A Simple Guide to Pairing Beef with Wine

27 April 2016
 Categories: , Blog

As a general rule, red wine and beef is a match made in heaven. However, the type of cut you pick will impact the best red for the job, and some of the more unusual beef dishes can even be better suited to a white. Before you head out to your favourite restaurant, make sure you read through these rules for pairing wine with beef.

Match Fatty Cuts with a Bold and Spicy Red

One of the central concerns when pairing wine with steak is the amount of fat that the meat has. A steak with plenty of fat, especially if it is cooked rare or medium rare, will soften the tannins and high alcohol levels found in full-bodied reds. If you're going for a cut of beef with more fat, such as ribeye, porterhouse, or New York strip, try pairing it with a bold, rich red, such as zinfandel.

Combine Lean or Well-Done Cuts with Softer Reds

Alternatively, cuts that are either naturally low in fat, such as filet mignon, or cooked well-done, in which case most of the fat will have dripped away, are well served by a softer red – a bolder one may taste somewhat bitter. Lighter, low-tannin reds with a slightly higher acidity than normal will cut through the texture of lean beef and make a fitting combination. Try pinot noir or a well-aged cabernet.

Pair Veal with White or Rosé

Veal is one of the very few cuts of red meat that can be elevated by rosé or white. This is because its flavours are subtler and more delicate than traditional steak, so they may be overwhelmed by a full-bodied red. Some famous veal dishes, such as Viennese wienerschnitzel, is covered in breadcrumbs and fried. In this case, try matching it with a sparkling white, such as a prosecco. The bubbles will serve to cut through the fried breadcrumbs and enhance the meat's flavour.

Team Tartare with Champagne

Steak tartare, made from raw minced beef, is one of the more unusual beef dishes that you'll find, so it only makes sense that it should be paired with such an unlikely partner. Classic beef tartare possesses a simple and understated taste. A nice glass of Champagne will help refresh your palate between bites and bring out the best flavours of the dish.

Beef steak is one of the most popular meals around, and you can improve the experience immeasurably by knowing how to pair your chosen dish with the right wine. Just use the guide above to ensure you don't go wrong.