Beef and red wine : the best combinations depending on the type of dish

Looking to wow guests with your expert beef and wine pairing? Look no further. Here we will list several types of beef dishes and an expert’s suggestions on which red wine to pair with them. You will find that it’s not just a simple matter of what tastes good and what doesn’t, but the specific properties of each meal and wine that make them well suited to each other. Enjoy these beef and red wine combinations as a special meal for you and your partner or to impress some dinner guests.

Why Do They Work ?

Understanding the relationship between beef and red wine can help you be able to pick out your own delicious combinations in the future. These two taste good together because of the interplay between the protein in the meat and the tannins in the wine. Tannins are present in all red wines, mostly coming from the skin and seeds of the grapes and the barrels in which the wine was aged. A very tannic wine tastes astringent and rough by itself, but as soon as the tannins bind to the protein, a very different and pleasant effect is produced.


The general rule of thumb when pairing red wine and beef is that similar flavours go together. In other words, strong goes with strong, sweet with sweet, acidic with acidic. If you follow this rule, you will find that neither the wine nor the beef is overpowered by the other.

The Best Combinations

Charcoal-Grilled Beef and Shiraz. Meat grilled over charcoal takes on an extremely smoky flavour, so it is best to find a strong, tannic wine that can hold its own with this intense meal. Try a Californian or Australian Shiraz with charcoal-grilled beef for a powerful pairing.


Ribeye Steak and a Napa Cabernet. Another bold duo, this mouthwatering combination will satisfy your craving for a restaurant-quality steak dinner. The fatty cut of meat is highly favoured among steak lovers, and the tannic Cabernet from America’s Napa Wine Region works like a palate cleanser to ‘scrape’ the fattiness from the inside of your mouth. It might not sound pleasant, but it’s guaranteed to be delicious.


Roast Tenderloin and Bordeaux. Another easy guideline to follow when pairing beef and red wine is that leaner goes with lighter. Since roast tenderloin is a lean cut, it goes beautifully with a wine whose tannins have softened from aging. Try a Bordeaux with roast tenderloin for an exceptional red wine blend that will not take over the flavour of this lean cut.


Beef Stir Fry and Dolcetto. Stir frys may be a weekday favourite because of their simple prep and crowd-pleasing flavours, but that doesn’t mean they can’t make an impressive meal for guests. Tender beef slices paired with fresh vegetables and Asian seasonings are often topped with a sweet sauce, making stir fry the perfect partner for Dolcetto wine, whose name literally means “little sweet one.”


Beef Brisket and Burgundy. Brisket comes from the lower chest of the cow and thus features a significant amount of muscle, but the flavours that come out when you cook it low and slow are incredible. Try pairing this rich, earthy meal with a big Burgundy from France that can compete with the intensity of the dish.


Whether you decide to go with one of these beef and red wine combinations or not, make sure you stick to the basic rules of pairing these two classics and you will be sure to impress anyone who dines with you.


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