Bank Holiday BBQ Wine Pairing
Do you have a License to Grill but want some help selecting wines to take your Bank Holiday BBQ from lit to fire? We get that there’s enough to ‘flipping’ worry about when you’re the Grill Master or Mistress, so we put together a list of BBQ wine pairings for you to ‘marinate on’ as well as three curated BBQ cases to ensure you’re covered with anything that sizzles. A red, white, and mixed case of all-rounders taking the guesswork away on your summer soirée.
BBQ wine pairing can get into the nitty-gritty details of styles of sauce, rubs and smoke levels, but here is a classic list of approachable pairings (and a few quirky picks) to wow your guests.
Red wines generally pair well with bbq-grilled meats by enhancing the peppery and tobacco flavours in the dish. The fuller-bodied reds like Malbec or Shiraz/Syrah will match fattier, juicier meat like steak. The medium to full-bodied reds such as a Montepulciano or Valpolicella Ripasso make a perfect companion to pork – think BBQ spare ribs dripping in sauce (add a little of the wine to the sauce as the Italians often do). A lighter red with refreshing acidity and light tannins like a lightly chilled Gamay sit nicely alongside sausages or salmon. If you prefer veg, pretty much any red goes perfectly with a Veggie Burger, and a Grenache/Garnacha with a Jamaican Jerk Grilled Eggplant is ‘fiah’!
White wines and grilled seafood is a default that works. The choice comes down to your flavours and textures. A white Burgundy or Chardonnay pairs well for a fattier fish (tuna or trout), and a high acidity Sauvignon Blanc suits a grilled white fish. Shellfish calls out for a sparkling wine or a Muscadet to work with its buttery texture. Sparkling is a beautiful palate cleanser and a perfect beer substitute. Try a Chardonnay and a Black Bean Burger with mushroom sauce for a vegetarian or vegan option.
BBQ WINE PAIRING QUICK LIST
Steak – Malbec, Shiraz/Syrah, Bordeaux. For something, a bit different try a Xinomavro. For something special, try an old vines Portuguese Blend.
Burgers – Grenache blends, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tinto de Toro. If you like white with your red meat, try a Chardonnay but choose a more tart flavour with fresh acidity over a buttery flavour to cut through the fat.
Sausages – Gamay, Pinot Noir, Tempranillo.
Hot Dogs – Pinot Grigio, Gewürztraminer.
Chicken – Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc, Grenache-dominated blends, Chardonnay, Fiano, Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc Blend.
BBQ Spare Ribs or Pork chops – Montepulciano, Valpolicella Ripasso, Barbera, Riesling, dry Rosé. For a treat, try a Pét Nat.
Lamb – Beaujolais, young Rioja, Pinot Noir. If prepared with lemon and herbs, try Assyrtiko and if it is spicy pair with a dry Rosé.
BBQ Brisket – Pinot Noir, Rioja.
Salmon – Chardonnay, Fiano, Pinot Gris, White Rioja or chilled Gamay or Pinot Noir.
Tuna – White Burgundy, Pinot Noir, dry Rosé.
Grilled White Fish – Friulano, Verdejo, White Vinho Verde, Colombard.
Shellfish – Muscadet (Melon de Bourgogne), Albariño, White Grenache, Viognier, Picpoul de Pinet, Sparkling wine.
S’mores – Moscato d’Asti, Sauternes, Port.