By Tastings Team
May 23, 2019
Andrii Kucher / Alamy Stock Photo

Summer is a time to take to the coals, when the sun is shining and the weather is sweet. Friends and family gather al fresco bringing an array of salads, sides and condiments to accompany the classic, yet varied, barbecue choices.

Scroll down for wine recommendations

Wine plays a central and important part in rounding off the perfect barbecue, but are all too often served incorrectly or with completely the wrong food – you should count yourself lucky if you have escaped holding a plate with a burnt item resembling meat holding a plastic cup of warm Chardonnay.

What are classic barbecue (BBQ) wine pairings?

Here are some of the top matches for classic barbecue dishes. For ease of use, we’ve overlooked the uses of marinades and sauces.

All-rounder wines

Of course it would be simply impractical to purchase so many different types of wine.

There are some good all-rounders that tick many of the boxes needed for a great barbecue; it can match a multitude of foods, it’s easy to find, in-expensive, can be chilled yet with enough punch to push through any food that has been above the white hot coals for a length of time.

These include:

  • Malbec
  • New World Pinot Noir
  • Vins de pays whites and reds
  • Dry Rosé
  • New world Riesling
  • Methode Champenoise sparkling

Top tips for serving

If it’s above 20°C, 68°F, outside chill your red wines. Red wines are best at “room temperature” which is between 13-18°C, 55-65°F. Find some recommendations here.

A cooler red offset against piping hot, flamed meat, is the only way to serve wine at a barbecue. And avoid plastic cups if possible.

First published in August 2016. Wines have been updated in May 2019.