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 4 – 5 hours
Servings: 8


3 pounds pork ribs

1 cup Sweet Plum BBQ Sauce


  • Place the spare ribs in the bottom of a slow cooker. Cover with 1/2 cup sweet Plum BBQ Sauce. Cook on high for 4 hours.

  • Transfer ribs to a sheet pan. Brush with remaining 1/2 cup sweet Plum BBQ Sauce. Broil until slightly browned.

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Sweet Plum BBQ Ribs & PinotageSweet Plum BBQ Ribs Recipe

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