Forget the six pack of beer, BBQ season calls for a six (bottle) pack of wine to get the juices flowing. If you like your meat smokin’ then you’ll probably want to pair it with a suitably sizzling selection of wines. Here are some classic meat n’wine matches, along with a couple of slightly more off-griddle suggestions to get you thinking…

Beef

Match protein with tannins, so think rich, structured and fruity reds: New World Cabernet, Syrah or Malbec all work brilliantly, as do Syrah and Grenache blends from the Rhone Valley or Cabernet based Bordeaux. If you’re serving burgers, you can get away with lighter styles than you would with steak.

Rude Pairing: Peppered T Bone steak with St Veronica Malbec Reserva, Argentina

Grilled BBQ T-Bone Steak with Fresh Rosemary

 

Sausages

Think bright, fruity reds with good acidity to cut through the fattiness of the sausages: Southern French, Spanish or Italian reds work well, especially if they are unoaked or have very subtle oak character (you can usually read this on the back label if you’re unsure).

Rude Pairing: Toulouse sausages with Domaine Saint Lannes Les Peyrades Rouge, Cotes de Gascogne

detail of sausages and glass of wine

 

Chicken

If you’re barbecuing chicken, chances are you’ll be using a marinade so the type of wine will depend on the main flavours. Spicy or jerk chicken recipes can pair up with fruity reds but on the whole, you’re more likely to get the winning flavours with white wine. Go for medium bodied, lightly oaked styles, particularly from Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc or Semillon.

Rude Pairing: Lemon and Pepper marinated chicken with Bonnievale Chardonnay, South Africa

grilledlemonchicken2

 

Vegetables

Light summer vegetables such as courgette or asparagus pair well with fresh, dry whites with no oak: Sauvignon Blanc or Gavi are good options, or try a Prosecco for a very clean, crisp pairing.

Rude Pairing: Chargrilled courgette and feta salad with Gavi di Gavi Lugarara, La Giustiniana

courgette salad

Lamb

Plump for fruity, elegant, medium-bodied reds which won’t overpower the lamb but will still have enough structure and acidity to cope with the rich flavours. Tempranillo (Rioja), Pinot Noir and Grenache/Garnacha based blends won’t disappoint, or head for Portugal for a classic barbecued lamb and red wine pairing.

Rude Pairing: Red wine and garlic marinated butterflied leg of lamb with Escada Touriga Nacional, Portugal

butterflied leg of lamb

Halloumi

Stick with dry white or rosé and contrast the saltiness of the cheese with ripe fruit flavours: Southern French or Spanish styles are a good bet if you can’t get your hands on an authentic Greek wine!

Rude Pairing: Grilled halloumi and tomato kebabs with Domaine Saint Lannes Les Coquelicots Rosé

halloumi kebabs 1

Prawns

Prawns and other seafood tend to prefer light whites: go for fresh Southern European whites with no oak such as Picpoul de Pinet or Albarino which will also pair well with classic seafood marinades such as garlic, lemon or chilli.

Rude Pairing: Garlic prawn skewers with Pipoli Greco Fiano, Basilicata

prawns_landscape 1