The Summer-Ready BBQ and Wine Matching Guide
When it comes to the backyard barbeque, we’ve moved well beyond the days of a sausage sanga washed down with a cold tinnie. These days, an invite to a barbeque usually means enjoying a range of beautifully cooked meats, poultry and seafood alongside sides of grilled vegetables and spectacular salads.
The wines you choose to match with different barbequed dishes can really bring out all those gorgeous flavours. So follow our handy guide to take your next backyard get-together to gastronomic heights.
Richer and fuller bodied reds such as Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Sangiovese and Tempranillo.
Spicy, tannic and robust, these richer reds work well with barbequed red meats, especially if the meat is a touch fatty as the wine will provide balance, so one doesn’t overpower the other.
One of our favourites: Char-grilled sirloin with the Grant Burge Miamba Shiraz 2016
Fuller and textural white varieties such as Chardonnay, Verdelho, Arneis and Fiano.
Fuller white styles pair well with flavoursome poultry dishes with neither overpowering the other, making for a pairing that's more than the some of its parts.
One of our favourites: Butterflied peri peri chicken with the Tyrrell’s Dry White 1976 Chardonnay 2017
Light and aromatic whites such as Sauvignon Blanc and blends, Riesling, Pinot G and Vermentino.
Don't overpower delicate seafoood with a wine that’s too heavy – choose an aromatic white for the ideal partner.
One of our favourites: Whiting grilled with lemon in foil with the Riposte The Stiletto Pinot Gris 2017
Light to medium weight and savoury reds such as Merlot, Pinot Noir, Nero d’Avola and Grenache.
Medium weight reds are slippery, soft and juicy with lovely bright acidity, so they lend themselves to the earthy richness and textural crunch of vegetables on the barbeque.
One of our favourites: Barbequed field mushrooms with the Claymore You’ll Never Walk Alone Grenache Shiraz Mataro 2016
The marinade or rub
It is very important to consider this often overlooked flavour influence. 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
This will 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.
For more great food and wine combinations, be sure to check out our dedicated Food and Wine Pairing pages.