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The Best Christmas Day BBQ Wines

There’s nothing like the traditional Southern Hemisphere Christmas Day barbeque. If the weather is playing nice, you can spend the whole day outside grilling and indulging. Below are some recommendations for wines to drink throughout the day.

Low-Alcohol, Medium Sweet Wines

prum lineup

Many wines of this style have fallen out of fashion in the trend towards dry wines. A lot of people will turn their nose up at a sweet wine on principle, but the truth is we actually like sweet things, otherwise you wouldn’t put barbecue sauce on that sausage. Well chilled and refreshing, a spritzy Moscato d’Asti,  or a German Riesling in 8-10% alcohol range is going to delight your palate but not knock you out before dinner is served.

Light-Bodied, Chill-Ready Reds

beaujolais lineup

It seems counter-intuitive to put red wine on ice, but it works. Choose a wine with a lighter body and low tannins such as Pinot Noir, Gamay or any number of light Italian varieties. Beaujolais Nouveau is the classic example, which is traditionally chilled.  The fashion for natural, non-intervention and experimental wines means that light reds that drink well at around 12-14 degrees are becoming more common.

Rosé, Rosé, Rosé

rose pic

The perfect barbecue wine. Tastes great cold, works with practically any food, won’t break the bank. You’ve probably already got your favourite Rosé pick, but here’s a list of our favourite Australian Rosés if you need some help. We’ve also got some ideas about Rosé wine and food pairing.

A Big Red for the Main Course

spanish lineup

Whether you’re doing brisket, steak, lamb or a full mixed grill, you want to have a nice big red wine to pair with all the protein. You’re looking for big flavour and big structure – concentration and tannin. South Australia has wines like this in spades, and Barossa Shiraz is perfect for barbecue. If you’re looking for something more international, you could try a Priorat or Tempranillo  from Spain or an Argentinian Malbec.

For more, check out our 10 Easy Christmas Day Food and Wine Pairings or some more general suggestions for wines to serve at Christmas.

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Kieran Clarkin

Digital Marketing and Tour Host at Wine Compass
Kieran is a WSET Diploma student, Chin Chin sommelier and host for Wine Compass. He loves chatting about wine, hosting tastings and getting people interested in wine generally. He's big into Victorian wine, the Loire Valley and the very under-rated wines of Greece.
Kieran Clarkin

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