We are big bbq lovers. We got a Weber bbq two years ago and my husband’s claim to fame is that he fired it up 11 months of the year last year. Brisket is one of our favourite cuts of beef so we’ve tried quite a few different red wine pairings.

Because brisket can take on so many flavours, there is a range of red wine varieties that you can pair with it. If opting for Texas style slow cooked brisket, Pinot Noir would work well as the acidity makes for a refreshing palate cleanser.

And if you ease off the sauce and let the flavours of the meat speak for themselves, a full bodied Cab sauv will cut through the heaviness of a braised brisket.

This month though, Neven has created a beautiful barbeque sauce and with that, I’ve opted for two styles.

First we’re heading to Spain for a glass of Ribera del Duero. This wine has two characteristics which work great with barbeque brisket. First, the Tempranillo grape makes for a wine with good body which can stand up to the strong, smoky flavours of the barbeque sauce.

With that, we want soft tannins which will help cut through the brisket and make it taste even more tender as the tannins help to break down the protein molecules. Ribera del Duero ticks both boxes.

The next is a Syrah which has lots of vibrant fruit flavours such as blackberry, raspberry and blueberries which will add a freshness to the meal. However, this wine is also elevated with a level of complexity with notes of spice, black pepper and roasted coffee, complemented by oak which really bring out the best of those smoky meat flavours.

Hachón Reserve Ribera del Duero



There is lots of hype about Rioja but Ribera is an alternative style really worth trying and this Hachón from Lidl is a great example. The fruit in this wine sits in a lovely harmony with the oak flavours. Sweet fruit flavours of blackberries and raspberries, a pop of cherries and some jammy strawberry notes are accompanied by vanilla, spice and chocolate. The tannins are just what we are looking for, present but not overly prominent with a lasting finish. One of Lidl’s most impressive wines that we’ve tasted recently.

Rubiejo Barrica Ribera del Duero

O’Briens Wines


(on special €15.96 until 6 June)

This is a wine worth grabbing this Bank Holiday weekend while it’s on special. Those lovely dark fruit flavours are prominent-pops of blackberry, black cherries and the lightness of some strawberries. It is well balanced with oak flavours which bring that warm toastiness but its presence still allows the fruit flavours to shine. You’ll also pick up an earthiness in this wine with some nutty flavours. The tannins are soft with excellent structure. To enjoy it at its best, leave it breathe for an hour.

M&S Côtes du Rhône Villages

Marks & Spencer


For those that like their wine fuller bodied, the Syrah grape will work well with the brisket and for this pairing we’re heading to France. This Côtes du Rhône is a blend of Syrah and Grenache, a classic from the region. Together these grapes present juicy fruit flavours -dark cherries, plum and some blackcurrant, complemented by black pepper and a pop of spice. It’s nice and smooth and easy to drink. It’s not the most complex but good for the price point, especially if you’re sticking to a budget for a bigger gathering.

Domaine de L’Ostal Grand Vin

O’Briens Wines


I first came across Domaine de L’Ostal when trying their Rosé and I became a big fan. Their red wine doesn’t disappoint either. Coming from AOC Minervois La Livinière, regarded as the 1er Cru appellation of the Lanquedoc region, it consists of 70% Syrah, 15% Carignan, 10% Grenache and 5% Mourvedre. Warming flavours of cherry jam are elevated with toasty oak. However, it’s the tannins that are really wow-silky and velvety giving it fantastic depth and structure, with a long but balanced finish. A real treat.