Rosé + BBQ = A Perfect Pairing {Learn Italian with Food & Wine}

Syrah Rose Paso Robles California Trader Joe's

Ciao a tutti! Here’s a preview of what’s in this post!

  • How to learn Italian while drinking wine
  • How to say “a match made in heaven” in Italian
  • Why rosé pairs so nicely with BBQ
  • Why rosé is pink
  • A suggestion for an affordable rosé from Trader Joe’s + a recipe to pair it with
How to Learn Italian While Drinking Wine

Wouldn’t it be nice if drinking wine could help you learn Italian?

Well, actually, it CAN!

And I don’t mean drinking until you get ubriaco (drunk – for males) or ubriaca (drunk – for females).

Memory is all about making associations. All you have to do is link new information to something familiar in a way that suits your learning style. (Not sure what your learning style is? Take a quiz in English or Italian!)

Let’s say that it’s a hot summer’s day, you’re enjoying a meal of BBQ paired with a nice, crisp, refreshing glass of rosé, and you think, “these are a perfect pairing, a match made in heaven!”

Now you have an image in your mind of something familiar, rosé + BBQ (visual learning), along with the action of eating & drinking (kinesthetic learning). Then, let’s take this familiar image & action and associate it with a new Italian phrase.

How to Say “A Match Made in Heaven” in Italian
  • Stanno come il cacio sui maccheroni (they go together like cheese & maccheroni)

Il rosé col BBQ ci sta come il cacio sui maccheroni. 

Rose and BBQ are a match made in heaven. (Literally: Rosé with BBQ go together like cheese & maccheroni).

If you are talking about a couple, it’s better to say “sono fatti l’uno per l’altro” (they are made for each other).

How to say a match made in heaven in Italian

Why Rosé Pairs Perfectly with BBQ

Salty food + wine is another combinazione perfetta. Salt makes the wine seem more full-bodied, less bitter & acidic, and brings out the fruity notes.

Pairing suggestions: 

Rosé can be enjoyed with or without food, but here are two recipes where the food & wine bring out the best of each other: (recipes coming soon)

  • Italian Style Ribs (costicine): grilled with just salt & pepper how they are served at Italian fairs (sagre)
  • Italian Food Truck Panino: sausage, porchetta, caramelized onions, roasted red bell peppers, Fontina cheese, and a drizzle of hot sauce
Why Rosé is Pink

Rosé can be made from any dark-skinned grape. There are two major differences between rosé and red wine. The first is the amount of time in contact with the skins of the grapes, which give the wine its color. That’s why depending on the grape varietal used, you can have different shades of rosé from pink, salmon, to orange with different levels of intensity. Rosé is in contact with grape skins anywhere from 12-36 hours, and is fermented (the process in which sugar eats yeast and produces alcohol as a byproduct) without the skins. On the other hand, red wine has 5 days 2 weeks in contact with grape skins.

Rosé Tasting Notes & Serving Tips

I love shopping at Trader Joe’s, so I usually pick up a bottle of wine there because it’s convenient, affordable, and always tastes great!

Josefina Syrah Rosé (2017) Paso Robles, San Antonio Winery ($5.99 from Trader Joe’s)

  • Appearance: medium salmon
  • Nose: Lightly tropical, freshly cut melons
  • Palate: Medium-dry (abbocato in Italian), medium acidity, low tannin, medium body, notes of melon, guava, strawberry,  & refreshing minerality
  • Serving Temperature: Chilled, 8-10 degrees Celsius, 45-50 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Serving Glass: Any glass you have! Or these rosé glasses if you want to get specific
  • Aging Potential: Rosé is typically enjoyed young. However, rosé from Bandol, France has the ability to age longer because of the aging power of Mourvèdre. I wish I had known this when I taught English for a year in the neighboring town of Six-Fours-Les-Plages, located along the gorgeous Côte d’Azur).

If you love watching videos, I made one chatting about rosé on my YouTube channel. You can play a fun drinking game and take a sip every time I say SO. (Never realized that it was my favorite word until now, lol).

I also get interrupted by a dog, a bee, a truck, and a helicopter, so be sure to stay for the bloopers! I’m still working on figuring out lighting & editing, and had to film with my iPhone because the microphone isn’t working on my Canon. Usually I would let these things stop me, but even though I’m such a shy/private person, for some reason I have a strong desire to share my love of Italian food & wine, so I’m going to just go with it!

Conversation Questions:
  • Do you have a favorite rosé? What do you love to pair it with?
  • Are you a Trader Joe’s wine shopper too? Where do you usually buy your wine?
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Ciao, I'm Kelly!

Welcome to my adventures in learning Italian, often while cooking authentic Italian recipes and wine tasting! I love discovering the traditional regional cuisine of Italy and trying to recreate those dishes when I'm back home in the US. I'm also on my way to becoming an Italian citizen through jure sanguinis (by ancestry).

WSET Level 2 Certified Wine Blogger


Join me for a virtual "aperitivo chat" to get exclusive updates on my Italian progress, dual citizenship journey, plus food & wine adventures in the Bel Paese and beyond!

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LuLu B - Calabrisella Mia

This is a great post, very informative and fun.


[…] to choose a favorite, but I do have a penchant for pecorino & truffles, so the two together stanno come il cacio sui maccheroni (go together like cheese and maccheroni – the Italian version of “a match made in […]

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