With scorching temperatures across Britain, this summer has proved to be one long enduring heat wave. As much as we complain about it, we can’t deny that we’re all revelling in the daily dose of vitamin D. It’s not often that our local shops are completely out of ice and all things grill-able, but it’s also not often we get to host weekly barbecues.
Wine pairings at barbecues can be a tricky one. It’s not often people are going to a barbecue for the perfectly-paired Pinots, especially when cold beer and plentiful Pimm’s is being served by the jug. However, if, like us, you appreciate all things wine and wouldn’t forego a barbecue as a wine pairing opportunity, then we recommend these mouthwatering wine and burger pairings.
1 – The Classic Cheeseburger
The classic cheeseburger is such a versatile slate to start with. Depending on the flavours, this beloved archetype can pair well with almost any full-bodied fruity red. The classic burger patty is rich in peppery flavours with hints of leathery notes, with a slab of salty mature cheddar on top, this classic combo pairs well with reds rich in tannins and bursting with acidity.
The acidity cuts through the dense meaty flavours and the thick melted cheese, while also softening the tannic taste of a full-bodied red. We recommend opting for an oaked Argentinian red. Argentinian reds pair great with barbecued meats, making this a perfect pairing for the classic cheeseburger. A good place to start is this Argentinian blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Syrah.
2 – The Salmon Burger
Fish in between a bun? Not the most conventional of burgers, but certainly delicious. A well-made salmon burger can be a welcome departure from the average cheeseburger – lighter and rich in Omega 3s, a salmon burger is a delicious alternative for those shying away from meat. I’m a big fan of salmon burgers served like fishcakes, on top a bed of greens, with a generous helping of guacamole on top.
Salmon is a great fish to pair with wine as it goes just as well with Pinot Noir as it does Pinot Gris. As salmon is an oilier fish, we recommend opting for a light fruity red or a rich white. In general, if opting for red, avoid tannic red wines, as this will conflict with the taste of the fish rather than complement it. If opting for white, we recommend this French Pinot Gris; rich enough to pair with pork but light enough to preserve its soft peachy flavour.
3 – The Veggie Burger
Veggie burgers are cropping up everywhere as more and more people limit their meat intake. Whether you’re a vegetarian or simply trying to reduce how much red meat you’re eating, veggie burgers are a fantastic guilt-free option. The important thing to remember about veggie burgers is that they’re incredibly diverse. It’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of situation. Is your veggie burger made out of beans, lentils, cheese, nuts? What sort of seasonings does it have? All of these factors will influence your wine pairing decision.
For the sake of this article, we’ll opt for a beetroot and lentil burger topped with creamy goat’s cheese. This delectable combo pairs exceptionally well with sparkling wines. This Italian Prosecco is a perfect choice for its summery citrus tones, which pairs well with the sweet acidity of the beetroot and helps balance out the pungency of the goats’ cheese. If you’re not a fan of sparkling wine, a light fruity French red like Beaujolais will pair equally well with this veggie delight.
We may not be sitting on a terrace in Spain sipping on Rioja and admiring the Cantabrian Mountains, but while England continues to put up the façade of being a sun-drenched country with warm summers, we’re all for firing up the grill and inviting your family over for that barbecue you’ve always wanted to have. Just don’t forget the wine.
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