Barbecue Bistro: The Ultimate Guide to Pairings

Its barbecue season, which gives Brits across the country the chance to enjoy the late summer sunshine in the tastiest possible way! With the coals burning and the drinks pouring, there’s no better way to relax with family, friends or that special someone.

No good barbecue is ever complete without the right drinks, and knowing exactly what the right drink to pair with your tasty dishes can be difficult. You’re in luck – here at House of Townend we know a thing or two about matching drinks to your dish.

So, fire up the barbecue and pop the cork, it’s time to discover why everything is #BetterWhenPaired...

BBQ Chicken & Rosé

Done right, BBQ Chicken should be crispy on the outside and unbelievably juicy within. With barbecue sauce glazed on top, the chicken should present a smoky, delectable flavour that’s impossible to resist. Pair it up with a fruity wine that you can drink as the sun is shining: something that’s light enough to enjoy without overpowering the taste of the meat. 

Our #BetterWhenPaired Suggestion: Domaine de Pellehaut Rosé

Burgers & Beer

Beer and burgers just work. There’s something classic and indisputable about the combination of freshly cooked burgers with an ice cold beer. However, with thousands of different flavours on offer it’s tough to pin down an exact pairing. Burgers tend to be full of flavours due to the toppings and sauces, so you need a beer that can cope with the flavour and richness. Our top choice is a Helles lager such as Paolozzi, which offers a full flavour to withstand the burger’s richness and will scrub your palette clean with every gulp, ready for the next bite

Our #BetterWhenPaired Suggestion: Paolozzi Lager

Steak & Cabernet Sauvignon

Cooking Steak on a barbecue makes it deliciously smoky and incredibly rich and flavourful, with each mouthful an experience to be savoured. Cabernet Sauvignon is a full bodied, bold flavoured wine that can withstand the strong flavour of the steak and has the depth to make each sip just as worth savouring as the steak. The high alcohol content cuts through the fat in the steak which will enhance the flavour.

Don’t want wine, or you’d prefer something a bit stronger for the evening? Opt for a bourbon around 40% ABV that’s easy to sip but better to savour to complement the smokiness of the meat. 

Our #BetterWhenPaired Suggestion: Albret la Viña de mi Madre 2010 OR Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Pulled Pork & Syrah

Pulled pork is generally coated in a sweet, sticky sauce. When barbecued, it’s even sweeter and more robust. This level of deep, almost-sickly sweetness demands a complex wine, and the dark fruity flavours of Syrah are perfect. We’d recommend a balanced Syrah like the Bodegas Gouguenheim Syrah, which offers notes of earth, toast, smoke and blackberry.

Our #BetterWhenPaired Suggestion: Bodegas Gougenheim Syrah 2013

Sausages & Riesling

For Bratwurst style sausages, there are few better pairings than something with a dry acidity. If it’s coated in mustard or sauerkraut, a white like a Riesling that offers poise and balance helps you appreciate the sausage but counterbalances the sourness of the topping. A refreshing option, but not the only one...a light German lager such as a pilsner also works wonders, if you prefer a cold beer with your sausage.

 Our #BetterWhenPaired Suggestion: Kuki Marlborough Riesling 2014 OR Berliner Pilsner

Vegetable Burgers & Sparkling Rosé

Rosé is one of Britain’s most popular drinks and for good reason, it’s a summer sensation that offers fruity taste with a light, tangy texture. Vegetable burgers are typically breaded bean burgers or are soy-based, and therefore typically taste lighter than their meatier counterparts. The soft fruity nature of a good sparkling rosé goes well with the texture of the vegetable burger, especially when paired with veggie staples like houmous and falafel.   

Our #BetterWhenPaired Suggestion: Castell d'Olerdola Cava Rosé

Fish & Chardonnay

There are lots of varieties of fish, but if you’re cooking a meatier option for a barbecue, you’ll need a rich white wine. A white Burgundy is a great accompaniment to salmon – delivering a dry and crisp tone that offers beautiful flavours without being overly sweet. Our Macon Chardonnay provides delicious and lush white fruit tastes that work well with fish.

Our #BetterWhenPaired Suggestion: Macon Chardonnay Talmard

Share your pair!

There are, of course, plenty of other barbecue delights to be enjoyed depending on your tastes and guests. We’d love to see what your favourite pairings are, and we’ll be celebrating the best of them on our social media throughout August and early September. Remember: everything in life is #BetterWhenPaired – so show us your pairings on our channels:


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