The Best Wines to Bring to a Barbecue

The Best Wines to Bring to a Barbecue

Choosing which wines to bring to a summer barbecue comes down to more than what’s on the grill. Sure, that is important, and you probably don’t want to pair albariño with brisket, but there’s more to consider. There’s the weather (hot), the setting (casual), and the guests’ taste preferences (all over the place). To help simplify things, we’ve laid out our favorite BBQ wines in this guide.

The Best Wines to Bring to a Barbecue

Chilled Reds

On the one hand, you want to drink red wine with red meat. On the other hand, you’re already considering a stroll through the sprinklers to cool off. The answer? Chilled reds. These bright, tart red wines are refreshing on their own, doubly so when pulled from a cooler on a hot summer day. They’re the perfect ‘burger wines,’ yet they’re light enough to go with grilled fish as well.

Ideal choices:

Cruse Wine, North Coast Red Blend 'Monkey Jacket' 2019 $35

Raj Parr Wines, Tres Chingones 2020 $45

Domaine Andrée, L’Envolée 2018 $55


Syrah, especially from the Northern Rhône, isn’t particularly difficult to identify in a blind tasting. The wines possess certain aromas and flavors that you just can’t find anywhere else. Those flavors - like bacon fat, grilled meat, peppercorns, and curing spices - immediately transport you to the grill at a summer cookout. Unsurprisingly, syrah pairs perfectly with everything on the grill at a summer cookout.

Ideal choices:

Domaine de l'Iserand, 'Lou Taïssou' Saint-Joseph 2019 $49

Aurélien Chatagnier, Cornas 2018 $100

Jean-Michel Stephan, Côte-Rôtie 'Les Binards' 2019 $110


If you take a Ron Swanson approach to BBQs – filling your plate with bacon-covered steak and steak-covered bacon – then your wine choices are simple. Most of us, however, opt for a bit of balance in the form of sides like corn on the cob, watermelon, and potato salad. For something that goes with it all, look no further than Champagne.

Ideal choices:

Laherte Frères, ‘Rosé de Meunier’ Champagne NV $65

Chartogne-Taillet, 'Les Couarres' Extra Brut 2016 $125


If there are steaks on the grill, then your options don’t get much better than Barolo. And unlike some other great ‘steak wines’, Barolo doesn’t weigh you down. It packs high acidity and massive tannins in a relatively lean frame, meaning it’ll be the giant ribeye, and not the wine, that has you looking for a hammock to nap on at 6pm.

Ideal choices:

Trediberri, Barolo 2017 $55

Barolo & Barbaresco 2-Pack $100

Margherita Otto, Barolo 2016 Magnum $300


Most rosé is little more than something to hold you over during that awkward time before the host fires up the grill. But the right rosés are capable of a whole lot more. The ones we bring to BBQs are easy-drinking enough to pair with salads or sides, but they also have enough body and structure to stand up to burgers and ribs.

Ideal choices:

Buona Notte, Rosé 'Rosa' 2020 $30

Château Pradeaux, Bandol Rosé 2021 $39

Clos Cibonne Tibouren, Rosé Provence 2020 $45

Versatile White Wines

Look, white wines don’t really go with fatty meat or BBQ sauce. With that said, you might not eat meat, or you might just want something bright and refreshing on an August afternoon. Seems reasonable to us. Our go-tos are high-acid, textured whites with enough versatility to pair with anything from chicken and seafood to nothing at all.

Ideal choices:

Luis Rodríguez, 'Os Pasás' Ribeiro 2018 $40

Domaine du Pélican, Arbois Savagnin Ouillé 2020 $55

Benanti, 'Pietra Marina' Etna Bianco 2016 $95

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