Even though the weather hasn’t been behaving as it should, at least in Britain, we still love a BBQ. Or even an indoor BBQ, just put everything under the grill, it’s basically the same especially if you burn it and all your clothes smell of smoke afterwards. But whether you’re a master of the grill or a novice, it’s easy to get the wine right with our handy guide.

So in the words of John Torode from Masterchef: ‘Let’s cook!’

10 wines to accompany your BBQ dishes


wine for BBQ

Hot dogs – Michele Chiarlo Orme 2018

We reckon this punchy Piedmontese red will go brilliantly with strong-flavoured sausages like a wild boar or those Italian ones that taste of fennel. Michele Chiarlo has been a pioneer of making serious wines out of the barbera grape in Piedmont. In the past it very much played second fiddle to nebbiolo and was thought only good for cheap trattoria wines. This wine shows how good barbera can be, combining a joyful sense of fun with intensity and concentration. 

Lamb chops – Marqués de Cáceres Gran Reserva Rioja 2015 75cl

Marqués de Cáceres is one of the newer producers in Rioja, established in the 1970s by Enrique Forner. It produces consistently excellent wines with its Gran Reservas always a highlight. Mainly made from tempranillo grown at high altitude for freshness, this spent three years ageing in American oak barrels and five years in bottle until it’s mellow and smooth but still with plenty of fresh fruit and structure. Bring on the lamb chops!

Pork skewers – Vino Lauria Nerello 2021 75cl

If you’re looking for a summery red that you could serve chilled then look no further than this delicious little number from Lauria in Sicily. It is made from nerello mascalese, an indigenous grape variety to the island. With soft tannins, juicy red fruit and fresh acidity, this would go with a wide variety of dishes though we think it’s got a particular affinity with pork. 

Burgers – Bosman Twyfeling Cinsault 2021 75cl 

Burgers are a tricky one for wine because you need a robust, sweetly-flavoured wine that won’t be fazed by ketchup, pickles etc. This ripe Cape cinsault from South Africa is just the ticket. South Africa has some of the largest plantings of cinsault, a southern French grape, in the world, but for a long time it wasn’t appreciated. Cinsault went into red blends, pinks and was even distilled into brandy. In the last five years, however, the world has woken up to how wonderful Cape cinsault can be when treated properly. 

Steak – Clos La Coutale Cahors 2022 75cl

If you like a nice bloody steak then you’ll want to have a few bottles of this on standby. A blend of 80% malbec and 20% merlot, Clos La Coutale is made from well-established and revered vines in the Lot Valley in south-west France. Well structured, full and rounded and with significant hedgerow berry fruit length, this is as good a representation of the Cahors region as any. This wine has also spent a year in wooden casks which has helped it develop levelled out tannins and a hint of vanilla to balance out its ripe fruitiness.

Peri peri chicken – Pe Tinto Portugal 2021 Esporao 75cl

We’ve been getting into the home Nando’s this summer. Just spatchcock a chicken, marinade it overnight in chilli, vinegar, herbs and citrus, and then wack it on the grill until it’s juicy and slightly blackened. Its robust flavours require a suitably robust wine like this great value red from one of Portugal’s best producers, Esporao. This comes from the Alentejo region and is made from three local varieties: castelão, moreto, and trincadeira to create a juicy distinctive wine that is packed full of flavour.


wine for BBQ

Swordfish steaks – Lyme Bay Chardonnay 2021 75cl

2021 may have been a much leaner vintage than 2020, but Lyme Bay has pulled another stunner out of the bag with its latest chardonnay. As usual this Devon-based winery has sourced the fruit from Essex, the warmest driest part of the country. This is given some oak ageing which gives it a roundness and compliments the zingy citrus fruit. This would be remarkably good with charred swordfish cooked on the grill. 

Corn on the cob – Mahi Sauvignon Blanc 2022 75cl

If you’re cooking some corn on the cob on the grill, especially if there’s some lime and chilli involved, then there’s no better match than a nice Kiwi sauvignon blanc (apart from a Whiskey Sour). We’ve got just the thing: it comes from New Zealand’s Mahi winery, found in the famed Marlborough region. A small proportion of the wine is barrel fermented, adding subtle buttery hints and spices to the tropical fruit and citrus flavours which go brilliantly with the sweet taste of corn. 

Spicy prawns – Txomin Etxaniz 2022 75cl

Gambas a la plancha? There’s really no better seafood wine than Txacoli – pronounced ‘cha coal LEE’, it’s a refreshing slightly sparkling style from the Basque Country in Spain. It’s made by Txomin Etxaniz using native grape varieties, hondarrabi zuri and hondarrabi beltza and at 12% alcohol, you can sip this in the sun all afternoon.

And one pink…

wine for BBQ

Vegetable kebabs – Caves d’Esclans The Pale Rosé by Sacha Lichine 2022 75cl

Would it even be a BBQ without a nice bottle of rosé? From the people who brought you Whispering Angel, this is delicious Southern French pink made from a blend of grenache, cinsault and syrah. Open when the sun comes out or just when you need a little liquid sunshine. This is a brilliant all-rounder at the table taking fish, chicken, shellfish, spices and all vegetables in its stride.