Barbecue & Wine

During the last couple of years, the classic barbecue has been turned into sophisticated outdoor cooking. The demands on the quality of the meat, fish and vegetables used have increased just as much as the desire to have the perfect wine to accompany the food.


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When choosing a wine for your barbecue, you have to bear in mind that the taste of the grilled foodstuffs is often more intense than if they were fried in a pan, owing to the roast aromas and smoke flavors. Thus even a red wine might sometimes be a suitable partner for a grilled fish or white meat. Velvety Pinot Noir or fruity Saint Laurent spring to mind. They are low in tannins and boast a subtle fruitiness – thus they do not drown out the white meat or fish.

In case the grilled meat has stronger roast aromas, it’s better to serve a Lemberger or Dornfelder - preferabley aged in a barrique barrel - along with it, since these wines are richer in tannins by nature.

What is being barbecued?

Schnitzel, pork steaks and similar meats are often marinated in oil, garlic, herbs and spices. Ideal wine companions are hearty Riesling or Pinot Blanc, as well as dry rosé wines, e.g. based on Pinot Noir.

Beef: If you want to treat your guests to something really special, go for Dry Aged Beef. The dry, well-hung beef matures at constant humidity levels of 60% and – depending on the piece – between 7 and 28 days. Connoisseurs salt the steak about 15 minutes prior to putting it on the grill to get more roast aromas. Then they grill the meat on thoroughly glowing coal for one minute per side, before cooking it on indirect heat until it reaches the desired core temperature. Pepper is only added at the end. A premium piece of meat does not require anything more than a red wine that is its equal in quality, such as a strong Lemberger. This Lemberger should have aged in barrique – for quite some time, ideally – so that its tannins have mellowed.

Fillet of beef or entrecote on the grill are done faster than rib eye. Consequently, they are not as rich in roast aromas. A velvety Pinot Noir is an excellent choice to accompany them.

Along with a lamb cutlet with a Mediterranean seasoning, grilled to crispy perfection, we recommend a hearty Lemberger or Dornfelder, aged in a barrique barrel, if you like.

Poultry – chicken breast, turkey escalope or breast of duck: The tender meat gets a more intense taste on the grill, which goes very well with a dry rosé. In general, rosé wines are great partners for a carefree barbecue enjoyment.

Fish such as trout, char and gilthead are often softer and juicier when grilled wrapped in tin foil rather than directly on the grate. Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay and Silvaner are perfect companions. A light Riesling from the Moselle with subtle fruitiness is welcome as well.

If the fish is prepared directly on the grate or in a grill tray, maybe even marinated or strongly seasoned, it required a partner such as a stronger Riesling or Chardonnay. A lightly chilled dry red wine can also be an adequate companion for heartily seasoned fish.

Whole fish with herbs can take a juicy Silvaner, which also boats herbal aromas – or even a red wine that is not too full-bodied.

Shellfish such as scampi and prawns are roasted in a grill tray inside their shell, so they don’t lose too much of their juice. All seafood should never be cooked for too long or over too much heat. This kind of seafood likes a fresh Pinot Blanc.

Silvaner, Müller-Thurgau or Pinot Gris are delightful companions for vegetarian and vegan treats. With their subtle aromas, they bring out the best in the vegetables. And – a universal truth – a dry rosé is always a great choice. Vegetables excellently suited for a barbecue are eggplant or oyster mushrooms, served on a plate with hummus or tzatziki. Vegetable skewers – for instance with cherry tomatoes, chunks of zucchini, stripes of bell pepper and tofu – are delicious as well.

And for those who prefer an Asian-style barbecue, we recommend a semi-dry Riesling. You can even try a sweet Riesling if things get really hot, because the wine’s sweetness will soften the spiciness of the food.

Chilling wine

In the summer, wines should generally be served 2-3 °C colder, because they very quickly warm up in the glass. You might even opt to lightly chill red wines in summer, if they are not too complex and rich in tannins.

Chill with ice

If you are in a hurry, just place the wine bottle inside a champagne cooler or a large bowl filled with ice that has been sprinkled with a handful of salt. This will make the ice thaw faster and increase cooling by evaporation. If you lightly move the bottle inside the ice, you heighten the cooling effect.

Cooling cuffs

You should always keep some cooling cuffs for wine bottles ready in the freezer. They are pulled over the wine bottle and chill the wine down to the prefect drinking temperature within about 10-15 minutes. The cooling cuffs come in different sizes – there are varieties for slim wine bottles as well as more bulbous Sekt bottles.

Bottle coolers

Bottles that have already been chilled keep their temperature for a longer time in wine coolers made of clay, perspex or stainless steel. In order to add to the effect, you can put some ice into the cooler.


When do fish and red wine go together?

This combination is highly recommended when grilling fish, because roasted and smoky aromas intensify the flavor of the grilled food. Velvety Pinot Noirs or a fruity Saint Laurent are quite suitable companions here.

More recipe ideas

Tips from Asian cuisine CHINA : Dumpling

German wines have a natural advantage when it comes to entering into perfect harmony with select Asian dishes. With a lower alcohol content, sometimes crisp acidity, moderate residual sweetness or soft tannins in red grape varieties, they are a perfect match for a variety of styles of Asian cuisine.

  • 500g Flour
  • 240ml Warm water
  • 400g Minced pork
  • 100g Celery
  • 1 TL Salt
  • 1/2 TL Sugar
  • 3 EL Light soy sauce
  • 1 EL Oyster sauce
  • 2 EL Oil
  • 100 ml Water




Pour flour into a large bowl, add 240ml warm water and stir until well-combined.

Wash and dry hands. Dip in some dry flour and knead the dough until it becomes smooth.

Place the dough in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 1 hour.



Mix minced pork, salt, sugar, light soy sauce, oyster sauce, oil and 100ml water, stir well and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Chop the celery and pat dry with kitchen towel.

Take the pork out of the fridge, add chopped celery and stir well.



Divide the dough into 8g pieces.

Rub the dough with a rolling pin and press into a circle about 7cm in diameter.

Take 15g stuffing and put it in the center of the dumpling wrapper. Fold the wrappers, use fingers to press the edges together.



Fill in a clean pot with water, and bring to the boil. Pour in an appropriate amount of dumplings according to the size of the pot, and boil them until they rise to the surface.

Take out the dumplings and serve.

  • Pinot Blanc (trocken)
  • Pinot Blanc (halbtrocken & feinherb)
  • Silvaner (trocken)
  • Silvaner (halbtrocken & feinherb)
  • Spätburgunder / Pinot Noir (trocken)
  • Spätburgunder / Pinot Noir (halbtrocken & feinherb)

Tips from Japanese cuisine JAPAN : Soy braised pork

German wines have a natural advantage when it comes to entering into perfect harmony with selected Asian dishes. With a lighter alcohol content, sometimes crisp acidity, moderate residual sweetness or soft tannins in the case of red grape varieties, they are a perfect match for a wide range of styles of Asian cuisine.

  • 1 kg Pork belly
  • 120 ml German white wine
  • 80 ml Soy sauce
  • 80 ml Honey
  • 50 ml Water
  • 4 cm Leek (green part)
  • 3 Ginger (thin slices)
  • 4 Boiled eggs
  • 1 Vegetables such as Chinese cabbage



1. Cut the pork belly into large pieces to fit your pan.

Put the frying pan on high heat. When it gets hot, add pork belly, browning all sides, and then put in a saucepan. Add enough water to completely cover the meat.

Add ginger and leek and put on high heat.

2. When it starts to boil, turn the heat down low and boil for around 1.5 hours until the meat is soft (test with a fork). If it is drying out, add more water and let the dish boil slowly.

3. Let the soup cool down, then remove the meat and cut into blocks of about 4-5 cm square. (If you cool it down well at this stage, the meat will not become dry.)

4. Put meat and all the other seasoning except soy sauce, into a new pan (which fits the meat neatly) and heat. When it boils, turn the heat to low and cook for around 5 mins, then add soy sauce.

5. Place a plate, which fits snugly into the pan, directly on the meat (a drop lid is also acceptable). Boil for about 30 minutes.

6. Remove pork from the pan, put the boiled eggs and green vegetable to season them, and boil the broth to half the volume.

Put the meat back in and mix well with the broth. Put meat on a plate, add boiled egg or boiled green vegetables and pour over broth.



  • Lemberger (trocken)
  • Dornfelder (trocken)
  • Spätburgunder / Pinot Noir (trocken)
  • Lemberger (halbtrocken & feinherb)
  • Dornfelder (halbtrocken & feinherb)
  • Spätburgunder / Pinot Noir (halbtrocken & feinherb)