May 23, 2024 by Arden Montgomery

Best Wine for Barbecue

If you’re in the US, you’re probably used to drinking a cold, hoppy beer with your BBQ. It’s a classic staple at any backyard grill-off, Fourth of July fair, or other outdoorsy event. For many seasoned pit masters, beer is the only beverage they’ll be caught with while their apron’s on. 

But wine is a magical libation with uncanny powers that allow it to elevate any dish with which it is paired — even the heartiest rack of ribs. If you’re wanting to make your next barbecue date into a tasting event, here is a guide that will help you pick the right Grenache for your gyros, Chardonnay for your chicken, and Bordeaux for your brisket. 

How to pair wine with barbecue

Barbecue dishes range from sweet, to savory, to incredibly spicy, and involve all different kinds of meat styles and veggies — so there’s no one-size-fits-all wine that you can choose. If you’re having a feast with all the sides and trimmings, there’s those to consider as well. Have you ever thought about what wine goes best with a classic potato salad? (Our sources say to try this Albariño).

But let’s focus on the main course. Barbecue is all about big, bold flavors, and lucky for us that makes wine pairings relatively straightforward. 

Anything beef — steaks, burgers, tenderloin, etc — think medium to full-bodied red wine. Cabernet Sauvignons and Malbec from Cahors are ideal for both standing up to the heaviness of red meat while also pulling forward some of their more subtle flavors. Another wine to have at the ready this summer for your backyard BBQ?  This Southern Rhône Valley stunner.

Pork, chicken and other poultry could pair well with chilled red wine like this carbonic Malbec from Argentina. Think about pouring rosé with your grilled fish, especially fattier swimmers like tuna or trout. 

But remember, sauce is boss so consider what you are seasoning or finishing your meat with before choosing a wine.

Vegetable-forward dishes like skewers or veggie burgers love a chilled rosé as well, whose high acidity is an excellent match for the sweet and savory flavors of grilled onion, pepper, and mushroom. Any food that feels tough to pair with i.e. vegetable centric dishes, don’t overthink it and have a Grüner Veltliner on hand at all times. 

Let’s remember, BBQ isn’t fussy so your wine selection shouldn’t be either! So, let’s take a closer look at the best red, white, and rosé for BBQ if we had to choose one!

Most versatile red wine for BBQ

2020 Gouchas Luján de Cuyo Carbonic Malbec  $22 – This Beaujolais-inspired Malbec is exciting and oh so fresh. Fair warning, this could be your new favorite chillable red – seriously, we would drink a lot more Malbec if they all tasted like this.

Most versatile white wine for BBQ

2022 Par Fore the Course New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc $20 – This wine is all about bright flavors, approachability, and thirst-quenching freshness. The flavor lingers, but the wine goes down fast. It is Marlborough, New Zealand to a Sauvy B TEE! 

Best rosé wine for barbecue

2022 Chateau Barbebelle Aix-en-Provence ‘Cuvée Madeleine’ Rosé $25 – With slightly richer flavors than the Fleurie Cuvée, this is the perfect wine to kick off your dinner party. This rosé is the perfect transition to take you from l’apéro on the patio to apéro dînatoire.

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