BLOG: Barbecue like a Butcher with Ravenswood

The Summer wind-down has already started. We’re hoping for an Indian Summer that fades into late September, but it’s guaranteed that Torontonians will be stretching patio season for as long as possible into the Fall. To keep you grillin’ and chillin’ past BBQ season, we partnered with Matthew Kumprey from Toronto’s The Butcher’s Son to bring you his top tips to own the barbeque like a butcher! 

  1. It’s not all about the look. Choosing meat based on the look – deep red colouring and marbling are great visual cues – doesn’t tell the whole story. Age matters – and the length of time meat has been aged can’t be seen by eye. Instead, ask your butcher for something that’s been aged for 4-6 weeks.
  2. Think beyond premium cuts. Don’t feel like you have to go with a premium cut of meat – like rib eye or striploin – to impress guests. There’s a number of less expensive cuts of meats that are surprisingly flavourful and perfect for grilling. Matt’s pick? A skirt steak – seasoned simply with salt and pepper and then seared on the grill at a high heat for just a few minutes.
  3. Practice patience. To get that perfect sear, make sure your grill is preheated and try to avoid moving the meat around too much. And although it’s tempting to dig in right off the grill, don’t forget to let your meat rest for at least 5-10 minutes – this is key to keeping it nice and juicy.
  4. The perfect pairing. Unexpected as it may sound, Matt’s pick for a wine to pair with any grilled meat is Zinfandel. Zin’s full-bodied flavours are the perfect complement to any type of grilled meat – be it steaks, sausages or burgers – offering a world of undiscovered flavours. Opt for Ravenswood Zinfandel, boasting of big, bold flavours and ripened dark berry fruit. For an even bigger punch, try layering flavours with a Ravenswood Zinfandel marinade.
  5. An unexpected finish. Using a squeeze of fresh lemon as a finisher is common when preparing fish, but it’s a great trick for steaks as well. The acidity will bring out the flavours in the meat, adding an unexpected touch of finesse.

We all know that big meats deserve big, bold reds and nothing pairs with the perfect cut of meat like a California stunner. Ravenswood Old Vine Zinfandel should be your go-to BBQ wine! Check out this marinade recipe below created by Matthew himself!

Ravenswood Blueberry Miami Rib Marinade


The freshness of the blueberries, sweetness of honey and bold flavours from Ravenswood Zinfandel makes this marinade a sure fire hit for summer grilling. And don’t feel confined to using this for ribs alone – this marinade would add a punch of flavour to other cuts of meat such as a skirt, bavette or flank steak. – Matthew Kumprey, Butcher

Yields approximately 1 litre


  • 2 cups Ravenswood Zinfandel wine
  • 2 pints, blueberries
  • 1 ½ cups honey
  • ½ bunch fresh thyme, chopped
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of salt
  • ½ cup of vegetable oil


1. Add all of the ingredients into a bowl or food grade plastic container, except the oil.

2. Use a hand-held immersion blender and carefully blend all ingredients together.

3. Slowly add the oil and emulsify.

4. Submerge your ribs or choice of meat in the marinade.

5. Let meat rest in the marinade for approximately 18-24 hours.

6. Remove meat from bowl and grill on high heat for a few minutes on each side. Char the meat – the sugars from the marinade will create a nice caramelized texture.