Pairing wine for bbq food

There is nothing quite like enjoying good food with wine outdoors on a balmy summer evening. And what could be better than firing up the barbecue for a back garden feast?

Whether you are serving up classic BBQ snacks such as burgers and hotdogs or trying more adventurous steak, veggies or chicken, there is a wine that will pair perfectly with your bbq menu.

Selecting the best wine for your meat choices

Classic burgers

For beef burgers, go for a robust red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz. These wines will stand up to the beef and enhance its bold flavours. A wine such as Pinot Noir, with its soft tannins and light body, works well for leaner turkey or veggie burgers as it is not as drying on the palate.


The humble hotdog can be paired with a wine that mirrors its simplicity – try a clean Sauvignon Blanc or a zippy Chardonnay. This wine tends to have savoury notes which pair perfectly with hotdogs’ natural sweetness. If you are cooking up pork sausages, try a fruity rosé wine such as Sharpham Pinot Noir with a focus on red fruits such as sour raspberry, wild strawberry and cherry.

Red meat

If you are opting for red meat, look for a wine with some body and tannins to stand up to the richness of the meat. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah are all great options.


For chicken, lighter-bodied wines such as Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and Riesling are ideal.  They will not overpower the delicate flavour of the chicken, but will still provide a refreshing contrast to the richness of the sauce or marinade. Our favourite is the Furst Pur Mineral Riesling Franconia – its dry, herbal tones compliment chicken perfectly.


For pork, wines with some sweetness and fruitiness work well, such as Riesling, Gewürztraminer, or Viognier. These wine styles will also complement the spices often used in BBQ pork recipes.


If you are serving seafood on the grill, a chilled Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio is perfect. These wines have refreshing acidity that offsets the natural oils in fish and shellfish.

Selecting wine with veggie choices

Of course, wine goes very well with vegetables too. Grilled vegetables are delicious on the BBQ, especially when paired with a fruity red wine such as Sangiovese or Grenache. For a lighter option, choose a wine such as Pinot Blanc or Sauvignon Blanc.

Veggies taste great when barbecued, and some popular favourites include :

And don’t forget BBQ sauces

Of course, no wine pairings would be complete without considering BBQ sauces! Many commercial  BBQ sauces are quite sweet, so a wine with some residual sugar will work well. A Zinfandel, Malbec, or Shiraz would all be good choices.

Wine pairing tips

If you are hosting a large party, you might want to plan your wine pairings ahead of time to ensure that everyone gets the best wine for their taste preference. Keep the wine list simple by choosing three main BBQ meats and one white wine, one red wine, and one lighter-bodied wine.

Also, remember that wine is a very personal preference. What works for one person might not work for another, so allow your guests to choose their own wine pairings if they wish.

Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with wine and food pairings. The best way to learn is to try new things, and you might just stumble on a winning combination!

We hope you have enjoyed this guide to wine pairings for BBQ food. Whether you are a wine expert or a complete novice, we hope that you will be inspired to fire up the grill and try some new wine and food combinations.

So fire up the grill and enjoy a glass of wine with your friends and family – it doesn’t get much better than that!

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