Why stick with the standard cold beer when grilled foods go so well with the right wine? To make your choice, consider the flavor spin that the marinade or sauce gives the food you’re grilling.

Food & Wine
June 01, 1996

Citrus-based Marinades

Match the tanginess with a crisp, herbal white, such as West Coast Sauvignon Blanc or French Sancerre.

Spice Rubs

Balance the penetrating spicy bite on fish, chicken and pork with fruity whites from Germany and Alsace, particularly Gewürztraminer. For beef, go for soft, low-tannin reds, such as California Merlot and French Côtes du Rhône.

Sweet Marinades and Glazes

Balance the sweetness with round, rich whites; try California and Australian Chardonnays.

Fruity Sauces and Salsas

Go for whites of a matching sweetness, such as West Coast Rieslings and Chenin Blancs, for fish and poultry. Steak requires a red with maximum grapiness, like Beaujolais or Gamay.

Spicy Sauces and Salsas

Very fruity wines can take the heat. For fish, serve Vouvray or Chenin Blanc; for meat, California Zinfandel. Poultry and pork will go with either.