Wine on a wine barrel with a BBQ in the background


By Murphy-Goode Winery

BBQ Wine Pairing Guide

bbq Wine Pairing Guide - Open wine bottles ahead of time.

To come up with the ultimate backyard barbecue wine party, we partnered with Murphy-Goode, a Sonoma County winery that’s dedicated to creating great wines that are at home with food on the grill and music playing in the background … no fussy cheese pairings need apply. They’re all about living “The Goode Life,” and that’s exactly the ManMade commitment to outdoor entertaining. We asked them which wines would work best with barbecue and grilled foods, and they suggested:

  1. A medium, well-rounded red that’s easy to drink but has a refreshing balance of fruit and spice
  2. A bright crisp white that’s versatile enough to be enjoyed with light appetizers and smokey foods from the grill

So, we went with the Liar’s Dice Zinfandel from Murphy-Goode’s Sonoma Country Collection, and The Fumé Sauvignon Blanc, Murphy-Goode’s flagship white. Each wine is agreeable and friendly (but definitely not weak) and still full of personality. Here’s a better description of each:

  • Murphy-Goode The Fumé Sauvignon Blanc: Bright citrus and lush tropical fruit aromas. Flavors of white peach and honeydew. 

    BBQ Wine Pairing Guide - Murphy-Goode Fumé Sauvignon

  • Murphy-Goode Liar’s Dice Zinfandel: From Dry Creek and Alexander Valley AVAs, Liar’s Dice Zinfandel reveals deep aromas and luscious flavors of black cherry, blackberry jam, black raspberry and currants.

    BBQ Wine Pairing Guide - Murphy-Goode Liar's Dice Zinfandel

    BBQ Wine Pairing Guide

Tips for Entertaining with Wine

How much wine? A bottle of wine contains four generous glasses. Those are restaurant glasses, where folks pay per pour. But when there are many full bottles available and open refills, your guests will give themselves a much lighter glass. Which is a good thing for the wine, because the more space in the glass, the better the aroma is conveyed, and the more you can experience it.

Plan for a bottle of wine for every two people you’re expecting, and then grab one more of each, just in case.

Have Enough Wine Glasses: Gathering enough wine glasses for a large group can be tricky. We’ve suggested asking guests to bring their own and using simple masking tape to identify them, but if you need more than your current selection, it’s time to buy in bulk.

Look for affordable glasses that come in sturdy, divided boxes, and then make sure to keep the packaging for storage. These will be your party glasses, so you don’t have to find a place for them in the kitchen cabinet. Get some thicker glasses that can stand a round in the dishwasher, and store them in the box for gatherings.

Our favorite source for sturdy glasses in bulk is the restaurant supply store, most of which sell to the public. These glasses are affordable yet designed to be used over and over again, so they stand up to the task and come perfectly clean. There are also some great options at IKEA- buy a case and keep the box.

Serving Wine: Allowing your guests to serve themselves cuts back on your responsibilities. But be a good guy and walk around offering refills once or twice. Which, by the way, will be super easy, because you know exactly what everyone is drinking.

BBQ Wine Pairing Guide

A couple of tips on enjoying your wine:

  • Make sure all your whites are thoroughly chilled: Put them in the fridge the night before, and leave them there until your first guest arrives, then shove them into a big beverage tub or cooler full of ice.
  • Open all your bottles ahead of time: This way, no one has to ask where the opener is, and your drinks are ready to go. This is especially important with red wine, which will actually improve as it’s exposed to air. So, bust out the corkscrew 3-4 hours before guests arrive, and open all the reds. Do this inside, to prevent any bugs or grit getting in. Then, cork them lightly and take outside for your guests to enjoy.