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The Best Summer Wine Pairings For Your 4th of July BBQ or Picnic

The Best Summer Wine Pairings For Your 4th of July BBQ or Picnic


Fourth of July is upon us, which means it is peak season for backyard BBQs, picnic foods, and poolside treats! Up your game this year with the best (and affordable!) wine pairings for these popular summer recipes.

photo by Andres Chaparro from Pexels

Smoky and Spicy BBQ + Hamburgers

Rosé wines are the perfect pairing for smoky, spicy BBQ food because they’re tremendously versatile and can hold up to a wide array of flavors.

Contrary to popular belief, a rosé is not made from a combination of white and red grapes. Rosé wines are always made with red grapes. The reason for their bright flavors and lighter color is because the skins, seeds, and stems spend less time with the juice during fermentation. The depth of flavor and color of a rosé wine depends on how much time the skins and juice spend together.

Recommended BBQ and Wine Pairings:

  • Tempranillo-based Rosado from Spain
  • Pinot Noir based rosé from Oregon’s Willamette Valley

If you’re looking for something a bit bolder, try a Tempranillo-based Rioja from Spain.

Oysters, Mussels, and Scallops

When dealing with light, saline flavors, it’s best to go with a wine that is light-bodied and preferably dry.

Recommended Wine & Shellfish Pairings:

  • Brut Cava from Spain
  • Muscadet from Loire Valley, Puget Sound, or Willamette Valley

Shrimp, Lobster, Salmon

When choosing the best wine to pair with richer fish, it’s better to lean towards a wine that is still light in taste with more structure in body. Enter the ever-flexible rosé wines!

Recommended Wine & Fish Pairings:

  • Provence rosé from France
  • Tavel rosé from France

Grilled Veggies

During the summertime, veggies are prepared very simply to maximize nature’s inherent flavors. Choosing the best wine that complements roasted and grilled vegetable flavors involves marrying the veggie flavors with grassy, high acid notes of its own.

Recommended Wine & Roasted Vegetable Pairings:

  • Chenin Blanc from South Africa
  • Sauvignon Blanc from Loire Valley

Potato Salad, Deviled Eggs, and Other Mustard/Mayonnaise-Based Dishes

For these strongly-flavored common picnic food dishes, it’s good to have sip on something a little sweet and with medium to high acid. This will cut through the fat and acidity from the food.

Recommended Picnic Food Wine Pairings

  • Sancerre from Loire Valley
  • Pinot Gris from Alsace
  • Sangiovese rosé from California

 Summer Desserts

Want to temper the sweetness of a dessert for perfect balance? Then you must pair with a sweet wine that has medium-acid to keep things from being cloyingly sweet.

Recommended Summer Dessert & Wine Pairings

  • Moscato d’Asti from Italy
  • Late-harvest Riesling from Germany

Be sure to share your favorite pairings in the comments below!

Special thanks to Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Ambassadors Chelsie Petras ChelLovesWine, Alyssa Vitrano GrapeFriend, and Kelly Mitchell The Wine Siren, for contributing to this piece.

If you’re interested in learning more about wine but don’t want to commit to classes, keep an eye out for upcoming events through WSET’s wine education week happening in September. 

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