Best BBQ recipes and wine pairing
Whether you’re cooking your favourite cut of meat, going low and slow on something to share, or casually throwing a shrimp on the barbie, the sizzling symphonies and incredible aromas of barbequing are undeniably enticing.
But where do you start when it comes to barbeque and wine pairing? What is the best red wine for BBQ and what is the best white wine for BBQ? As a guest, what wine should you bring to a BBQ to impress?
We’re here to help!
Take your next backyard get-together to delectable new heights with our delicious barbeque and wine pairing guide. Enjoy beautiful recipes for meats, chicken and seafood, along with grilled vegetables and spectacular salads – all with suggested wine pairings.
If you want to know what kind of wines pair best with BBQ, or what foods are the most popular at a BBQ (to ensure you bring a wine that suits), then read on. Let’s take a delicious deep dive into the best BBQ and wine pairings.
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BBQ + Wine Pairings At A Glance
BEEF – Shiraz, Mataro/Mourvèdre
LAMB – Cabernet, Tempranillo, Merlot, Malbec
PORK – Riesling, Grüner Veltliner, Gewürztraminer, Roussanne, Viognier, Rosé, Pinot Noir, Dolcetto
CHICKEN – Chardonnay, Roussanne, Verdelho, Viognier, Marsanne, Pinot G, Arneis and Fiano
PRAWNS – Sparkling White, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Grüner Veltliner, Gewürztraminer or Rosé
OCTOPUS/SQUID – Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Grüner Veltliner, Gewürztraminer, Pinot G, Vermentino, Rosé, Grenache or Tempranillo.
FISH – Chardonnay, Semillon, Riesling, Vermentino, Pinot Noir, Grenache
VEGETABLES – Rosé, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Grenache, Nero D’Avola
SALADS – Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé
What wines pair with BBQ meat?
Richer and fuller bodied reds such as Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Sangiovese and Tempranillo are ideal pairings for barbequed red meats. They are spicy, tannic and robust and pair particularly well, especially if the meat is a touch fatty as the wine will provide balance – one won’t overpower the other.
BBQ Beef recipes
Beef and BBQ go together like Sonny and Cher… an iconic duo if ever there was one, and what a wonderful combination to get us started on this BBQ and wine quest. Familiar and flavoursome, we’ve got some fantastic beef recipes that will make you salivate plus their ideal wine pairing.
BBQ Ribs recipes
What wine goes with BBQ ribs? We’re glad you asked. Moorish, flavoursome ribs deserve a worthy partner – check out these great recipes and wine pairings.
KOREAN BARBEQUE RIBS
Grenache blends are a natural match with barbeque food. The combination of spice and ripe fruits matches the richness of the marinade and the smoke notes of the grill.
BBQ Brisket recipes
What wine goes with BBQ brisket? Rich and decadent, you can’t beat brisket when it comes to barbequed comfort food. Here are some of our favourite brisket recipes with their best wine pairings.
BEN LANYON’S BEEF BRISKET
Red blends are great with dishes that showcase a range of flavours. A balanced combination of red varieties will complement both the richness of the brisket and the complexity of flavours in this dish.
BBQ Pork recipes
A lip-smacking favourite, barbequing has a way of enhancing pork and elevating it to new heights. What wine goes with BBQ pork? You might be surprised to learn that white, red, and pink wines can all work beautifully with barbequed pork dishes. Here are some great matches.
BBQ Lamb recipes
While Cabernet Sauvignon is the classic and much-loved match for Aussie lamb, sauces, marinades and cooking methods can also influence your choice of wine. Add a Tempranillo or Merlot to change things up a little.
AUSSIE LAMB BURGER
Merlot with its bounty of fruit and fine polished tannins is the perfect variety to pair with this juicy burger.
BBQ Chicken recipes
What wine goes with BBQ chicken? Fuller and textural white varieties such as Chardonnay, Verdelho, Fiano and Pinot G pair well with flavoursome poultry dishes, like chicken, with neither overpowering the other. Also, consider the sauce, herbs and spices, and marinades, and don’t forget lighter reds like Pinot Noir .
SPICED BARBEQUE CHICKEN
Chicken can pair with both red and white wines, but given this dish has a spice element to it, a white wine like Pinot Gris, that has lower acidity, won’t clash with the spices.
BBQ Prawn recipes
Australia’s wonderfully sweet and fresh prawns are national heroes to savour any season. Enjoy them natural and unadorned with Sparkling, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling. When they are cooked with Asian-style ingredients and flavours, Grüner Veltliner or Gewürztraminer are simply gorgeous, or when combined with sauces and meat flavours, a chilled Rosé can be a great choice.
BBQ Fish recipes
Fish cooked on the BBQ…it doesn’t get much better! What wine goes with BBQ fish you ask? Light and aromatic whites such as Sauvignon Blanc and blends, Semillon, Riesling, Pinot G and Vermentino won’t overpower delicate fish. Richer and oily fish like salmon and tuna are best paired with Chardonnay, and even Pinot Noir.
BBQ Squid and Octopus recipes
When it comes to pairing wine with barbequed octopus, squid or cuttlefish, the main thing to consider is the flavours, herbs and spices they are being cooked with.
For Asian flavours, go for aromatic and medium-weight whites, while Mediterranean ingredients can carry a Vermentino, Rosé or a lighter-bodied red.
LYNDEY MILAN’S OCTOPUS SALAD WITH GREEN BEANS AND POTATOES
There’s a reason Pinot G is paired with a range of Italian food: it’s so versatile and extends from light and crisp to the richer Gris style. Grigio with lovely fruit depth, crisp acidity and almost creamy mouthfeel have the zesty balance to pair with the range of fresh flavours and textures in this octopus salad.
Vegetarian BBQ recipes
The barbeque is not exclusively the domain of meat eaters. Vegetables also lend themselves to this style of cooking which brings out their earthy richness and textural crunch. Light to medium-weight and savoury reds such as Merlot, Pinot Noir, Nero d’Avola and Grenache are a good choice, while whites including Sauvignon Blanc or a Sauvignon Blanc Semillon blend have herbaceous notes that pair well with green vegetables, especially asparagus.
Salad recipes for the BBQ
What’s better than a summer BBQ and salad? We’ve got some great combinations for you to explore. Barbequing fruit brings out their natural sugars so adds a little sweetness; however, you also need to consider what other flavours are being incorporated into each salad dish. Fresh, flavoursome salads are also a great accompaniment to barbequed food.
Other Considerations When Pairing Wine
It is very important to consider the marinade or rub used in a recipe when deciding on a wine match. A lot of marinade and rubs are made with spice and vinegars, which can be hard to match with wine. As a general rule, match the sweeter, richer marinades you find with beef with richer, more tannic red wines. The spicy rubs work well with red wines with soft tannin such as Shiraz, Pinot and Grenache.
The cooking method will also have an influence on how much flavour is added to the dish. Grilling over a flame will add a heavier smoke and char flavour – this will generally mean you need a richer red or white. Slow cooking like rotisserie means you get a gentle smoke character rather than the influence of char marks. Food cooked this way can work well with lighter wines.
Want To Learn More?
For more great food and wine combinations, be sure to check out our dedicated Food and Wine Pairing pages.