You’re in the kitchen, a good piece of meat is sizzling in the pan and the smell of spices fills the kitchen. You’re ready for a delicious steak, but something is still missing – the perfect wine! You ask yourself: Which wine goes best with meat? A strong Cabernet Sauvignon, a refreshing Pinot Blanc or perhaps even a rosé? Sometimes it’s not so easy to reconcile meat and wine!
Choosing the right wine can be a real challenge, especially when it comes to pairing it with meat. But don’t worry, we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll take you on a culinary journey to discover the best wines for different meats and cooking methods. From pork to lamb, beef, poultry to game, we’ll uncover the secrets of wine and meat pairing and show you how to make the perfect wine choice the next time you’re at the stove or in a restaurant. And yes, there are even white wines that go perfectly with meat dishes that at first glance you would rather pair with a red wine. So buckle up and prepare yourself for a taste journey that will delight your senses.
Wine with Meat: From Strong Red Wine to Fruity White Wines
Choosing the right wine to go with a meat dish can be an art in itself. However, there are some basic factors that can help you find the perfect pairing.
Intensity of the Meat
The intensity of the meat is an important factor when choosing the right wine. Light meats such as poultry or pork generally go well with lighter wines, while red meats such as beef or game have a strong taste of their own and are better suited to a stronger red wine.
The flavors of the meat and the wine should complement each other. For example, a fruity wine can go well with a sweet marinated meat, while a wine with earthy notes can go well with a strongly spiced meat.
The type of preparation is often underestimated when choosing a wine, but it has an enormous influence on the taste of the meat. Roasted, grilled or slow-cooked meat usually has clear and intense roasted aromas that harmonize with a stronger red wine, while stewed or boiled meat often harmonizes better with a lighter wine.
The sauce that is served with the meat has a significant influence on the choice of wine to go with the meal. A strong, spicy sauce requires an equally strong wine, while a light sauce harmonizes better with an equally light wine.
Remember that these guidelines are only suggestions and that the most important factor in choosing a wine is your personal taste. So don’t hesitate to experiment and try different combinations to find your perfect wine to pair with meat.
Which Wine to Pair with Pork?
Pork is known for its versatility and can be prepared in many different ways. Whether roasted, slow-cooked or grilled, there are a variety of wines that go perfectly with pork.
A fruity red wine such as a Pinot Noir can be an excellent choice if the pork is roasted or grilled. Its fruity nature and moderate tannin structure perfectly complement the juicy, slightly sweet flesh.
A full-bodied white wine such as a Chardonnay can be a surprisingly good choice for braised dishes. Its rich, buttery flavors and balanced acidity can wonderfully complement the richness of the meat.
- Roasted or grilled: Medium-bodied red wine such as Pinot Noir (Pinot Noir) or a fruity Pinot Gris
- Braised meat: Full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay or a dry Riesling
Which Wine to Pair with Lamb?
Lamb has a distinct, slightly earthy flavor that pairs well with robust red wines. A classic Cabernet known for its deep, dark fruit flavors and bold tannin structure can be an excellent choice, especially when the lamb is grilled or roasted.
For slow-braised lamb, a strong, spicy red wine such as a Shiraz could be a good choice. Its intense notes of dark berries and pepper can complement the rich flavor of the lamb wonderfully.
- Roasted or grilled: full-bodied red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux or a full-bodied Chianti
- Stews: Spicy red wines such as Shiraz or a strong Blaufränkisch
Which Wine Goes with Beef?
Beef, especially when grilled or roasted, calls for a full-bodied red wine. A full-bodied Cabernet or a Malbec, both known for their deep, dark fruit flavors and taut tannin structure, can be excellent accompaniments.
Braised meat, such as roast beef, on the other hand, can harmonize well with a medium-bodied red wine such as a Merlot. Its soft tannins and notes of plums and dark berries can wonderfully complement the rich aromas of the braised meat.
- Roasted or grilled: strong red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec or a rich Bordeaux
- Stewed: Medium-bodied red wines such as Merlot or a full-bodied Blaufränkisch
How to Pick the Right Wine for Poultry?
Poultry is usually lighter in flavor than red meat, which makes it a good candidate for white wines. A Chardonnay can be a good choice, especially when roasted or grilled. Its rich, buttery flavors and balanced acidity can complement the tender, juicy meat well.
For braised poultry (e.g. coq au vin), a light red wine such as Pinot Noir could be a good choice. Its fruity notes and moderate tannin structure can complement the soft taste of the poultry well.
- Roasted or grilled: full-bodied white wines such as Chardonnay or a fresh Grüner Veltliner
- Braised dish: Light red wines such as Pinot Noir or fruity Silvaner
Choosing a Wine for Game
Game meat has a strong, pronounced flavor that pairs well with bold red wines. A strong red wine such as a Cabernet or a Syrah, both known for their deep, dark fruit flavors and strong tannin structure, can be excellent accompaniments, especially when the game is roasted or grilled.
A medium-bodied red wine such as a Merlot could be a good choice for braised game. Its soft tannins and aromas of plums and dark berries can wonderfully complement the rich taste of braised venison.
- Roasted or grilled: strong red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Syrah or an intense Bordeaux
- Stews: Medium-bodied red wine such as Merlot or a spicy Lemberger (Blaufränkisch)
The art of food paring can seem complex at first, but with a little knowledge and experimentation, it can become one of the greatest pleasures of eating. Remember, there are no hard and fast rules – it’s all about what tastes best to you. So don’t hesitate to try different wines with different meats and cooking methods. You might be surprised how well a white wine can go with a juicy steak or a red wine with a tender chicken breast fillet.
If you want to learn more about the art of wine pairing, read our article Which wine to pair with pasta? There we delve into the world of pasta and discover which wines go best with your favorite pasta dishes.
I hope this article has helped you better understand the art of wine and meat pairing and inspired you to embark on your own culinary adventures. Cheers!