Barbecue Wines for Father’s Day: Best Bottles for Grilled Grub

On CTV’s The Social, we chat about great wines for BBQ fare on Father’s Day.

Nat, some dads are just not wine guys, they’re more beer guys. But are you saying these selections you’ve brought today can change that?

It’s mostly a perception that wine is for fancier occasions than beer, but that’s just not true. Anytime you think of having a beer, you can probably substitute it with a bubbly. I’m not talking Champagne, but value-priced sparkling wines from other regions. They’re both frothy and fun, like our first wine here.


Great segue! Tell us about the first wine you have for us. I see bubbles!






Villa Conchi Brut Selección Cava
Cava D.O., Spain




The Villa Conchi Brut Selección Cava is a refreshing sparkling wine from Spain. It offers crisp notes of green apple and is a fraction of the price of Champagne. It would pair beautifully with grilled seafood. What do you think of this bubbly, ladies?


Apart from price, what’s the difference between this bubbly and Champagne?

Cava means “cave” in Spanish and it’s the country’s sparkling wine that’s made using the same methods as Champagne, but with local grapes.


Next up you have a white wine for us to try. Tell us about this one.





Creekside Sauvignon Blanc
Niagara Escarpment, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada





The Creekside Sauvignon Blanc is from a small winery on the Niagara Peninsula in Ontario. This white wine is zesty and bone-dry with notes of lemongrass, lime and green herbs. I’d pair this with grilled seafood. How do you like it?


Why do bubblies and white wines make great summer wines, even apart from the BBQ?

Zippy whites and sparklers are often good starters when folks are sitting and chatting or wandering around the backyard as they wait for the meat to cook. These wines are served chilled so they have a pleasant cooling effect, much like the water sprinkler. Yet they’re aromatic enough to compete with smoke, sunscreen smells and summer breezes.


I have a question for your from Jess Allen. She said her dad likes big, juicy, overly oaked new world chardonnays but she likes her old world dry and minerally chablis which is made with chardonnay grape. What is a daughter to do?

A big buttery Chardonnay will pair well with the charry flavours of grilled chicken and pork, whereas your unoaked, lighter chardonnay will go better with seafood and veggies. So you could do a mixed grill with the food and not compromise on the wines. Or if that’s too much wine you could either buy half bottles or make your own splits by pouring half a full bottle into a clean empty bottle that you save for another night. A third option is to find wines that are mid-style oak-wise like a Chenin Blanc or Semillon.




Next you have a sparkling rosé. Why does it pair well with the grill?






Louis Bouillot Perle d’Aurore Brut Rosé Crémant de Bourgogne
Burgundy A.C., France




We have the Rosé Sparkler from Burgundy, the Louis Bouillot Perle D’Aurore Brut Crémant De Bourgogne. Burgundy is right under Champagne geographically and again it’s made using the same methods and we get superb value for this dry bubbly. It has enticing aromas of field raspberries and strawberries. It would pair well with grilled Portobello mushrooms or planked salmon. How do you like it?


I think most people would associate red wine with the barbecue so you’ve brought a few for us to try today, starting with a pinot noir. What do we have here?





Township 7 Remuda Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019
Naramata Bench, British Columbia, BC V.Q.A., Canada





·This is a lovely Pinot Noir from a boutique winery in the Okanagan called Township 7. The grapes come from a vineyard that’s sustainably managed and planted in glacial till, a mix of gravel and boulders allowing for excellent drainage. It was aged in French oak barrels. It has seductive aromas of black cherry and earth, and would be terrific with grilled chicken. What do you think?


Which red wines don’t work with barbecue?

Some wines are best reserved for indoor dinners. Bringing out your well-cellared Bordeaux and Burgundy for the hamburgers and steaks is like wearing your tuxedo in the backyard: not only would you be a social misfit, but it’s also just wasted effort. Mature, elegant wines go down in flames next to the grill; their flavours are overwhelmed.


Next you have a cab sauv that does work well. Tell us about it.





Bonanza Lot 5 California Cabernet Sauvignon
California, United States




I have the Bonanza Lot 5 from California. It’s a savoury, juicy, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon with aromas of dark fruit and toasty oak. It’s a delicious, chewy wine that can handle intense, smoky flavors like grilled sausages and burgers. What do you think?


Lastly, you have a Shiraz for us to try. Where is this one from?





Wakefield Jaraman Shiraz 2020
South Australia, Australia





We’re bringing this home with the Wakefield Jaraman Shiraz from Australia. It’s a blockbuster red wine with notes of deep, ripe dark berries, plums and smoke. This robust Shiraz is produced from grapes grown in the Clare Valley and McLaren Vale. The wine was aged in American oak barrels. It has the mouth-watering juiciness to pair well with charred meat, but not too much tannin, which would accentuate any dry taste. Pair this with a charcoal-grilled steak.


What are your top tips on keeping wine cool under the summer sun?

An ice bucket in the shade is an easy solution, even for red wines if you think they’re getting a little too warm. If you’re at the cottage or by a lake, you can put the bottles in the water at the shoreline. If your bottles need to be chilled quickly, wrap a cold wet towel around them and put them in the freezer for 15 minutes – just don’t.



Printed with permission from CTV.







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