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Best Wines To Enjoy With Your Barbeque Food This Summer

We are standing on the threshold of summer, with the delightful fresh promise of sunny afternoons stretching into long evenings in the garden…well we can hope anyway! It’s the brink of the barbecue season, and this surely lends itself to celebrating with friends and family and some quality cases of wine.

Here’s a guide to the perfect pairings of wine and barbecue food to make those garden get-togethers really special this year. 

General wine and BBQ tips

BBQs are naturally a feast of bold smoky and grilled flavours from the meats, but also consider the sauces, marinades and sides when pairing with wine. For example, a very sweet honey marinade could be balanced with a crisp acidic white wine, or a vinaigrette salad dressing could be balanced with a sweet and fruity rosé.

BBQs are generally fun and informal occasions, and almost any combination of sparkling, red, white and rosé will probably work just fine with most of the food. Aim to strike a balance between serving warm bargain basement booze in plastic cups, and fretting too much about the ‘rules.’ Here are a few simple pointers! 

Wines to pair with burgers

Burgers are a BBQ staple and they can stand up to big bold wines, such as full and medium bodied reds. Zinfandel is a classic match because of its pleasing mixture of berries and spice that complement grilled meat perfectly. The other good matches include Cabernet sauvignon, Shiraz, or Malbec.

Consider the sauces or marinades you are serving the meat with, particularly if they are very sweet or spicy. Look for qualities in the wine that will complement or counterbalance strong flavours, rather than be overpowered by them. 

 Wines to pair with grilled oily fish

Fish such as salmon or sardines are a BBQ classic, and pair well with white, sparkling or rosé wine. Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir are great choices, or even Albariño or Chardonnay. Look for drier and more acidic grape varieties that will cut through the oily fish. Fatty fish such as salmon can even work with a light red such as Beaujolias. 

Veggie burgers and vegetable skewers

Veggie burgers and vegetable skewers have lighter flavours that go well with dry white wines such as Chenin Blanc. Other dry and crisp whites that work well with veggies include Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon blancs from cooler climates. Dry sparkling wines such as Champagne or some varieties of Prosecco can also work well. 

White fish and seafood

Lighter fish naturally goes with lighter whites that won’t overpower the more delicate flavours. If you are serving white fish with a classic lemon dressing, look for warmer climate whites, which tend to have fuller and sweeter flavours. 

Sauvignon blanc could be a perfect match. If you are serving creamy sauces, go for more acidic whites or a dry sparkling wine to counterbalance the textures nicely. 

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