BBQ Wine Pairings for Your Summer Grilling

bbq wine pairings
8 min reading time

Summertime means firing up the grill and enjoying delicious BBQ dishes with your loved ones. But what’s a BBQ without a great wine to complement the flavors of your grilled creations? That’s where we come in – with our ultimate guide to BBQ wine pairings, you’ll never struggle to find the perfect wine again.

Whether you’re hosting a backyard BBQ, a beach party, or a picnic in the park, finding the best wine pairings is essential to create an unforgettable experience. We’ll guide you through the world of BBQ wine pairings and provide you with the best wine options for your summer grilling.

From juicy burgers to smoky ribs to grilled veggies, we’ll help you choose the perfect wine to accompany your BBQ feast. Our recommendations cover red wines, white wines, rosés, and even sparkling wines. We’ll also share some general tips to enhance your BBQ wine pairing experience and take it to the next level.

Get ready to impress your guests with the best wine pairings for your summer BBQ. Let’s explore the world of BBQ wines and find the ultimate matches for your grilled dishes!

Understanding the Basics of BBQ Wine Pairings

Pairing wine with BBQ may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. By following a few basic tips, you can enhance the flavors of your grilled dishes and elevate your BBQ experience.

Basics of Wine Pairing

The key to successful wine pairing is to find a balance between the flavors of your dish and the characteristics of the wine. The intensity of the flavors in your grilled food should match the intensity of your wine. For example, a bold red wine would pair well with a hearty steak, while a lighter white wine would complement grilled fish or vegetables.

Another factor to consider is the cooking method. Grilling adds a smoky flavor to your food, which can affect the taste of the wine. Oaky or smoky wines may not pair well with grilled foods, as they may overpower the flavors of your dish.

Lastly, think about the sauces or marinades you’re using. Spicy or tangy sauces may call for a sweeter or fruitier wine to balance out the flavors. Creamy or buttery sauces may pair well with full-bodied white wines or light red wines.

BBQ Wine Pairing Tips

Here are a few additional tips to help you with your BBQ wine pairing:

  • Chill your white and rosé wines to enhance their refreshing qualities.
  • Aerate your red wines by decanting them or swirling them in the glass to release their aromas.
  • Experiment with different wine styles to find your preferred pairing.
  • Don’t be afraid to try unconventional pairings, such as sparkling wine with grilled peaches or rosé with grilled watermelon.

Now that you have some basic knowledge of wine pairing with BBQ, let’s explore some specific wine recommendations for your summer grilling.

Red Wine Pairings for BBQ

When it comes to BBQ, red wine is the classic choice. The bold and rich flavors of red wine can complement the smoky and savory flavors of grilled dishes perfectly. Here are some of the best red wine options to pair with your BBQ menu:

Grilled DishRed Wine Pairing
SteakCabernet Sauvignon

These red wines are full-bodied and have a high tannin content, which can cut through the richness of grilled meats. However, it’s important to consider the specific flavors and sauces of your BBQ dishes when selecting a red wine pairing. For example, if you’re grilling spicy BBQ chicken, a lighter red wine like Pinot Noir may be a better choice to avoid overpowering the dish.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different red wine varietals and find the perfect match for your BBQ menu. Cheers to a delicious summer of BBQ and red wine!

White Wine Pairings for BBQ

BBQ Wine Pairings

When it comes to pairing white wine with BBQ, there are a few things to keep in mind. Opt for medium to full-bodied white wines that can stand up to the intense flavors of grilled meats and vegetables. Look for wines with a good balance of acidity to cut through fatty BBQ fare, and avoid overly sweet or oaky white wines that may clash with the flavors of your food.

Here are some of the best white wines to pair with your next BBQ:

WineFlavorsFood Pairings
ChardonnayButtery, vanilla, oakGrilled chicken, pork chops, corn on the cob
Sauvignon BlancCrisp, citrus, herbaceousGrilled shrimp, fish tacos, grilled vegetables
Pinot GrigioLively, refreshing, mineralGrilled halibut, chicken skewers, bruschetta

For vegetarian BBQ options, consider pairing white wines with grilled vegetables and tofu dishes. A crisp and refreshing Sauvignon Blanc can balance the smokiness of grilled vegetables, while an unoaked Chardonnay can complement the earthy flavors of grilled portobello mushrooms.

Experiment with different white wine varietals and don’t be afraid to try new things. The right white wine can enhance the flavors of your BBQ dishes and add a touch of sophistication to your summer gatherings.

Rosé and Sparkling Wine Pairings for BBQ

BBQ events are as much about socializing and having fun as they are about delicious grilled food. The perfect BBQ wine pairing should also add to the festivities. Rosé and sparkling wines are the ideal choice when it comes to light and cheerful beverages that enhance both the taste and mood of a BBQ. Here are some of the best rosé and sparkling wine options for your next summer cookout.

Rosé Wine and BBQ

Rosé wines are a fantastic choice for BBQ events, especially if you’re serving seafood dishes or fruity salsa sides. They have a crisp, refreshing flavor profile with a fruity undertone that makes them a perfect choice for a hot summer day.

WinePairing Suggestion
Provence RoséGrilled Salmon
Spanish RoséGrilled Shrimp Skewers
American RoséFruity Salsa

Sparkling Wine and BBQ

If you’re looking to add some fizz to your BBQ party, sparkling wine is the perfect choice. It adds a touch of elegance and sophistication, making your event feel more special and celebratory. Sparkling wines also pair well with grilled dishes that have a bit of spice or smokiness.

WinePairing Suggestion
ChampagneGrilled Lobster
ProseccoGrilled Chicken Salad
CavaGrilled Pineapple

Remember, the key to finding the perfect BBQ wine pairing is experimentation and personal preference. Don’t be afraid to mix and match different wines with various grilled dishes to find your ideal combination. By doing so, you’re sure to impress your guests and have a fabulous time!

Wine Pairing Tips for Vegetarian BBQ

Just because you’re skipping the meat doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy fantastic wine pairings with your BBQ. Vegetarian dishes offer a wide variety of flavors and cooking methods that can be beautifully complemented by different types of wine. Here are some expert tips for selecting the perfect wine to elevate your vegetarian BBQ experience:

Consider the flavors of your dishes

When it comes to wine pairing, the flavors of your dishes should be the main consideration. For example, grilled vegetables like eggplant, zucchini, and peppers pair well with light-bodied red wines, such as Pinot Noir or Beaujolais. On the other hand, grilled tofu or vegetarian kebabs with bold spices can be enhanced by a full-bodied white wine, such as an oaked Chardonnay.

Think about the cooking method

The cooking method can also influence the choice of wine. Grilled dishes tend to have a smoky flavor that can be balanced by a wine with some acidity. For example, grilled halloumi skewers can be paired with a crisp and refreshing Sauvignon Blanc, while a fruity Gamay can enhance the flavors of grilled portobello mushrooms.

Choose wines with lower tannins

Tannins are compounds found in grape skins and seeds that can make wine taste bitter and astringent. Vegetarian dishes can be more delicate in flavor, so it’s best to avoid wines with high tannins, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah. Instead, opt for wines with lower tannins, such as Pinot Noir or Grenache, that will complement the flavors without overpowering them.

Try unusual pairings

Vegetarian BBQ dishes can be versatile and surprising, so don’t be afraid to experiment with unusual wine pairings. For example, grilled watermelon with feta cheese can be paired with a dry Rosé, while grilled corn on the cob can be enhanced by a light and bubbly Prosecco. Keep an open mind and let your taste buds guide you.

Vegetarian BBQ Wine Suggestions

DishWine Pairing
Grilled Vegetable SkewersPinot Noir
Grilled Tofu with SpicesOaked Chardonnay
Grilled Halloumi SkewersSauvignon Blanc
Grilled Portobello MushroomsGamay
Grilled Watermelon with Feta CheeseDry Rosé
Grilled Corn on the CobProsecco

With these wine pairing tips and suggestions, you can create a memorable vegetarian BBQ experience for you and your guests. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new flavors. Cheers!


Now that you have explored the world of BBQ wine pairings, it’s time to put your newfound knowledge into practice. Remember to experiment with different wine styles and flavors to find the perfect pairing for your grilled dishes. Don’t be afraid to try something new, as you might be pleasantly surprised by the results.

Read Also

About Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Protection Status

Win one of the 20 coolest kitchen gadgets!

Image of Chefd giveaway Nessie Ladle.

Surprises every month. The fun twist is that you can choose your own in the next step.


Chefd subscribers - contest