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How to Pair Wine With Barbeque Food

Summer barbecue with wine

With the summer weather in full swing, barbeque season is on! Beer may be the usual choice for such edible endeavours, but wine lovers want nothing more than a cool and crisp glass of white when the sun is out. While at first glance, typical barbeque foods, such as burgers and hot dogs, are not what you would ever consider pairing a glass of wine with, there are actually a number of ways to make wines perfectly suited to sipping alongside an outdoor feast!

Something Bubbly

Beer tends to be the go-to drink for summer barbeques for more than their handy bottle or can sized portions. It is more the fact that it is bubbly that makes it such a great drink, as it can act as a palate cleanser. The carbonated nature of the drink, in combination to the acidity and cooler temperature, helps to lessen the lasting tastes of fat that are present in burgers and hot dogs. Substituting a beer for a sparkling wine is a great way to achieve the same refreshing effect while catering to those who far prefer grapes to grains! As barbeque food tends to be quite rich and overpowering in flavour, it may not be the best time to bring out the big bottle of Champagne that you’ve been saving for a special occasion. Instead, pick a Cava, which tends to be lighter, with a zesty note, perfect for pairing with the summery barbeque flavours. 


While many wine lovers don’t like to stray too far from the traditional ways of drinking wine, the summer months can give you the perfect excuse to try experimenting with different ways to enjoy the drink. In normal circumstances, putting a bottle of red in the fridge, or serving it cold, tends to be a big no-no in the wine world, but with the warmer summer weather, bolder and sweeter reds, such as Port, can work excellently iced.

 White wine with a barbeque


No wine seems better suited to summer than rosé, with the cool and sweet taste matching perfectly with the weather and the types of foods enjoyed. Rosé tends to be a little more on the acidic side than other wine types, making it the perfect choice for pairing alongside foods from the grill. Rosés such as an Italian Rosato or Californian Sangiovese are ideal for bringing a balance to both the fattiness of a sausage or patty, and the tanginess of toppings, such as onions or mustard. Plus, the vibrant rosé colours will add nicely to any barbeque spread!

White Wine

If you’ve seen our pairing guide, you’ll know that smoky white wines will work perfectly with lighter barbequed meats such as grilled chicken or fish. Keep your chicken burger simple with a touch of mayonnaise or garlic sauce, and add in a squeeze of lemon to help pair it perfectly to the zesty flavours of a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. A Chardonnay is a great choice for both fatty fish and veggie burgers. Whatever white wine you choose, ensure that they are chilled to the perfect serving temperature for summer in a fridge or under counter wine cabinet

Red Wine

Bold flavours from beef and bacon call for an equally bold wine, which is where an array of red wines can happily step in. The richer, smokier flavours of grilled and smoked bacon, steak and ribs can only be matched with a weightier wine, like Pinot Noir or Zinfandel.


The biggest thing to remember when trying to pair wines with barbeque food is the context of the occasion. Barbeques are very casual affairs, so don’t stress too much about finding the perfect pair and splashing out on an expensive bottle because it’s the only one to go exactly with the relish you’re serving. Keeping it simple is the best approach. 


Image Credit: alisdair

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