BBQ wines – best wine pairings for steak

What’s the best wine to choose for your BBQ? Welcome to our three-part blog dedicated to finding the perfect wine pairings with classic BBQ food. Let’s start with UK’s all-time favourite: steak.

Best wines for smokey flavours

When thinking about the best wines to enjoy with barbecued steak, look no further than big juicy reds. There are many different styles to choose from, but bear in mind that the flavour of the meat will affect the flavour of your wine. So, the more charred a steak is, the more ripeness and sweet tannins your wine needs to have. The same goes for any smoked meat.  Our top recommendation for a sure-fire winner has to be an Argentinian Malbec such as Gouguenheim Reserve.

Riojas are also a great match and Valserrano Crianza or Miguel Merino Vitola will work wonders. Otherwise, if you don’t want to break the bank our popular Italian wine, Armigero Sangiovese di Romagna, is simply delicious!

Think outside the box! Cooler wine regions such as Adelaide Hills, one of Australia’s coolest wine regions due to its altitude, offer the perfect environment for Shiraz’s ripe flavours and spiciness. It produces wines that are lighter in body and have less tannins than neighbouring Barossa. Try our Sidewood Shiraz and see for yourself!  Another great option from South Africa would be Bizoe Estalet Syrah with more structure and spicy pepper notes.

Rare steak wine pairings

The texture of your meat also plays an important part when matching a wine. The rarer the meat, the less tannins you will feel. A young Cabernet Sauvignon, for example, will reveal a beautiful, smooth texture when matched with a quality, rare fillet of steak. Château Brisson, Côtes de Bordeaux has plenty of blackcurrant flavours with firm tannins that will work well. Italian wines are also worth exploring. Super Tuscans such as Le Difese and Sangiovese-based wines like our Chianti Classico Riserva Castelli del Grevepesa or Brunello’s ‘little brother’ Rosso di Montalcino La Togata, are also worth trying.

Robust wines perfect for fatty meats

Always check the fat content!  The fattier the meat, the more robust a wine needs to be. Wines from the Rhône valley are perfect with burgers and also sausages and pork ribs. Try our Côtes du Rhône Les Hautes Cances, sourced from 50 year old vines.  A traditional wine with cherry fruit flavours and savoury, spicy, and earthy notes, it is simply delicious. Biodynamic wine like Lirac Lunar Apogé from Domaine des Carabiniers is also a great match.

Fruity tannic red wines for rich sauces

If the meat comes with richer sauces, specially the spicy one, it’s better to opt for less tannic, fruitier reds. Tannins enhance the perception of heat and bitterness. Modern style Côtes du Rhône such as Les Promesses by Domaine Gonnet or wines from Navarra Ochoa La Foto de 1934 will work well. Easy drinking Malbecs like Domaine Bousquet Black Rock are also brilliant.

There are no perfect answers for food and wine matching and everyone has their own favourites.  We hope that you have found our tips for choosing wine to enjoy with barbecued red meats useful, but if you would like us to make a selection for you, why not try our Quintessential Barbecue Red Wine Case.