Fire Up the Grill: 9 Wines that Go Gangbusters with BBQ

It’s summertime, and the grillin’s fine — so to help you make the most of the warm nights that are still to come, we’ve put together a list of 9 wines that are begging to join you at the BBQ.


We’re comin’ out hot here and assuming crayfish tails, prawns, and scallops will be making an appearance on your grill — which means you’re going to need something sophisticated and sparkly to pair with them. And boy, do you have options! Champagne, crémant, méthode traditionelle, Cava, prosecco: they’re all delicious with whatever pesce you’ve got on the menu.


If we’re honest, rosé goes with everything. It’s crisp, crunchy, dry, and berry-bright, making it pitch-perfect with anything you want to toss on the grill. Our particular pick, though? BBQ ribs, as the acidity and juiciness of the rosé will cut through and beautifully complement the sticky-sweet succulence of the dish.


Holy smokes! Big, bad, and bold, malbec often exhibits a really lovely charred character that qualifies it as a hall of famer in the BBQ pairing stakes. We’d sip this smoky siren alongside any kind of grilled beef because it’s foundational in Argentinian cuisine — and the most famous malbec in the world comes from Argentina.

Tempranillo and garnache/grenache

We’ve grouped these two reds together because they’re both lighter- to medium-bodied and have spice (cinnamon and nutmeg and pepper, oh my!) for days. Tempranillo and garnacha (aka grenache) generally offer tart, juicy berry notes and backbones of subtle smoke and complex spice — which, paired with their bouncier bodies compared to something like zinfandel or cabernet sauvignon, means they’re excellent with similarly ‘lighter’ BBQ picks like burgers or chicken.

Oaked chardonnay

If you’re grilling red meat, you’re generally going to stick to red wine — but with tasty picks like chicken and fish, an oaked chardonnay goes down a delightful treat! Good ol’ chard’s weightier body, richer texture, and luxurious notes of toast and honey combine for some memorable taste sensations with fattier fish (something like salmon or tuna) and chicken (try the more-flavoursome thighs in place of breasts).


Behold the glory of South Africa’s trademark red grape! The result of a happy cross between pinot noir and cinsault, pinotage puts acidity center-stage and spice in the spotlight. With red-fruit sweetness akin to its parent pinot, this is a wine that can handle some heat when it comes to pairings. BRB: we’re just running out to pick up some chorizo sausages.

Grüner veltliner and sauvignon blanc

Never fear, veggie lovers! We didn’t forget about you. Grilled vegetables (capsicum, mushrooms, broccoli, green beans — you name it!), veggie burgers, and veggie sausages are generally lighter food options with green and herbal components that work like a dream with zippy white wines such as grüner veltliner and sauvignon blanc. These tart, grassy, refreshing drops can also partner with white meat like herbed chicken — but you can catch us reaching for veggie skewers or miso-baked eggplant.

Did we miss one of your favourite wine and BBQ pairings? Drop us a line on social, and become a WineFriend member today so you’re never in need of a grill-friendly vino.

7th March, 2019Mar, 2019

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