9 Best Barbecue Wines in 2022

By Dirk Smits

Best Barbecue Wines to pair with your BBQ

There may be no better way to celebrate the warmer months than cooking outdoors with family and friends. And with a great meal and great company, you’ll want a wine to match. We couldn’t possibly recommend a dozen wines that will create an unforgettable pairing with every kind of barbecue, but what we can do is recommend the kinds of wines that pair well with outdoors, fun and friendship. For this kind of gathering, you don’t want to serve your most special wines, lest their subtle nuances wind up overshadowed by the bold aromas and smells of the meal.

We’ve chosen wines that are affordable and easy drinking, but we’ve also taken the approach of finding wines in this category that still offer an element of surprise. Keep your guests on their toes this summer by offering them good value wines that feature an unusual blend, a surprising grape for the region or perhaps a varietal they really don’t know. With GAYOT’s list of the Best Barbecue Wines, you’ll have enough twists and turns to keep summer exciting.

> Check out GAYOT’s complete Guide to Barbecue.

1. 2019 Malbec, Orfila Reserva | Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

Origin: Mendoza, Uco Valley, Argentina
Varietal: Malbec
Price: $20.00
ABV: 13.7%

In 1905, José Orfila founded his winery in Mendoza, Argentina, on lands that were once owned by José de San Martin, the country’s founding father. Part of the Gancia family emigrated from Italy to settle in Argentina in the 1940s. Their renowned winemaking roots, passion for wine and profound values were shared by the Orfila family. In 2010, the Gancia and Orfila families merged their winemaking traditions. The pioneering spirit inspired by their legacy continues throughout the years, offering classic wines of singular character.

The wine displays a bright red color with purple hues. A bouquet of red fruit, cacao and a touch of oak unfold in the nose. The palate delivers ripe cherry, chocolate, good acidity and juicy tannins, all balanced and ending in a long, elegant finish.

> For more information, visit Bodega Orfila official website.

2. The Mill Keeper Multi Vintage, Cabernet Sauvignon | Napa Valley, California, USA

Origin: Napa Valley, California
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Price: $35.00
ABV: 14.5%

The Tom Gamble family’s historic relationships with farmers allows The Mill Keeper to source fruit from generational vineyards and give second life to smaller, overlooked sites with the goal of preserving family-owned farms. In doing so, The Mill Keeper sources responsibly grown fruit to create high-quality, environmentally conscious wine at a value. Like the first settlers of Napa, The Mill Keeper strives to be a steward of the land and pledges to safeguard its health and surrounding ecosystems for future generations through strategic partnerships with sustainable agencies.

Today, The Mill Keeper is a proud sponsor of Napa’s State Historic Park, Bale Grist Mill, which served as part of the early inspiration for the brand. The mill was established in 1849 by Dr. Edwin Bale, an Englishman and chief military surgeon to General Vallejo. An untimely death left his widow, María Ignacia Soberanes Bale, to become the new mill keeper. She successfully operated the mill and became a pillar of the early Napa Valley community. Inspired by her legacy, The Mill Keeper Multi Vintage Cabernet Sauvignon label features artwork that commemorates the artisans who crafted some of the earliest wine in the Napa Valley.

The wine shows a bright crimson red color. The nose unfolds dark berries and plum which are repeated on the palate, with the addition of baking spice, some floral notes, all balanced with ripe, elegant tannins.

> For more information, visit The Mill Keeper official website.

3. 2021 Sauvignon Blanc, Kenefick Ranch | Napa Valley, California, USA

Origin: Calistoga, Napa Valley, California, USA
Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc
Price: $30.00
ABV: 14.2%

Kenefick Ranch is a family-owned vineyard located in Calistoga, CA. The vineyard was founded when Dr. Tom Kenefick, a practicing neurosurgeon in San Francisco, first visited – and fell in love with – the Napa Valley. In 1980, he purchased a 250-acre ranch located in the region’s northernmost American Viticultural Area (AVA) – Calistoga, where half the land is planted with grapevines. In 2002, Dr. Kenefick retired from neurosurgery and Kenefick Ranch began producing and selling its own portfolio of wines. Today, Kenefick Ranch sells its own label, and 90 percent of its grapes to such prestigious labels as Caymus Vineyards, Cade Estate Winery, Eisele Vineyard, and Nickel + Nickel.

This estate Sauvignon Blanc displays a light straw yellow color. The nose reveals Meyer lemon, lychee, peach and fresh cut grass. Grapefruit and tangerine zest show on the palate, mixed with mineral and juicy acidity.

> For more information, visit Kenefick Ranch official website.

4. 2018 Vinha Grande, Casa Ferreirinha | Douro, Portugal

Origin: Douro, Portugal
Varietal: 45% Touriga Franca, 30% Touriga Nacional, 20% Tinta Roriz, 5% Tinta Barroca
Price: $21.00
ABV: 14%

A Douro Valley pioneer and leader, Casa Ferreirinha has carried the torch for creative, quality winemaking in the Douro becoming the region’s most historic and iconic house. The story of Casa Ferreirinha is inextricably associated with one extraordinary woman: Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira. She was born in 1811 in the country town of Régua, the gateway to the wines of the Douro Valley. Though small in stature and reserved by nature, Dona Antónia was a charismatic visionary with entrepreneurial drive. In 1845 at age 33, she took over her family’s business, Ferreira Port, the first Portuguese family owned Port House in the Douro. During her tenure at Ferreira Port, Dona Antónia expanded her estates, created new expanses of terraced vineyards and improved the hard lives of the local farming families. She was affectionally called ‘Ferreirinha’ – ‘the little Ferreira.’ Dona Antónia’s legacy and quest for excellence continues to be a fundamental pillar of Casa Ferreirinha.

This Douro wine shows an intense ruby color. The nose expresses notes of ripe, red fruit, spices and nicely integrated oak. The palate is bold with layers of black fruit, present tannins and balanced acidity.

> For more information, visit Casa Ferreirinha official website.

5. 2021 Rosé, Raeburn Russian River Valley | Sonoma, California, USA

Origin: Sonoma, California
Varietal: 61% Pinot Noir, 36% Zinfandel, 3% Grenache
Price: $20.00
ABV: 13.5%

Raeburn is inspired by founder Derek Benham’s mother, Phyllis, a lifelong lover of nature. She thrives in the outdoors and ultimately, her passions turned to a commitment to protect and conserve the wilderness she loves.  Her way of life is to leave a light footprint or none at all. Raeburn uses the same approach when crafting their wines by picking the best fruit from Sonoma County’s best vineyards. Raeburn borrows its name from an Old English term that means the river where one goes to drink. A fitting nod to those who prefer to slow down to observe, appreciate and flourish in nature’s surroundings.

The wine has a light pink color. The nose reveals red berries, white blossom and herbal notes. The palate boasts raspberry, watermelon, guava, some mineral notes and finishes with ethereal acidity.

> For more information, visit Raeburn official website.

6. 2017 Brut Cuvée, King Estate | Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA

Origin: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Varietal: 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay
Price: $40.00
ABV: 12.5%

King Estate was founded in 1991 by the King family with a deep commitment to sustainable farming. Their uniquely integrated ecosystem of vineyard and woodland, grasslands and wetlands, orchards and culinary gardens located in Oregon’s prestigious Willamette Valley led them to first obtain certified organic status, followed by the biodynamic standard in 2016. Today, King Estate is the largest certified biodynamic vineyard in North America.

Fine effervescence creates an excellent mousse. Aromas of green apple, crushed minerals, lemon and flowers fill the nose. The palate reveals bruised apple, toast, fresh bread and lemon zest, all wrapped in bright and fresh acidity.

> For more information, visit King Estate official website.

7. 2019 Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, Kokomo Winery | Sonoma, California, USA

Origin: Sonoma, California
Varietal: 95% Zinfandel, 5% field blend of Carignan, Alicante Bouschet, Petite Syrah
Price: $30.00
ABV: 14.9%

The Kokomo Winery Dry Creek Zinfandel is comprised of fruit from two different vineyards: Mizany Vineyard and Pauline’s Vineyard. Although both are located in Dry Creek Valley, the different vineyards bring two unique wines with their own distinct personalities. Mizany Vineyard is planted to the Du Pratt clone of Zinfandel, which has a spicier character with a darker fruit profile. Pauline’s Vineyard is planted to the old Zinfandel mother-clone of Dry Creek. This vineyard is on the valley floor in the famous Cortina gravelly loam. They take a lot of pride that Dry Creek Valley is known to grow the best Zinfandel in the world, and they feel like blending two different vineyards gives an overall picture of the special terroir that is Dry Creek Valley.

This Zinfandel displays a bright garnet color. Black cherry, anise, tobacco and a touch of garrigue emerge from the nose. The palate reveals red plum, spice and mineral, all lingering into a seamless finish.

> For more information, visit Kokomo Winery official website.

8. 2021 Pinot Grigio Valdadige, J. Hofstätter | Alto Adige, Italy

Origin: Alto Adige, Italy
Varietal: 100% Pinot Grigio
Price: $21.00
ABV: 13.5%

This Pinot Grigio comes from Hofstätter-owned vineyards located within the Alto Adige DOC. These plots are characterized by mainly marly subsoil. They are well ventilated and are subject to good sun exposure. The grapes are destemmed, lightly crushed and the sediment separated by natural precipitation. The must ferments in temperature-controlled stainless-steel containers, where it then remains to stabilize until bottling.

This Pinot Grigio shows a bright straw color with attractive aromas of pear, peach and lemon. The palate is light-bodied and elegant, with citrus elements, mineral and fruity acidity on the finish.

> For more information, visit J. Hofstätter official website.

9. 2017 Lang & Reed ‘Two-Fourteen’ Cabernet Franc

2014 Lang & Reed Cabernet Franc

Varietal: Cabernet Franc
Origin: Napa Valley, California, USA
Price: $85
ABV: 14.5%

The Napa Valley is definitely a region with any number of special occasion wines worthy of your meal. Although most Napa Valley red wine lovers will probably instinctively reach for a Cabernet Sauvignon, we’re inclined to recommend something different.

Lang & Reed is a winery focused on Cabernet, but not Cabernet Sauvignon. This winery produces what’s recognized as some of America’s best Cabernet Franc.

The wine’s name comes from the single grape clone used to make this wine, Clone 214 from France’s Loire Valley. It offers ripe blueberry and blackberry aromas and flavors, but an underlying savory, dried herb note and hint of black pepper is what really gives it a special character. This Cabernet Franc lingers long on the palate and is sure to please any lover of Napa reds.

> For more information, visit the Land & Reed Winery official website.