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Find Your New Favourite... Wines for Barbecue Food

It is always said that the British love a barbecue and will seize upon even the slightest increase of temperature and glimpse of sunshine to throw on their shorts and light the coals.

Eating and socializing outside with friends and family is always a winner and it is easier than ever to pick up a inexpensive grill and start cooking. With the British weather notoriously unpredictable (especially in our beloved Manchester!), no wonder we're keen to do it when we can.

Our confidence has grown too and we're now cooking a wider variety of foods on the grill, which opens up more opportunities for wine pairing - but also potential challenges. Those extra relishes, sauces, marinades and salad dressings can create a complex combination of flavours for wine to handle. But don't fear - we've got some great tips on what to go for to make your barbecue top tier.

Our top tips for the best wines for BBQ:

  • Think bold, ripe sweet-fruited red wine for BBQ as these work best with red meat. Less tannic, juicier reds with be great with burgers - Zinfandel can be a winner here. Fuller-bodied options will enhance the peppery, savoury flavours in the barbecued beef or steak and will be where your Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon shine.
  • It's sometimes better to match the sauce or the marinade if it is particularly spicy or sweet, as these are flavours that can clash with dry wine. You could try an off-dry Riesling or Gewurztraminer instead.
  • For chicken dishes you could choose a lightly oaked chardonnay, viognier or perhaps enjoy them with a glass of Cava. 
  • If you're serving fish or grilled veggies, think crisp white wines like Sauvignon Blanc or Picpoul de Pinet and dry rosé or light reds like Pinot Noir and Mencia.
  • It's useful to remember that if it's a hot day, you should keep your red wine cool. Warm red wine can be overly jammy and alcoholic, so keep it out of the sun and even chill it down a bit.

However, the main thing about barbecues is to enjoy them, so don't worry if you'd prefer to ignore the above and just choose your favourite.

If you're catering to a bigger group and looking for some great value wine that will be versatile with a number of different dishes you could go for our Favourite Easy Drinkers case. It contains some juicy reds and refreshing whites that can handle a bit of spice and work well with burgers and fish dishes.

ind your new Favourite... BBQ Wines (FREE Delivery on this case)

For when you are going the extra mile and cooking up a serious feast, this is the selection for you. Introducing our picks for wine to pair with BBQ:

Indomita Nostros Merlot Gran Reserva, 14% Chile

Merlot is sometimes described as mellow, and that really fits with this wine. It has fruity aromas of cherry, fig and prune, which are more delicate than you might expect. On the palate is is velvety and medium-bodied with a little richness from time in oak and gentle tannins.  A tasty, juicy wine.

One for smoked brisket or ribs.

Man Meets Mountain, Malbec, 13.5% Argentina

This great value Malbec stands out for its pure fruit character. The vines are planted at the foothills of the Andes and the cooling breeze from the mountains ripens the grapes slowly for maximum flavour. There's an abundance of blueberrys, blackberries and ripe, juicy plums with a rich, warming finish. A short time in French oak barrels just softens the tannins and bring the fruit together.

One for venison burgers or sausages.

Avalon, Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.5% California

Avalon has been making wine since 1991. Their wines offer really great value. This Cabernet delivers big bold fruit and is just perfect for a barbecue.

Ripe with juicy aromas of dark fruit, mocha and spice that meet with hints of vanilla on the nose. On the palate, black cherry, red raspberry and plum are followed by a long, smooth finish. Satisfying and direct in a way that the Americans do so well.

A versatile food partner with steaks, pizza and rotisserie chicken.

Rook en Spieels, Waas Semillon, 12% South Africa

This is the kind of Orange wine that would also appeal to white wine drinkers. There's texture from the subtle tannins yes, but it is delightfully drinkable. The nose is fresh with aromas of ripe peach and apricot. The palate builds on this with a creamy texture before the bright acidity freshens up with a pithy finish. Bright modern wine that's perfect for now.

You could try this with Try this with grilled chicken with a rainbow 'slaw, or with barbequed swordfish.



Matawhero, Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, 12.5% New Zealand

We're very much in UK asparagus season and a few spears on the grill makes for an easy side dish. This excellent Sauvignon from Marlborough on the Southern island of New Zealand would be a great match but it also would shine with grilled fish seasoned with a slightly spicy rub.

This vibrant wine displays aromas of passionfruit and citrus zest with notes of fresh herbs and green pepper. The concentrated palate is layered with flavours of sweet tropical fruit, bright lemon and lime, and crunchy green apple. With a zesty minerality this wine leads to a pure, lively and focused dry finish that has both freshness and length.

This is perfect with some grilled langoustines.

Adobe, Gewurztraminer, 13% Chile

As mentioned before off-dry Geurztraminer can a winner with sweeter marinades and this superb dry example from Chile a freshener between courses. Anything with a zesty dressing or a lime-drenched marinade will taste great with this. The nose offers floral aromas of jasmine, lychee, and honey notes. The floral notes reappear on the palate, along with apricot, and mandarin orange. Medium-bodied with good concentration and a refreshing ripe fruit finish. 

 ind your new Favourite... BBQ Wines (FREE Delivery on this case)

If you like the sound of these wines, we've put together a 6-bottle case with a little saving which you can find here.

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