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BBQ & Burger Wine Pairings Done Right

Pairing wine with barbecue and burgers can be a fun experience, as the smoky and robust flavors of grilled meats can complement certain wines quite well. Plus, when you have a BQQ party with friends or Family, it’s always an excellent addition to sip a nice glass of wine.

Let’s Start From The Beginning – Should You Serve Wine At a BBQ?

Absolutely – Serving wine at a BBQ can be a fantastic idea!

While beer and other beverages are popular choices for outdoor gatherings like barbecues, wine can bring a different level of sophistication and flavor to the experience.

Moreover, grilled foods like BBQ meats and burgers offer various flavors, textures, and spices. Wine’s versatility allows you to experiment with various pairings to find the perfect match for your menu. Also, the acidity and flavors of wine can provide a refreshing contrast to the smoky and rich flavors of barbecue dishes.

Is Red Wine Or White Wine Better With BBQ?

Both red and white wines can work well with BBQ, but the choice between the two depends on the specific BBQ dishes you’re serving and your personal preferences.

We did the hard work for you and matched the best wine for each BBQ dish. Continue reading to learn more.

Best Wine with Burgers

Wine Pairing With Classic Beef Burger and Cheeseburger

Classic beef burgers and cheeseburgers are hearty and flavorful dishes that call for wines that can suit the meat and cheese while enhancing the overall enjoyment. There are some wine options to consider for your burger pairing:

Red Blend: A red blend, such as a Bordeaux-style blend or a wine blend from California, can be a versatile and satisfying choice. These blends often combine different grape varieties, from Cab to Merlot or Petite Sirah, to create a balanced and flavorful wine that can stand up to the richness of the beef and cheese.

Cabernet Sauvignon: A classic choice that offers bold flavors of dark fruit, often with notes of tobacco, herbs, and sometimes a hint of bell pepper. Its structured tannins can complement the beef and cut through the richness of the cheese.

Malbec: Malbec wine offers plum and dark fruit flavors along with soft tannins. It can provide a nice balance to the meatiness of the burger while enhancing the overall flavors.

Chardonnay: If you’re looking to pair wine with a cheeseburger on a summery afternoon, consider a medium to full-bodied Chardonnay. The buttery and oaky notes can suit the melted cheese and add a touch of richness to the pairing. Plus, A chilled white wine is a refreshing option for hot summer days.

Chardonnay wine by Firstleaf
Chardonnay wine by Firstleaf

Wine Pairing With Other Types of Burgers

Pairing Wine with chicken burgers & Turkey Burgers

Chicken burgers have a lighter and leaner flavor profile compared to beef burgers, so you’ll want wines that complement their taste without overwhelming them. Here are our top three wine-pairing options:

Chardonnay: Chardonnay is a versatile white wine that can work well with chicken hamburgers, especially if the burgers have a creamy or cheesy element. Look for unoaked or lightly oaked Chardonnays with crisp acidity and flavors of green apple, citrus, and melon. The wine’s freshness can enhance the flavors of the chicken and any accompanying toppings.

Pinot Noir: Pinot Noir is a red wine with delicate flavors of red berries, cherry, and sometimes earthy or herbal notes. Its lighter body and softer tannins make it an excellent match for chicken burgers, allowing the burger’s flavors to shine. Pinot Noir’s versatility means it can pair well with various toppings and condiments.

Naked Wines Pinot Noir Wine Selection
Naked Wines Pinot Noir Wine Selection

Sauvignon Blanc: Sauvignon Blanc is a white wine known for its zesty acidity and vibrant taste of citrus, tropical fruits, and grassy notes. It can provide a refreshing contrast to the leaner, milder flavors of chicken. If your chicken burger has a slightly tangy or herbaceous element, Sauvignon Blanc can suit those flavors nicely.

Pairing Wine with fish burgers

Fish burgers have a unique flavor profile that pairs well with certain types of wine. Remember to consider the specific type of fish used in the burger, as well as any sauces, seasonings, or toppings that may influence your wine pairing decision.

Here are the top three wine-pairing options for fish burgers:

Sauvignon Blanc: Sauvignon Blanc is a fantastic choice for fish burgers. Its bright acidity and lively flavors of citrus, green apple, and herbs can complement the delicate flavors of the fish. The wine’s crispness can also provide a refreshing contrast to the burger’s textures.

Chardonnay: An unoaked or lightly oaked Chardonnay can work well if the fish burger has a more substantial texture or is served with creamy sauces. It offers a balance between crispness and a touch of richness, which can enhance the flavors of the fish and any accompanying toppings.

Rosé: A dry rosé can be a versatile and enjoyable choice for fish burgers. Rosé wines often have notes of red berries, citrus, and floral aromas, which can complement the light and delicate flavors of fish. The wine’s acidity and fruitiness can provide a well-rounded pairing.

David Akiyoshi Rose of Pinot Noir 2020, California
David Akiyoshi Rose of Pinot Noir 2020, California

Pairing wine with veggie Hamburgers

When you pair wine with veggie burgers, consider the specific ingredients in the burger, such as the types of vegetables, grains, and seasonings used. The goal is to choose a wine that enhances the flavors and textures of the veggie burger while providing a balanced and enjoyable pairing.

For example, a veggie mushrooms burger or lentil burger offers earthy and umami-rich flavors that can complement certain types of wine, like French Syrah.

For Beyond Burger, try to match Zinfandel. The fruitiness of this wine can match well with the savory and slightly smoky flavors of a Beyond Meat burger very well.

Pairing wine With Blue Cheese Topped Burger

Pairing good wine with a blue cheese-topped burger requires finding a wine that can stand up to the bold, intense flavors of the cheese while complementing the meatiness of the burger. For that, your best option is probably Cabernet Sauvignon.

Cabernet Sauvignon is a wine known for its full-bodied nature and robust flavors of dark fruits, tobacco, and sometimes herbal notes. The wine’s strong character can balance the pungent and tangy qualities of the cheese, creating a harmonious contrast. The tannins in Cabernet can also cut through the richness of the cheese and meat, cleansing the palate between bites. This wine also goes well if you top the burger with hot caramelized onions!

Wine Pairing With Chicken Legs and Wings

When you come to pair wine with chicken legs and wings, which often have a combination of flavors ranging from juicy and tender meat to savory and sometimes spicy seasonings, you’ll want wines that can complement the different tastes of the dish.

Riesling: Riesling is a white wine known for its versatility and wide range of styles, from dry to sweet. For chicken legs and wings, a slightly off-dry or dry Riesling can work well. The wine’s crisp acidity can balance the richness of the meat, and its fruity and floral aromas can complement a variety of seasoning profiles, from barbecue to spicy.

Pinot Noir: Pinot Noir is a versatile red wine that can be a great match for chicken legs and wings. Its medium-bodied nature and flavors of red berries, cherry, and sometimes earthy or herbal notes can suit the savory and sometimes slightly smoky flavors of the chicken. The wine’s balanced profile won’t overpower the dish and can provide a pleasant contrast.

Wine Pairing With Ribs

BBQ ribs, with their smoky, savory flavors and often some sweetness, call for wines that can match the richness and fat content of the meat and balance the bold BBQ sauce. Here are two wine-pairing options for BBQ ribs:

Cabernet Franc: Cabernet Franc can be a wonderful choice for pairing with BBQ ribs. Cabernet Franc is a red wine known for its aromatic qualities, red fruit flavors, and sometimes herbal or green pepper notes.

Malbec: Malbec is another red choice that pairs well with BBQ ribs. It features plum and dark fruit flavors along with soft tannins. The wine’s balanced structure can enhance the flavors of the ribs without overwhelming them. Malbec’s fruitiness and slightly earthy undertones can go well with the charred and savory aspects of the dish.

Wine Pairing With Hot Dogs & Pork Sausage

Pairing wine with hot dogs and pork sausages involves finding wines that can complement the savory and sometimes smoky flavors of the meats while balancing the overall experience. Here are two wine pairing options:

Sparkling Rosé: Sparkling rosé wine offers a delightful combination of fruitiness, acidity, and effervescence. It can bring a refreshing contrast to the richness of hot dogs and sausages. The wine’s red berry notes and floral aromas can complement the flavors of the meats and any condiments and toppings, from classic ketchup and mustard to more creative options.

Grenache / Garnacha: a wine with juicy red fruit flavors, subtle spiciness, and a medium body. The wine’s approachable nature can work well with the straightforward flavors of hot dogs and pork sausages. Its mild tannins and well-balanced acidity can harmonize with hot dogs and sausage’s smoky and savory elements.

Last Notes

Ultimately, the best wine to pair with your choice of BBQ will depend on your personal wine flavor preferences and the specific meats or veggies you put on the grill. We recommend experimenting with different wine pairings to find the one that works best for you and BBQ your guests.

Want to know more about wine pairings and other wine-world subjects? Check out our blog!

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