So the theme is pair a wine with BBQ... Luckily, I was doing some barbecuing tonight in honor of the Fourth of July and we were also celebrating my girlfriend's birthday. I smoked ten pounds of Danish spare ribs, using a blend of hickory, apple, cherry, and sassafrass. They sat on the smoker for about four hours, and emerged delicious. Side dishes were simple: store-bought potato salad and cole slaw with some rolls (thanks, Paul!). I made the cake from scratch, and unfortunately don't have any pictures. The bottom layer was chocolate cake, the top layer was white chocolate, and it was covered in buttercream frosting--all made from scratch. I decorated the top with thin slices of kiwi and strawberry.
For the wine, I chose the Banrock Station Sparkling Chardonnay. This is a longtime favorite of mine, and can generally be found around here for $6-8. I like it with things like BBQ, fried chicken, chicken wings, etc. It's light and crisp, great served cold, and the sparkling character and decent acidity really cut through the grease. I also really like to use it as a starting beverage for casual dinner parties. As soon as everyone shows up, you pop a bottle of bubbly and everyone is immediately interested. It's not New Year's or a wedding, is it OK to drink sparkling wine? Hell yeah, and it goes great with those little fried appetizers.