What Wines Pair Best With BBQ?

While there is no ‘wrong’ answer to which wines you should pair with your next BBQ, we’d recommend red wine. Red wine pairs well with most grilled foods like steak, mushrooms, and caramelized onions.

Learning to Grill with Wine

Steak and mushroom on a grill to pair with wine

Pairing wine with food is something most people struggle with. It can be a daunting task, since no one wants to serve the wrong thing. Don’t worry – we’re here to help!

There is no better time than the summer to be out grilling. This leads to the inevitable question: what wines pair best with BBQ? At WineCollective we are always encouraging you to sip your wine in whatever way makes you happy. So if that includes BBQ ribs or veggies or anything in between, there is a wine to go with it.

Why Pair Red Wine With BBQ?

Hand holding glass of red wine for what to pair with bbq

If you’ve ever looked up ‘pairing wine and bbq’ before, chances are you’ve seen lots of red wine recommendations. Why is that? Typically when we’re firing up the grill, we’re going to be cooking meat. Of course this isn’t always the case, but the meat eaters out there will attest to the greatness of a grilled steak. As a result, red wine is a go-to recommendation when it comes to BBQ food pairings.

As we learn from our trusted friends at Wine Folly, red wine works so well here “because the umami and high fat in the meat will balance out the tannin in red wine.” That being said, red wine doesn’t only work with grilled meat. Anything you’re cooking on the BBQ that has great umami, like mushrooms, ripe tomatoes, garlic, and caramelized onions, will work really well with red wine.

Wine to Pair with Grilled Ribs or Pork Tenderloin

Pair this Las Niñas Inocencia Wine with grilled ribs or pork tenderloin

Las Niñas Inocencia 2017 Carmenère. This Chilean Carmenère is best served with grilled ribs or pork tenderloin marinated in a tangy, homemade Chimichurri. The savoury qualities will help enhance the flavours in the wine and make it taste even more fruity.

Wine to Pair with Grilled Lamb Chops

Krasno Red Blend Wine to pair with grilled lamb chops

Krasno 2017 Red Blend. If you haven’t tried wine from Slovenia, you’ve been missing out! This blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot is a great match for grilled lamb chops. The light gaminess of lamb lets the red wine flavours shine. This is a great time to experiment with red wine marinades, too.

Wine to Pair with Cedar-Plank Salmon

Chalkboard Red Blend wine bottle - pairs perfectly with cedar-plank salmon

Chalkboard 2018 Red Blend. A perfect blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc. Sound familiar? This blend is also seen in the previously mentioned Krasno Red, but this time, we’re saying it’s time for some cedar-plank salmon. This particular blend is light enough to complement the fattier cut of fish, while cooking with cedar makes this pairing even more appealing.

Wine to Pair with BBQ Burgers

Teusner The Riebke wine pairs with barbequed burgers

Teusner 2016 ‘The Riebke’. We love an Aussie Shiraz. This Barossa Valley classic is calling for a juicy burger, dressed with applewood cheddar, pepper jack bacon, and sweet onion chutney. The structure of the wine with its dark fruit notes, are able to take on the flavours in any perfectly grilled burger.

Now You Have the Perfect Pairings!

Glass of red wine, basil leaf, timer, and bowl of spices ready to bbq

As we’re getting into BBQ season, there will be a ton of great meals being served amongst family and friends. And as your trusted source for curated wine selections, we’re here to get your grill season going! Just in time for the season, we have created a Grilling Grab Bag. It’s an awesome 4-bottle pack of some of our favourite red wines (all mentioned above), to pair with your next BBQ meal.