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BBQ wines: Great bottles to drink with all your barbecue dishes

Whether you're catering a large event for friends and family or simply throwing some barbecue favourites on the grill, make sure the wines are as celebrated as the food with our guide to BBQ wines.

What kind of wine should you serve at a BBQ? 

With the weather (hopefully) on our side, there are few things better than a barbecue in the sunshine accompanied by a delicious glass of wine.

Choosing a good bottle for your barbecue can really elevate the occasion, although for something a little less formal, there’s plenty to choose from in terms of canned or bag-in-box wines instead.

Forget those days of washing down a burnt burger with warm Chardonnay or a cooked red served in a plastic cup, choosing wine to serve at a barbecue needn’t be an afterthought.

If you’re going big on the spice, then you could lean towards fruitier reds or whites with a touch of sweetness, such as off-dry Riesling or Gewürztraminer for example.

Grilled salmon works well with a number of wines, from sparkling rosé to a light Pinot Noir or even a glass of chilled Manzanilla.

As outside temperatures warm up, you may be reluctant to pair beef with a full-bodied red, but a Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec or Shiraz could still work well providing it is served no warmer than room temperature.

Catering for vegans? Make sure the wines you serve are as vegan-friendly as the food they’re matching.

At a glance – suggested BBQ wines:

Here are some wine pairings for classic barbecue dishes. For ease of use, we’ve overlooked the uses of marinades and sauces.

Do you know somebody who wants to start learning about how to pair, taste and serve your favourite wines? Pairing & serving wine: a guide for the real beginner is a new online learning course from Decanter designed to introduce the basic principles and start beginners on their journey through the fascinating world of wine. Find out more… 

All-rounder BBQ wines

Choosing wine for a barbecue should be fun, with the emphasis on enjoyment of the occasion: it’s unlikely you’ll purchase 10 types of wine and impose strict pairing regulations!

There are some great all-rounder wines that tick many of the boxes needed for a great gathering with friends and family.

Styles to consider include:

  • Malbec
  • Pinot Noir
  • Gamay
  • Dry rosé
  • Riesling
  • Champagne and other traditional method sparkling wines, or a refreshing pét-nat

Best rosé wines – 20 under £20

Top tips for serving wines at a BBQ

If it’s above 20°C, 68°F, outside then it’s perfectly acceptable to chill your red wines.

Even the most powerful red wines are best at room temperature, which is no more than 18°C, or around 65°F.

Also, and this almost goes without saying these days, do avoid plastic cups if possible.

Great BBQ wine, tasted by Decanter experts

Search our expert wine reviews

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