Everyone knows that a cold beer goes down well at a BBQ, but what about wines? There are so many different BBQ dishes that choosing the right wine to go with the food can be hard. Well, we're not going to try and cover every combination, instead we've selected a few of our favourite wines that we think go really well with some popular BBQ dishes:
If your kicking off with seafood, then serve a chilled Picpoul de Pinet, a gorgeously crisp & citrussy white wine from the Languedoc region of France. Picpoul has become quite popular in the UK in recent times, hence it is widely available. Alternatively, a dry Rosé from Provence will work really well with most seafood dishes and is equally good on its own as an aperitif.
Most wines, red, white and rosé, can be drunk with grilled chicken, but our go-to wine for BBQs is a dry Chardonnay from France. Good white Burgundy including Chablis can be pricey, but you will be able to find some decent examples at your supermarket for around £12, such as Louis Jadot Macon-Villages. Halloumi cheese grilled on the BBQ is a great starter or side dish and could be matched very well with a bottle of Assyrtiko from the island of Santorini; Waitrose offers a good example, called Hatzidakis Santorini Assyrtiko, its dryness and acidity providing a perfect counterbalance to the salty halloumi.
What wine to serve with the most popular BBQ meats? This may depend on the spices, herbs and sauces used or simply on your overriding wine preference; having said that, you can't go wrong with a bottle of Malbec to accompany your steak, a grape often associated these days with Argentina, but great examples still hail from the region around Cahors in France, Malbec's origin. Perhaps appropriately, Spain produces some fantastic BBQ-ready wines, most notably from the Rioja region, where the tempranillo grape dominates. Modern Rioja is not too oaky and goes well with most dishes and also drinks well on its own.
Tip: keep it Cool
Lighter reds, including Rioja, can be served a little cooler, at say 16C, whilst Malbec should be served at around 18C.
Enjoy matching your wines with your BBQ food, but more importantly, relax and have a good time, whatever's in your glass!