The best wines for grilling

Wines for grilling. Which wines go well with the BBQ

“If you know how, you can grill everything!”



Finally it’s that time again, spring is here. Winter had dragged on too long this time, with snow flurries even after the Easter holidays. With the first really sunny-warm days, however, come the spring feelings and the irrepressible desire for the first barbecue increases. Crickets, this ancient, archaic and original cultural technique. The frying of the self-killed game over the open fire, one of the highlights of prehistoric humans. Its charm at that time, as a sociable, cheerful and solemn event, still has an effect today. And especially in our high-tech world, grilling seems to address some of these basic needs in us. Back to our natural roots.

Asado - Grilling in Argentina
Asado – Barbecue fun in Argentina

The barbecue season begins with the dedusting, rusting and overhauling of the grill after the long winter break that the grill has spent in the shed under a protective tarpaulin. This is followed by initial considerations of what comes on the grate today. The literature of various barbecue bibles and cookbooks helps with decision-making and increases the anticipation, which builds up more and more in the procurement of the grilled food and the other ingredients. Back home, the decisive question then arises for me, the wine lover: Which wines do I serve for the grilled? And for me, as an admirer of television entertainment artist Alfred Biolek: Which wine do I already drink during the preparations?

Here is the guide of a passionate griller and wine drinker. It is based on my many years of experience as an organizer and moderator of Wine and Dine Events, as well as on recommendations from our winemakers and friendly chefs from different wine regions and cultural circles.

Wines for grill preparation and for grilling itself

First of all: What always tastes good is allowed. I love wine and so I usually can’t wait to open the first bottle. Already during the preparation of marinades, sauces and side dishes, I and all adult fellow grillers enjoy the first sip. My choice almost always falls on light-footed, acidic wines. Like uncomplicated, fruity Prickler, slim white wines or sparkling rosé wines. The acid has an appetite-stimulating effect for me and makes my mouth water.
Although I sometimes appreciate a small beer when grilling, I usually stick to the previously selected drop on the grate. By the way, the cool serving temperature and the palate-cleansing carbonic acid is one reason why beer also goes very well with grilling.

The Cellardoor24 wine recommendation for barbecue preparation: 2018 Black Cottage Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand

Which wine goes well with a barbecue? Some preliminary considerations

Apart from the type and nature of the food you want to grill or smoke in a smoker, two other factors are crucial for wine selection:

  • Intensity and duration of heat exposure (temperature, direct or indirect grilling)
  • Use of sauces, marinades, rubs, glazes, etc.

Effects of grill temperature on wine selection

Especially when grilling directly, i.e. directly above the heat level, such as the embers of charcoal or the gas burner, the food receives more smoke and charring aromas. The stronger this degree of charring, the better you will match wines that have matured in new, small oak barrels, for example in barriques.
The inside of these barrels is toasted during production for about 10 – 15 minutes, that is, burned out. The roasted barrique barrels give the wine matured in it additional aromas. These range from vanilla, cocoa, caramel, coconut and chocolate, to coffee, smoked bacon and toast.

Burning out the barrique barrels
Burning out a barrique barrel

When smoking in a smoker, the grilled food is usually exposed to a very high temperature for a very long time. This prolonged cooking time, from a temperature of about 140 degrees Celsius, leads to the so-called Maillard reaction, the discovery of which goes back to the French scientist Louis Camille Maillard (1878-1936). He found out that during frying, grilling and baking, sugar and amino acids react with each other from this temperature, thus creating new substance compounds and aromatic roasting substances.
If I remove the burnt ends of the piece of meat after smoking, these smoked dishes are more suitable for wines with soft tannins and subtle or no toasting.

Which wine goes well with sauces, marinades, rubs, glazes and pugs?

The use of ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauces, marinades, rubs, glazes, soy sauce, horseradish, wasabi and other condiments, not only has a considerable influence on the taste of the grilled food but also on the choice of wine accompaniment. So it is not surprising that within the barbecue scene there are also voices to limit the seasoning, especially of steaks, to salt and pepper.

Here are a few simple, basic rules for the harmony of wine and barbecue seasonings

  • Marinades based on oil, lemon juice and fresh herbs such as parsley, dill, thyme or rosemary
    Fresh, fruity white and rosé wines are more suitable here
  • Asian spice blends with lime, coriander and chili
    Aromatic white wines such as Pinot Gris and Riesling or rosé wines are available here. With increasing sharpness towards residual sweet, semi-dry, sweet and sweet wines.
  • Middle East spice blends with cumin, coriander and mint
    Spicy-racy, citrus-fruity white wines and dry rosé wines fit here
  • Smoky marinades or rubs based on chili
    Best barrique-aged red wines such as Shiraz, Pinotage and Malbec
  • Red wine marinades
    Fruity and acidic red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot or mixtures of both (Bordeaux blends)
  • Ketchup and tomato sauces
    The top weapon when it comes to tomatoes: Sangiovese (Chianti) or Zinfandel (Primitivo)
  • Sweet and sticky BBQ sauces based on tomatoes and brown sugar (Kansas City BBQ)
    Go well with fruity yet complex red wines, such as Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carménère, Bordeaux Blends
  • Spicy-peppery tomato-based BBQ sauces (Texas BBQ)
    Works well with Syrah and blends from Grenache-Syrah-Mataro (Mourvèdre)
  • Slightly sweet BBQ sauces based on salt, pepper, vinegar and ketchup (North Carolina BBQ)
    Fruity red wines with little tannin, such as Merlot, Pinotage and Pinot Noir
  • Sweet and spicy mustard-based BBQ sauces (South Carolina BBQ)
    Strong, dry rosé wines or full-bodied white wines are more suitable for this
  • Seasoning in The Cape Mala way with fruity sweet and spicy aromas, typical of South Africa
    Matured, fruity and extract-rich red wines, such as Pinotage, Grenache or Shiraz

By the way:

The hotter the sauce or rub, the sweeter or more acidic the wine should be.

Marinades based on mustard, vinegar or reduced wine adapt food better to wines.

Salt and salty sauces, such as soy sauce, hardly affect the taste of wines, but like salty foods, they generally go well with wines with a higher degree of acidity.

Which wines go well with grilled meat?

When we grill, we prefer to grill meat and here you usually prefer red wines as a food companion. Red meat gets red wine, says an old sommelier wisdom. But why should we rather choose red wine with meat? Well, it’s because the umami flavor and high fat content of the meat wonderfully balance the tannin in red wine. Tannins literally cut through the fat in the meat. In addition to sweet, sour, salty and bitter, umami is another fifth quality of our sense of taste. These are often described with attributes such as meaty, hearty, tasty and comparatively long lasting.

Depending on the type of meat and preparation, however, white wines or rosé wines can also be the better partners. After all, the wine is always the best, complementing the food, producing the best aromas and making the meal an experience for the senses.

The best wines with grilled beef?

When grilling beef, aromas of smoke, tobacco and pepper develop in particular. So we are looking for the wines that directly complement these grill aromas:

  • with smoky notes, peppery tones, tobacco aromas
  • with fruity notes of dark berries and fruits, such as blackberries, black cherries, blackcurrants, plums
  • with complex, intensely spicy flavors, such as chocolate, cocoa, caramel, cloves, vanilla, allspice, cinnamon and others.

The best wines with steak

Wine with steak. This is a wonderful way to enhance the flavors of both your beverage and your food. The ideal, dry red wine has the right balance between animating acidity and pleasant fruit sweetness to harmonize with the salty-fatty, hearty butteriness of a steak.

But not all steaks are the same. The fat content and seasoning of the meat play an important role in the choice of wine. If you opt for a rib-eye steak, also known as entrecôte, with its pronounced fat core, then the wine should be less strong and also have a little more acidity to balance the umami flavors. A wine that is too “fat”, for example from a too hot growing area, could overwhelm the palate and ultimately overwhelm it.

Rump steak and Cabernet Sauvignon from Maxwell Wines, McLaren Vale, Australia

Also with regard to the seasoning you should strive for a good balance. Less is often more. A strongly spiced steak (spicy marinade or rub) cries out for a lighter, fruity wine with subtle residual sweetness rather than a massive, spicy wine. Even if the steak is seasoned with sweet ingredients, the wine should not be sweet. That would be too much of a good thing. A steak, on the other hand, seasoned only with salt and pepper, can be accompanied by almost any red wine. Here are a few ideas:


Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Bordeaux Blends

These wines are ideal as steak accompaniments due to their character traits (acidity, tannin, dark berry aroma and usually also oak toasting). Ideal for higher-fat, well-marbled pieces, such as rib-eye.

The ultimtive Cellardoor24 wine recommendation for grilled steak: 2017 Angus the Bull Cabernet Sauvignon, Aberdeen Wine Company, Central Victoria, Australia


Zinfandel, Primitivo, Merlot

Ideal if these wines come from hot growing areas and you do not like too dry and acidic wines so much. The first two are usually also less tannin. These wines are suitable for steaks with a spicy-spicy taste. The residual sweetness present helps to balance the spiciness of the meat.

The Cellardoor24 wine recommendation for grilled steak: 2018 Hill&Dale Merlot, Stellenbosch, South Africa


Malbec

A powerful, aromatic red wine with an intense, dark colour. The grape variety originally comes from France, but the ideal barbecue companion comes from Argentina, where the largest vineyards of this grape variety are located.
Due to its fruity taste, its aroma and the mostly restrained wood aroma, it fits perfectly with lean steaks, such as Top Sirloin, Flank Steak, Tenderloin

The Cellardoor24 wine recommendation for grilled steak: 2015 Pegasus Bay Maestro Merlot-Malbec, Waipara, New Zealand


Syrah/Shiraz

An intense, fruity wine with mostly peppery spice. The acid- and tannin-rich grape variety originally comes from the Rhône Valley and is now at home in many wine countries of the world, especially in the New World. It harmonises particularly with high-fat, strongly marbled pieces such as rib-eye, striploin or T-bone.

The Cellardoor24 wine recommendation for grilled steak: 2016 St. John’s Road Bload and Courage Shiraz, Barossa Valley, Australia


Sangiovese

A ripened Chianti, preferably a Chianti Classico Riserva, a Vino Nobile di Montepulciano or a Brunello di Montalcino with its redberry fruit, its mouth-watering acidity, its firm tannin and its herbaceous-woody spice go wonderfully with the steak. Ideal for a porterhouse or T-bone steak, such as the legendary Bistecca alla fiorentina (Florentine-style steak) up to 6 centimeters thick.

The best wines with smoked beef breast (Beef Brisket)

Beef Brisket belongs to the “Holy Trinity of Barbecue” with spare ribs and pulled pork. The beef breast is seasoned and traditionally smoked in a barrel smoker for at least 9 hours. Due to the long, gentle cooking at low, indirect heat, the fatty meat becomes wonderfully tender. The wine selection depends on the type and intensity of the seasoning when grilling or smoking Beef Brisket, initially with a dry rub and during cooking with a mop (marinade).


Pinot Noir

If the tender meat is seasoned less intensely and the charred ends are cut away after the cooking process, the accompanying wine does not need to be a tannin monster. A Pinot Noir with its pronounced fruit aromas and its lively, refreshing acidity is a very good choice.

The Cellardoor24 Wine Recommendation for Smoked Beef Brisket: 2018 Amisfield Pinot Noir, Central Otago, New Zealand


Syrah/Shiraz

Although there are also voices that propagate a heavyweight wine such as a Zinfandel to the smoked beef breast, I have had very good experiences with Syrah. Of course, a Barossa Valley Shiraz goes, but the slightly slimmer, Rhône-style, smoky and fruity-peppery Syrah wines are preferred by me.

The Cellardoor24 red wine recommendation for smoked beef brisket: 2016 Trinity Hill Hawke’s Bay Syrah, New Zealand


Tempranillo

Wines from this originally Spanish grape variety, which is primarily associated with Rioja, work surprisingly well. Its usually ripened fruit aromas, reminiscent of cherry and tomatoes, smooth tannins, moderate acidity and skilful wood use are his trump cards as a wine with Beef Brisket.

The Cellardoor24 Red Wine Recommendation for Smoked Beef Brisket: 2013 Topper’s Mountain Wild Fermented Tempranillo, New England, Australia

Strong, dry rosé wines

Yes, even if some people turn up their noses now: Rosé with brisket is a real option. If the tender meat already disintegrates when the fork is attached, it can also be done without tannins. And in summer, a nicely cooled down rosé is a delight anyway. The focus is on stronger rosé wines from warmer growing regions.

The Cellardoor24 Rosé Wine Recommendation for Smoked Beef Brisket: 2017 Hesketh Wild At Heart Rosé, Coonawarra, Australia

The best wines with grilled hamburgers

Hamburgers and wine? Does that even go together? We think so. Why should only beer or cola have the sovereignty of accompaniment?

However, the wine combination with hamburgers can go in different directions, as the diversity of the burger types and ingredients, as well as their preparation suggest. In the following, we will limit ourselves to classic burgers with patties made from ground beef.

Which wines go well with Hamburger
Which wines go well with hamburgers and cheeseburgers?

Classic Hamburger

Buns made from wheat flour, beef patties, tomato slices, lettuce, onions, pickles and burger sauce – done. Ideally, we bake the rolls ourselves and also turn the best beef from the shoulder or neck itself through the wolf.

As a wine accompaniment, some of the usual suspects come into question again, which already cut a good figure for steak, even for red meat in general. The more fried the meat is, the richer the body and oak-containing (toasting) the wine may be.

Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Bordeaux or Bordeaux blends

These wines are ideal partners for burgers due to their lively acidity, firm tannin, dark berry aroma and ageing in barrique barrels.

The Cellardoor24 red wine recommendation for grilled hamburgers: 2017 EastDell Black Cab, Niagara, Canada

Syrah/Shiraz

An Australian Shiraz, for example from the Barossa Valley, is a revelation. Its lush fruit aromas balance the saltiness of the meat and its spiciness gives the whole thing a special kick. Even an overdose of ketchup or smoky BBQ sauce is not a challenge for this wine. The slimmer, Rhône-style, smoky and fruity-peppery Syrah wines also work splendidly.

The Cellardoor24 red wine recommendation for grilled hamburger: 2017 Maxwell Silver Hammer Shiraz, McLaren Vale, Australia

Sangiovese

Red berry fruit, solid tannin, an animating acidity and the ability to cope with tomatoes in any form make a Chianti or a Rosso di Montepulciano a perfect match. With its aromas of roasted herbs, the Sangiovese grape variety also enhances the aromas of the meat.

Classic cheeseburger

In addition to the classic recipe mentioned above, a slice of cheese is added, which gives the whole work even more creaminess, but also sharpness. We use Chester (processed cheese slices) or even better Cheddar, an Irish hard cheese with a slightly tart, salty taste.

The wines may have a little more tannin to cleanse the palate of the “sticky” cheese.
In addition to wines from the Cabernet Sauvignon grape variety, wines from the Sangiovese and Montepulciano grape varieties, as well as Tempranillo are suitable.

The Cellardoor24 red wine recommendation for grilled cheeseburger: 2014 Te Mata Merlot Cabernets Estate Vineyard, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand

Which wines go well with grilled pork?

Which wines go well with grilled pork
Which wines go well with grilled pork?

The best wines for roast pork

We in Bavaria love roast pork and beer. Almost unthinkable to order a wine in a Bavarian inn. The combination possibilities with wine are manifold, provided that you season the roast discreetly and do not suffocate it with a sticky sauce. Classic spices are in addition to salt and pepper, caraway, marjoram and some garlic. Depending on the fat content of the piece, white and red wines can be used here.

Pork tenderloin

The leanest type is pork fillet. A very tender and juicy piece of meat if it is not overgrined. The ideal partner for this would be a dry Riesling or, if you do not want to do without red wine, a Pinot Noir.

The Cellardoor24 wine recommendation for grilled roast pork: 2016 Main Divide Riesling, Waipara, New Zealand

Roast pork ribs

Also this piece, actually a series of pork chops, is relatively lean apart from a thin layer of fat on the outside. In addition to a Riesling, a Pinot Gris, a Sémillon or a full-bodied Sauvignon Blanc also fits here.

The Cellardoor24 wine recommendation for grilled roast pork: 2018 Ohau Woven Stone Pinot Gris, Ohau Gravels, New Zealand

Pig shoulder

The pork shoulder is a fatty piece of meat, usually with a thick rind. It is cooked longer and slower, so that the fat penetrates into the meat. The juicy and tender texture of the meat and the crispy, tasty depth of the rind harmonize especially with full-bodied, fruity white wines, such as Chardonnay, Pinot Gris or Viognier. Red wines with restrained tannin, such as Malbec, Merlot or Pinot Noir are also an option.

The Cellardoor24 wine recommendation for grilled roast pork: 2017 Lakeview Viognier, Niagara, Canada

The best wines with pulled pork

Pulled pork is a specialty of U.S. Southern cuisine, especially in North and South Carolina, where chefs have perfected the art of barbecue. This tender, fatty and very tasty meat is usually made from the pork shoulder. In order to prepare really good pulled pork, the pork shoulder must be smoked over a long period of time in a grill or better a smoker over low heat. As a result, the connective tissue of the meat is slowly softened and so tender that it practically falls apart before it even has to be pulled apart with two forks or with two special claws.

Pulled pork is usually served on the hand, in the form of a sandwich. Paired with some BBQ sauce and coleslaw, pulled pork is one of the tastiest sandwiches around. In Mexican cuisine, the plucked pig is called carnitas and along with onions, coriander, beans and guacamole, it makes a delicious taco.

Pulled Pork North Carolina Style
Pulled Pork North Carolina Style

The richness, spice and taste of slow-cooked pulled pork really needs a strong, aromatic wine that harmonizes with the diverse aromas. When choosing wine, the hearty sauces must be taken into account.

Barbecue sauces for pork are based on vinegar and often tomatoes. They tend to sweetness and thus less tannin-containing red wines with generous fruit aromas and distinctive acidity, such as Merlot and Pinot Noir are ideal companions. The acidity goes well with the spicy vinegar elements of the barbecue sauces and helps to “cleanse” the palate.

The Cellardoor24 Red Wine Recommendation for Pulled Pork: 2018 Black Cottage Marlborough Pinot Noir, New Zealand

However, there are also the sweet, and at the same time spicy barbecue sauces based on mustard. Mustard and red wine form a difficult pair, depending on the other components of the respective sauce. A strong, dry rosé wine or an extract-rich, full-bodied white wine with structure would be ideal partners here. With enough acidity and fresh fruit, they manage to break through the lush aromas of spiced pork. Sémillon, Sémillon Sauvignon blends, Riesling, Viognier, Verdelho and Arneis would be exciting white wines with pulled pork.

The Cellardoor24 wine recommendation for Pulled Pork: 2018 Pillitteri Racina Pinot Square, Niagara, Canada

The best wines with pork ribs (Baby Back Ribs and Spare Ribs)

Pork ribs are always a treat, whether grilled indoors or outdoors. But what types of ribs are there? Depending on which body region of the pig the ribs are taken, they have a different size, a different fat content, a different name and above all a different taste.

Let’s take a look at the two most commonly sold types of ribs: baby back ribs and spare ribs.

Baby Back Ribs

Back ribs are cut in the place where the rib meets the backbone after the loin has been removed. The upper ribs are called baby back ribs, not because they come from a piglet but because they are shorter in relation to the larger spareribs. The meat of the Baby Back Ribs has a lower marbling, is quite tender and lean.

Spare Ribs

The actual spare ribs are the fleshy ribs that are cut from the belly of the animal after the abdomen is removed. They are usually cut to the popular St. Louis style spare ribs by cutting away the hard sternum and tough cartilage. They are flatter than baby back ribs, which makes them easier to grill. Although they contain a lot of bone, they also contain a larger amount of fat, which makes them very tasty.

The marinade of the ribs and the wine selection

Often, pork ribs are marinated with many ingredients, including beer, before being cooked slowly until they are sweet and sticky and fall off the bones. This richness calls for wines that are as sumptuous as they are intense in taste.

For sweet sauces, you should choose a fruitier wine with moderate tannia. Syrah/Shiraz or Grenache (also GSM blends from Grenache, Syrah/Shiraz and Mataro) offer a subtle fruit sweetness and go well with the sweeter notes common in tomato-based BBQ sauces.

The Cellardoor24 red wine recommendation for Spare Ribs: 2017 Claymore You’ll Never Walk Alone GSM, Clare Valley, Autralia

For spicier sauce variants, strong and fruity wines such as Malbec or Cabernet Sauvignon are recommended. Malbec emphasizes the smoky notes a little more, while Cabernet Sauvignon makes everything taste more intense.
With crunchy white wines or rosé wines, an excellent, refreshing contrast point to the sticky sauces can be set. A full-bodied Sauvignon Blanc, a Sémillon Sauvignon or a Riesling cleanse the palate rib by rib and animate to the next bite.

The Cellardoor24 wine recommendation for Spare Ribs: 2018 Two Rivers Convergence Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand

The best wines to grilled sausages

With grilled sausages only beer! We vehemently disagree. Especially crisp white wines and rosé wines can give a profane sausage the right shine. Challenge in choosing the right wine: The type of spices, ingredients and side dishes.

Bratwurst with mustard

As always, it depends on the spice and here the vinegar in the hot mustard is the possible source of conflict. But a dry Riesling, a grüner Veltliner or a Chardonnay from a cool climate, without wood are great companions. Thanks to their crunchy citrus aromas and minerality, supported by the acidity, they highlight the fleshy, hearty aromas without clashing with the vinegar. These wines also withstood a sauerkraut as a side dish. By the way, the Riesling could be semi-dry.

As a red wine, a Pinot Noir from a cooler growing area or a Gamay Noir (Beaujolais) with juicy, red fruit would be possible.

The Cellardoor24 wine recommendation for grilled sausages: 2016 EastDell Gamay Noir, Niagara, Canada

Hot dogs with mustard and ketchup

Classically grilled hot dogs cry out for a refreshing rosé. Fruity, uncomplicated, good for hanging out and above all a contrast to the sweet ketchup. If you want it a little more decadent, go for the rosé prickler. If you would like to drink white wine, try a Gewürztraminer or a Pinot Gris. If the choice falls on red wine, it should come up with juicy red berry fruit and little tannin. We recommend a Zinfandel (Primitivo) or a Pinot Noir.

The Cellardoor24 wine recommendation for grilled hot dogs: 2017 Pillitteri Gewürztraminer Riesling, Niagara, Canada

Which wines go well with grilled lamb?

Sheep and goats were the first farm animals to be domesticated by our ancestors. Their meat with a distinct wild aroma tasted great at the time, was nutritious and relatively cheap due to its distribution. Lamb meat is one of the most expensive meats today and is still difficult to get in some areas – unlike pork and beef. Cooking lamb is a wonderful opportunity to support regional producers and also to try out different ethnic recipes.

There are so many delicious ways to make lamb, one of the most wine-friendly meats, and just as many lamb wine pairings. The right wine combination depends not only on the way in which this red meat is prepared and the spices used, but also on the age of the animal and the texture of the meat purchased.

Wines with grilled lamb chops

They are the most delicate piece of lamb and require only a short cooking time and a wine that does not kill the delicate aromas and sublime texture. If you reach for a massive, fatty red wine here, you run the risk of ruining your meat.

A Pinot Noir from cooler climate regions with its red berry aroma and an animating, natural acidity, well balanced by subtly earthy notes and fine tannins would be a suitable companion here.

A great alternative would be a full-bodied rosé wine. A true poem would be a top rosé sparkling wine.

The Cellardoor24 wine recommendation for grilled lamb chops: Hill&Dale Sparkling Brut Rosé, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Wines with grilled lamb knuckle or leg of lamb

A popular family meal not only in the Mediterranean region. The usually marinated meat is cooked for several hours and is one of the tastiest pieces of lamb. In addition to salt and pepper, fresh herbs such as rosemary and thyme, sometimes also mint, are used as spices. This hearty, rustic meal is accompanied by the usual red wine classics such as Tempranillo, Syrah/Shiraz, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Try a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Shiraz from Australia with a rich currant note and hints of mint and eucalyptus.

The Cellardoor24 wine recommendation for grilled lamb chops: 2017 Longview Shiraz Cabernet, Adelaide Hills, Australia

Wines with grilled lamb cart

Lamb cart is often encrusted with Mediterranean herbs and spices. Still served slightly bloody, full-bodied, multi-layered white wines, often with discreet oak wood finishing are a good choice. Try a matured Sauvignon Blanc, a Sauvignon Semillon or a Chardonnay. Instead, avoid youthful, acidic white wines. A light red wine from the Gamay grape or an equally fruity Pinot Noir harmonize just as well with the delicate meat of the karre. If the meat is cooked medium or well done, Syrah and Malbec are perfect partners.

The Cellardoor24 wine recommendation for grilled lamb: 2018 Two Rivers Clos de Pierres Chardonnay, Marlborough, New Zealand

Barbecue and wine. The best wines for lamb cart
Barbecue and wine. The best wines for lamb cart

Wines with grilled lamb skewers

They are fried just above the fire source and take on a sweet, smoky taste. However, the wine selection also depends on the type of seasoning or the marinade.

If this is spicy-spicy, the wine should have a lot of fruit sweetness, such as an Australian Shiraz, a Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre (GSM) or a South African Pinotage. If, on the other hand, the meat is marinated in the Greek way with lemon and herbs, then more acidic red wines without exuberant fruit such as Sangiovese, Barbera and Nebbiolo are advantageous. Strong, spicy white wines and full-bodied, dry rosés are of course also a very interesting option.

The Cellardoor24 wine recommendation for grilled lamb skewers: 2019 Hill&Dale Pinotage, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Which wines go well with grilled chicken?

Grilled chicken can compete with many different wines, depending on which sauces, rub or marinades are used. Ultimately, it needs a wine that complements the smoky grill taste and marinade of the meat and does not dominate.

Which wines go well with grilled chicken
Which wines go well with grilled chicken?

Wines with simply spiced chicken

A grilled chicken simply seasoned with salt, peppers, parsley, garlic or marjoram is one of the most versatile dishes and goes well with white, rosé and red wines. Due to the charcoal and smoke taste that permeates the meat, mild white wines often look a bit colorless. Therefore, use stronger white wines, with lively acidity, which have liked to see some new oak. The toasting note of a barrique-aged wine, for example a Chardonnay, softens the bitterness of the smoked, partially charred meat. If you want to drink red wine, a Beaujolais or another wine from the Gamay grape variety is a reliable partner.

The Cellardoor24 wine recommendation for grilled chicken: 2018 Main Divide Chardonnay, Waipara, New Zealand

Wines with herb-spiced chicken

If the chicken is seasoned with herbs or a herbal marinade classic, with lemon, rosemary and thyme or South American, with lime and coriander, a Sauvignon Blanc with its grassy-herbaceous notes fits wonderfully. A Provence-style rosé, a Pinot Noir from a cooler wine region or a Grenache would also be a good choice.

The Cellardoor24 wine recommendation for grilled chicken: Hill&Dale Sauvignon Blanc, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Wines with spicy spiced chicken

Especially in Asian, but also in North African cuisine, the chicken is often seasoned spicy. In order to get the sharpness under control, tannin-richer or wines with residual sweetness are in demand. The wines should also not have too much alcohol, because the more alcohol, the more burning the feeling on the palate. The ideal partner in this case is a semi-dry or sweet Riesling, which also gets a top grade in the notorious sweet and sour sauces of Asia.

The Cellardoor24 wine recommendation for grilled chicken: 2019 Two Rivers Juliet Riesling, Marlborough, New Zealand

Spicy grill specialties in Chiangmai, Thailand
Spicy grill specialties in Chiangmai, Thailand

Chicken seasoned with BBQ sauce

If the chicken or chicken thighs are smeared with a sticky-sweet barbecue sauce, tannin-poor, lush-fruity red wines such as Zinfandel or Primitivo are in top form. With their fruit sweetness and richness of extracts, they go perfectly with the smoky-sweet aroma of the sauces. If the BBQ sauce is in South Carolina style, i.e. seasoned with mustard and thus spicy, then a Riesling with residual sweetness is recommended again.

The Cellardoor24 wine recommendation for grilled chicken spicy: 2016 Pegasus Bay Aria Late Picked Riesling, Waipara, New Zealand

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