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It’s time to grill out, so what are you planning on drinking?


Beer and cocktails are great go tos, but wine is also a great choice! There are a lot of reasons to consider when selecting a wine in general, let alone finding one to pair with your meal. In this post I will provide some classic BBQ and grilled meat pairings and explain why they work well together.

Red wines are typically the choice for grilled meats. This is because of the umami (or the savory taste) and the higher fat content found in beef, pork, and lamb balance out the tannic structure in red wines.

For pork barbecue, red wines that are fruit forward or even have a little sweetness to them are great pairings. The wine helps balance the smoke, spice, and tangy sweet flavors of the pork and BBQ sauce.

  • Zinfandel (Primitivo)

  • Pinot Noir

  • Red Blends

For red meats like burgers and steaks, the best choices are red wines that are full bodied and have hints of pepper and tobacco.

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

  • Tempranillo

  • Chianti (Sangiovese)

  • GSM Blends (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre)

  • Shiraz (Syrah)

Classic pairings for chicken, fish, and seafood include rosé and white wines over red wine. This is because full bodied red wines can dominate and overwhelm the flavors in the dish.

When grilling chicken you are wanting to complement the herb rub or the sauce. For sauces and glazes you want to go fruity or sweet, and for herb rubs you want to pair with a herbal wine.

  • Wines for glazes and sauces include off dry Rosé, White Zinfandel, off dry Riesling, and Gewürztraminer

  • Wines for herb chicken are dry Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Grüner Veltliner

For fish it depends on the type of fish and how you’re preparing it. White fish typically pairs best with light crisp refreshing white wines or rosés. Especially if you’re making fish tacos!

  • dry Rosé

  • Sauvignon Blanc

  • Albariño

  • Friulano

For richer fish such as salmon, buttery wines or light reds are your best friends.

  • Beaujolais

  • Pinot Noir

  • Chardonnay (especially oaked ones)

  • Pinot Gris (Oregon and France)

A couple of pro tips:

  • Sparkling wines. They are always a good idea! They act as a palate cleanser in a similar way that beer does, and are a good beer substitute.

  • Chilling your red wine. If its hot outside, feel free to chill your red wine a little more than usual.

  • Sangria. Always a great outdoor and patio option. There are a lot of great and easy recipes out there!

After its all said and done, wine and food are meant to be enjoyed. These are just suggestions, but if you feel like having a particular wine that day then by all means go for it!