There are few things better than a summer barbecue in the sunshine with a few friends and a delicious glass of wine.
But it's time to forget those days of washing down a burnt burger with some warm (and questionable) drink served in a plastic cup, because there are so many wine options to suit a variety of taste preferences and BBQ foods! But just like the choices for what goes on the grill, the wine choices to match are equally endless so choosing the right wine can be a challenge. When choosing a wine for your next BBQ the main things you want to watch for are the meat type and sauces/marinades.
BBQ Dishes & Wine Pairing Overview:
Here are some wine pairings for classic barbecue dishes. To make things simple in this overview, we’ve disregarded the marinades and sauces in this list, but read further into the article for more on pairing with sauces!
- Steak - Malbec, Syrah/Shiraz, Merlot
- Burgers – Grenache blends, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc
- Sausages – Tempranillo, Pinot Noir
- BBQ chicken – Chardonnay, Pinot Gris
- Pork – Garnacha, dry Riesling, Primitivo
- Grilled White Fish - Sparkling, Pinot Gris, Chilled Pinot Noir
- Veggie Skewers - Chenin Blanc, dry rosé, Pinot Noir
Typically, we grill heavier meats (here we're referring to anything other than poultry and fish) at a BBQ. And as a general rule, red wines pair excellently well with those types of barbecue-grilled meats. Why? Because the savoriness and high fat in those heavier meats will balance out with the tannin in red wine.
For pork barbecue, you’re often seasoning with sweet, spicy, smoky, and tangy flavours and adding more flavours with sauces. In this instance, you can use your wine to balance the smoke and spice of your grilled pork with something fruity that has similar smoky-spicy flavours. Here are our wine suggestions:
- Porcheria from Zio Porco (Italian blend and medium to full-bodied)
- Rebel.lia from Bodegas Vegalfaro (Strong full-body Spanish blend)
Also, sausages with herbs, such as fennel or sage, are a great match with a juicy red. Wed suggest the In Pork We Trust - Rosso from Zio Porco (slightly chilled) because it was quite literally made for meaty sausages and BBQ gatherings so you can't go wrong here.
For red meat, such as burgers or steak on the grill, think about full-bodied options like these that will enhance the peppery and tobacco flavours in the dish. Here are our recommendations for bold reds with just the right spice:
- Partisano from Bodegas Más Que Vinos (Tempranillo)
- La Maldita from Viñedos La Maldita (Garnacha)
- Horizon Red from Jimi Blue Ochsenknecht (Strong Merlot)
Grilled Chicken and Fish:
For those that prefer a lighter fare, grilled chicken and fish pair beautifully with Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay. Because they are citrusy, sometimes, grassy, and almost always “light.” Simplicity and a touch of sophistication are what you want to pair with simple grilled chicken or fish so we'd recommend choosing something unoaked and more acidic. Here are the wines we would suggest:
- Steinbock - Sauvignon Blanc from Hörner (pair with simple Grilled Chicken)
- Dry Litre Riesling from Hinterbichler (pair with BBQ Girlled Chicken)
- Juwel - Pinot Gris from Juliane Eller Weine (pair with Grilled White Fish)
- Chardonnay from Easy Wines (a good BBQ all-rounder)
For your tasty grilled veggies, you're going to go with something similar to the chicken and fish - light, refreshing, citrus - but here you can add a bit more fruity flavour. Our top pick? Rosé! A Pinot Noir based rosé has a good about of acidity to stand up to grilled foods and can match with a wide range of dishes. And also, who doesn't enjoy sipping a nice chilled rosé on the patio? Here are some Rosé wines that are great for grilled vegetables (and so many other BBQ dishes):
Shop all these wines and more using our Food & Wine page where you can choose the exact food you'll be having! Additionally our Shades of Summer wine box has many of the wines from this article and would be a great addition to any summer BBQ.