The Best Wines for Your BBQ, According to a Sommelier
Wondering what to serve with your summer BBQ? Taste of Home's sommelier offers delicious pairing recommendations for classic barbecue recipes.
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Best Wine with Pork
The humble pig is oh-so-versatile when it comes to wine pairings. You could go red, rosé or even white with grilled pork. I highly recommend throwing some apple skewers on the grill to serve up as a side with your chops and pouring a cool glass of riesling. The combo is out of this world.
Best Wine with Ribs
At most houses, cold beer and ribs are a winning pair. But sip on a glass of smoky red wine after biting into barbecued beef ribs and you might find yourself converted. If ribs are smothered in a sweeter BBQ sauce, pick up a bold, fruit-forward style. We think a southern Rhone-style blend with grenache, syrah and mourvèdre makes a stunning like-for-like pairing.
Our Pick: E. Guigal Gigondas
Best Wine with Grilled Shrimp
We like grilled shrimp served with a hint of citrus. That zesty flavor demands an equally bright wine! You could choose either white or rosé here, but if you want a serious palate cleanser, Bodkin’s sparkling sauvignon blanc offers a marvelously refreshing take on this classic grape.
Best Wine with Veggie Skewers
Since it’s summer, you want to think pink with your vegetable kabobs. A wine with a slight green character like cabernet franc is magical here, especially if you’re sticking bell peppers on your skewers.
Our Pick: Tres Palacios Cabernet Franc Rosé
Best Wine with Chicken
Chicken is a blank canvas—and there are many ways to barbecue chicken. Depending on how you cook it, the marinades you use and sauces you slather it in, chicken can pair with pretty much any style of wine. Riesling is a killer pairing with spicy or mustard-based marinades, while a grilled chicken in BBQ sauce works best with a fruity zinfandel. Keeping it simple? Pop a pinot noir or a full-bodied, lightly oaked chardonnay.
Our Pick: Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel
Best Wine with Grilled Steak
Grilling up a juicy steak? You’ll want an equally robust wine to pour alongside. While many a bold red will work here, it’s impossible to go wrong with a rich yet plush malbec. (There’s a reason why the steak plus malbec combo is so prevalent in Argentina.)
Our Pick: Catena Zapata High Mountain Vines Malbec
Best Wine with Burgers
The cornerstone of any great BBQ, burgers are best with a rich red. Cabernet sauvignon is a safe (and crowd-pleasing) bet, but syrah/shiraz or sangiovese make delicious pairings too. The latter is fantastic for cheeseburgers, making it a favorite for our backyard bashes.
Our Pick: Castello di Albola Chianti Classico
Best Wine with Grilled Fish
Both tuna and salmon are terrific grilled, and as fattier fish, they can go with a variety of wines. Lighter reds like pinot noir are always a winner—and you can serve them slightly chilled if the sun’s beating down hard. Personally, I love rosé with grilled fish or a fish burger.
Our Pick: Methven Family Vineyards Gamay Rosé
Best Wine with Sausages
Forget beer and sausages! Let’s talk about wine and sausages. The wine you choose depends on the type of sausage you’re throwing on the grill. Pork sausages and spicy links go well with dry riesling or chenin blanc. To knock a wine pairing with chorizo and andouille out of the park, pour something bold, savory and a little fruity, like tempranillo.
Our Pick: Bodega de Edgar Tempranillo
Best Wine with Hot Dogs
For your classic hot dog loaded with mustard and sauerkraut, a crisp gruner veltliner is perfection. Die-hard red drinkers will enjoy a pinot noir or a light fruity grenache, but I can’t recommend trying the gruner hot dog pairing enough.
Our Pick: Weingut Leth Gruner Veltliner