Sizzling Steak Sippers
If tonight's menu features a lean cut of steak, like top sirloin, choose a medium-bodied red from Bordeaux. For fattier cuts of beef, including T-bones and rib-eyes, go for a fuller-bodied wine, such as an Argentinian Malbec, which delivers bold flavours and higher tannins that stand up to the richness of the meat.
Right for Spice
Slow-grilling a few racks of spice-rubbed ribs? Those tender morsels of perfectly seasoned barbecued pork call for a substantial wine to really balance the flavours, like a fruity Merlot or a full-bodied California Zinfandel with a hint of smoke and spice. Slathering ribs or chops in a sweet barbecue sauce? Pair them with a juicy rosé.
When you slide that succulent burger off the grill and onto a soft, fluffy bun, reach for a big red, like an Australian Shiraz or a deeply concentrated Valpolicella from Italy. The robust character of these varietals works well with the savoury taste of the beef. For turkey burgers, look for a light-bodied red, like Pinot Noir, or try a Pinot Gris to complement the delicate poultry taste.
Pinot Noir is an ideal match for salmon on the grill. This red’s fruity complexity, silky tannins and pronounced acidity balance the richness of the fish. Pair grilled white fish, like halibut or swordfish steaks, with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or an unoaked Chardonnay to enhance the smoky, delicate fish without overwhelming it.
Whether you’re barbecuing breasts, thighs or a whole bird, chicken’s mild flavour shines with a glass of cold, crisp white wine. Look for a vibrant New World Riesling or, if you’re grilling chicken with a citrusy marinade, choose a light-bodied white with some tartness, such as a Pinot Grigio, to highlight its tangy flavour.
Corn is a summer staple on the barbecue. Match its creamy flavour with a rich, buttery Chardonnay that’s had a touch of oak aging. The corn picks up a nutty smokiness from the grill, and those elements are echoed in the smoky flavours the barrel imparts to the wine. Top it with a homemade herb butter mixed with fresh parsley, cilantro or thyme to unlock the hidden complexity of the wine.