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Wine Pairing 101

It’s true in life that some pairings are meant to be. Peanut butter and chocolate. Fred and Ginger. Wine and...what? Well, that’s the thing. There are a lot of different varieties of wine out there, and when you choose the right wine to accompany your meal, you can have something special. Better yet, if you pair the right wine with our organic grass fed beef, you can elevate it into a truly sublime experience.

But maybe you’re worried about the wrong pick, or maybe you don’t know the difference between a Malbec and a Cinsault. Don’t worry about it, because today we’re going to go over a few different types of wine, and what foods they go best with. First of all, if you’re having red meats like steaks, sausage, or venison, you want to stick with a red wine. Let’s talk about which red wines go with which meats and why.

  • Lighter Red Wines-When you’ve got a light red wine, you ideally want to pair them with meats that are prepared closer to the raw side of things. That’s because the acidity of a light red can pair up nicely with a rare steak that has a delicate texture. Other meats that work well are lamb gyros, venison and beef Tartare, or beef pho. Go for wine types like Zweigelt, St. Laurent, Gamay, Cinsault, and Pinot Noir.
  • Medium Red Wines-If you’re planning a meal with lots of ingredients, a good medium red wine is definitely the way to go. All of the different flavors and textures in your meal need to work together to compliment each other, and a good medium red shouldn’t have to compete. Dishes such as pastas with Bolognese sauce, nachos, beef stew, lamb curry, burgers, ragout, beef Bourgogne, and tomato based delicacies like lasagna or ravioli pair up nicely with a medium red. Look for wines such as Merlot, Sangiovese, Blaufrankisch, Dolcetto, and Valpolicella.
  • Bold Red Wines-Looking to go full carnivore for your meal? You want a bold red wine that can keep up. For fatty cuts of beef, the high levels of tannin will provide you with a natural palate cleanser. Use these wines with BBQ, chops, or quality steaks. Good strong wines to look for are Malbec, Pinotage, Syrah/Shiraz, Montepulciano, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
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    Certain sauces can change the equation a bit, and you get the opportunity to go for an even more specific wine type. For example…

    • With tangy sauces on meals like sweet BBQ, Mongolian beef, hoisin, or Korean BBQ, red wines that have a fruity flavor are the way to go. Look for Zinfandel, Australian Syrah, California Syrah, Lambrusco, or Negroamaro.
    • Got a recipe that calls for green sauces like chimichurri sauce, mint sauce, or garlic rosemary? Pair those up with bold wines that also have a fruity taste. Monastrell or Argentinian Malbec have tannins that are well-integrated and very smooth.
    • Brown sauces like Bordelaise, Poutine, or Red Wine sauce can be very strong and can overwhelm the wrong wine. Pair it up with a solid and earthy bold red wine like Bordeaux or wines found in Northern Italian regions like Dolcetto and Barbera.

    Finally, if you’re a wine newbie, the best way to educate yourself is to find a local liquor store that has employees who know their wine. Ask them for recommendations and try lots of different varieties. Before you know it, you’ll discover new favorites.