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.
- Steak – Malbec, Syrah/Shiraz
- Burgers – Zinfandel, Grenache blends (like Côtes du Rhône), Cabernet Sauvignon
- Sausages – Tempranillo, Gamay, Pinot Noir
- BBQ chicken – Warmer climate Chardonnay
- Pork chops – Valpolicella, Barbera, Riesling, dry rosé
- Salmon – Rosé Champagne, Pinot Gris, chilled Pinot Noir
- Sardines – Albariño, Picpoul de Pinet
- Halloumi – Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Assyrtiko
- Veggie Skewers – Chenin Blanc (fresher styles), dry rosé, Gamay
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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:
- Pinot Noir
- Dry rosé
- 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.