Fire up the grill, because it is officially BBQ season! Here at Benchmark Wine Group, we’re firm believers that nothing pairs better with barbeque than a great bottle of wine. While discovering a perfect wine pairing can be daunting, we’ve broken down everything you need to know when it comes to grilling meats this summer!

Let’s start with the basics and uncover why certain styles and varietals work best with grilled meats.

When scratching the surface, we can agree that red wines pair particularly well with barbeque meats because of its intense umami flavors and high-fat content, which balances out the tannin found in red wine. However, the real magic happens once we start comparing what to pair with a classic burger vs. what works best with barbequed pork ribs.

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is quite often praised for its versatility and ease when it comes to food and wine pairing. The flavors of this varietal are soft and delicate, rarely overpowering food. Pinot Noir often expresses notes of ripe fruits and earthy, smoky characteristics. These qualities make Pinot Noir a great choice when looking to pair grilled fish or pork.

The key to perfectly pairing Pinot Noir with barbeque is ensuring there is a perfect touch of sweetness in your recipe, check out one of our favorites here: Pulled Pork Sandwiches With Barbeque Sauce. Pair it with a bottle of Pinot Noir, in-stock and ready to ship!


The Zinfandel varietal is close to ticking all of the boxes for the ‘perfect’ barbeque wine. A full-bodied glass of Zinfandel is matched with adequate flavors of spice, tannin, and ripe fruit, making it perfectly suited for most barbequed dishes. Thanks to the higher alcohol content, generally 14-16%, the wine stands up strongly next to a meat dish.

To experience Zinfandel at it’s best, try out this Perfect Pork Smoked Ribs recipe with a ready to ship bottle from our cellar!

Rhône Varietals

The Rhône Valley is home to many wines perfect for barbequed dishes, including Syrah, Grenache, and astounding GSM Blends. These wines pair particularly well with beef based dishes that enhance the peppery tobacco flavors found in the wine. Each of these varietals has their own characteristics making the Rhône Valley particularly versatile- grilling up burgers this weekend? Grenache. Beef brisket? Opt for a GSM Blend. Classic steak? Grab a bottle of Syrah!

We’ve always got a vast selection of in-stock wines from the Rhone Valley; grab a bottle or three and pair it with one of our favorite recipes- Bacon Burgers On Brioche Buns!

Is your mouth watering yet? Browse our current inventory of wines, perfect for summer grilling!

Do you have a favorite barbeque food and wine pairing? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Established in 2002, Benchmark Wine Group is the leading source of fine and rare wine retailers, restaurants, and collectors around the world. Based in Napa Valley, we acquire the most sought-after wines from private individuals and professional contacts, but only when provenance can be verified by our team of acquisition professionals. Our staff draws on decades of industry experience and is dedicated to providing exceptional service to all of our clients. offers 24-hour access to our cellar, displaying inventory in real-time.