Pairing Wine With Barbecue Foods


When grilling with different marinades and rubs, how can I be sure of a great wine pairing?

Answer: There’s probably as many opinions as wine-drinkers, but here’s a cheat-sheet worth keeping:

Better with White or Rosé Wines

Crisp, aromatic, white wines with high acidity, like a Sauvignon Blanc, work well with grilled meats if it's too hot to enjoy red wine or if red wine 'just isn't your thang'

Marinades based on oil, lemon juice and fresh herbs are a great companion to crisp dry whites, e.g. Sauvignon Blanc.

Grilled vegetables pair very nicely with Sauvignon Blanc as do most seafood dishes.

Asian flavours such as lime, coriander and chilli match well with aromatic whites such as Pinot Gris, Riesling and rosé.

Middle Eastern spicing such as cumin, coriander and mint go perfect with sharp, lemony whites, or a dry rosé.

Better with Red Wine

Smokey or chilli-based marinades or rubs? Choose a Shiraz, Pinotage, or Zinfandel.

Red wine marinades pair well with Cabernet, Merlot or blends of the two.

Tomato-based sauces call for a nice Sangiovese or Zinfandel.

Grilled meats, like steak, are a little more versatile and can be enjoyed with a wider range of reds. Try it with a Cabernet or a Merlot if you ask us. 

Cape Malay style spicing (sweet and spicy) (a jammy Pinotage or Shiraz)

But, let’s face it, the only true guideline you have to worry about is:  if you like it – drink it.  If we all had the same taste nobody would have bothered to invent deep fried Mars bars, the AMC Gremlin or Milli Vanilli.


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