Barbecued Baby Back Ribs | Wine Enthusiast
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Barbecued Baby Back Ribs

Ribs are a perennial favorite barbecue category, and perhaps the easiest to approximate on a humble gas grill. It’s not so much the type of ribs you use as the type of dry rub or sauce you choose that will make the difference for the wine. This recipe uses a rub in the mid-range: a little zing, a dash of pepper, and a finish that leaves you with some feeling in your lips and on your tongue.


3 2-pound racks of pork loin ribs, trimmed
3 tablespoons garlic salt
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon onion salt
1 teaspoon dried sage
½ teaspoon ground celery seeds
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1–2 cups apple juice


Trim excess fat from ribs; remove membrane from back of each rack. Sprinkle both sides of ribs with a mixture of garlic salt, paprika, onion salt, sage, celery seeds and cayenne. Place ribs on grill rack in covered grill with water pan. Cook with lid down over medium-hot coals for 4 hours, turning after 11/2 hours. Baste every hour with apple juice. Serves 6.

Pair It

Nicely balanced, unpretentious Tuscan wines are a great match with barbecued ribs. Good choices are Ruffino’s Chianti Classico, Castello di Gabbiano, Castello di Brolio, Fontodi, Badia a Coltibuono, and Monsanto. Rosso di Montalcino also goes well with ribs; try the Castello Banfi Rosso di Montalcino, Altesino’s Rosso di Montalcino or lower-priced Rosso di Altesino, or Caparzo Rosso di Montalcino. Rioja is another suitable match.

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