Wine is a natural companion to many meaty delights. But as it turns out, each wine accommodates different types of meats and serving methods, putting many of us in fear of missing the mark by selecting a wine that doesn’t complement our cooking. The solution? Continue reading!
The Basics: Steak
When it comes to steak, you want a wine that matches how lean your meat is. If you’re cooking a leaner red meat, you want to match it with a lighter red wine. The leaner, the lighter. For example, a prime rib blends perfectly with a Petit Sirah thanks to a bold flavor and the high tannin content. Another option is a Cabernet Sauvignon.
Which Wine Goes with Beef?
Since beef is a fattier cut, you’re better off leveraging bold red wines with a high tannin count to bring out the best in your meal. You see, tannin is an astringent, meaning that it acts as a wonderful tool to clean your palate, simply by pushing away all the fat that stuck to your teeth, tongue and gums. Bold red wines, such as the Barolo and Napa Cabernet are a perfect fit for filet cuts, T-bones and New-York strip.
Which Wine Goes with Venison?
Because venison is a generally-rich meat, often on the gamey side, it sits comfortably on the side of leaner meats. For this reason, your perfect wine companion includes rustic, medium red wines with pronounced body. This delicate combination results in a less gamey flavor for the meat and a boost to the wine’s fruity flavors. Good examples include Chianti, Côtes du Rhône, and Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
Which Wine Goes with Veal?
Out of the red meats, veal is truly one of the few that can blend perfectly with both a red and white wine. Like lamb meat, veal is a great absorber of flavors, giving you a great way to add a winning punch to your sauce. For example, consider the classic wiener schnitzel and Grüner Veltliner combo – this dish is world renowned! Wines to consider are Pinot Noir, Valpolicella and Zinfandel.
Which Wine Goes with Lamb?
Since lamb is far-more delicate than most beef cuts, a lighter, more delicate wine is the way to go. Another point to consider is how well lamb absorbs flavors from the sauce, giving you another opportunity to complement your cooking with a clever mix. Classical choices include the Petit Verdot, Malbec and Petit Sirah wines.
Bonus Round: What About My Sauce?
Sauce and wine combinations are fairly straightforward, making it my go-to method to adding a whole new layer of flavor and create a truly memorable eating experience. When it comes to tangy sauces, such as Korean BBQ, Sweet Tangy BBQ or Mongolian beef, your best bet is to go for red wines with a fruity overtone, such as Zinfandel, Gamay and Lambrusco.
However, if you’re making a green sauce, such as Mint or Chimichurri sauce, you’re better off going for a smoother wine with a high tannin count and slightly more acidic, especially when your sauce includes garlic and onion. For these occasions, Monastrell, Côtes du Rhône or a Carménère are your perfect companion.
When you’re making tomato-based sauces, such as Espagnole or Marinara, going for medium-bodied wines will work perfectly. These wines are less on the alkaline side of the pH scale and more acidic, therefore matching the tomatoes and boosting the overall flavor of the dish. Classical wines for a tomato sauce include Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Tempranillo.
Finally, when it comes to White Sauces, you have quite a few more options. Cream sauces, such as yoghurt, go well with a Rosé, while a peppercorn sauce would benefit from a Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon. Meanwhile, a Béchamel sauce blends perfectly with medium bodied-reds, such as a Valpocella.