The Best Wine Pairings for a Barbecue

What people drink at a barbie used to be a fairly simple proposition in Australia: beer or a box of wine. White? Red? Doesn’t matter; it’s a box of wine.


However, it isn’t the ‘80s anymore; Aussies have developed a somewhat more sophisticated palate, which includes our taste for wine. This is fortunate considering the abundance of the top-quality vino that we produce down under. It’s only natural that we would combine it with something else that we’re particularly good at: barbecuing.

When most people think ‘BBQ’, they think ‘red meat’. And when they think ‘red meat’, they think ‘big red wines’ – shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet merlot are three of our favourites. Their bold, full-bodied flavours complement the smokiness, spice and sweetness of the grilled red meats.


However, when people think ‘BBQ’, they also think ‘summer’, and in hot weather drinking red wine can feel like swallowing chocolate syrup – thick, hard to get down, and not at all palatable. This is where cool, refreshing whites come in.

Crisp, aromatic, dry white wines such as sauvignon blanc, riesling and pinot gris go very well with grilled veggies, seafood and white meats. But while their sweetness and acidity is perfect for light foods, they tend to clash with heavy red meats.

So if chomping into a steak on a hot day, a good option for a complementary wine is a chilled red, such as a rosé. Or if you prefer something a bit more full-bodied, you can slightly chill (30 minutes in the fridge should do it) a light red, like a pinot noir.

Alternatively, you can ignore the advice of all the connoisseurs and just drink and eat whatever tastes best to you!

What do you think? What kind of wine do you like with a barbie? Do you pair your wines with your barbecued meals? Leave your comments below.     

Marian O'Neill

Marian O'Neill

Managing Director at
My name is Marian O’Neill and I am the owner of All BBQs. My working life commenced as a primary school teacher, however the majority of my career has been in business with my husband. I love BBQ cooking and decided to follow my interest and open an online BBQ superstore after much research revealed how difficult it was to find good quality, australian made BBQs. At we specialise in Australian made BBQs, wood fired pizza ovens and outdoor kitchens. We strive wherever possible to provide high quality Australian made products.

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