How to Pair Meat with the Right Wine

Confused about what wines to serve with your favorite meats. Here is an unofficial guide for which wines will work best over your next meal.

Wine with Beef

According to experts, when you drink red wine with steak, there are naturally occurring compounds known as tannins that soften the fat in the meat, and release its optimal flavor. Consequently, the fat of the meat makes the wine less astringent and releases more of the fruity flavors. You therefore end up with all the best flavors of both the meat and the wine.

Fattier Cuts of Beef with wine: Cuts of beef including hanger steak, filet mignon, porterhouse steak, skirt steak, New York strip, t-bone steak, and ribeye steak work great with bold red wines that have high tannin, like Cabernet work well. Also consider Malbec, Merlot, Syrah, Sangiovese, or a Chianti.

Lean cuts of beef with wine: Beef is a heavier meat and this will often mean that fuller body wines will work best. However, when pairing wines with leaner cuts of beef such as eye of round steak, sirloin tip side steak, top round roast, bottom round roast, top sirloin, you can look light or medium-bodied red wines. These wines should have slightly higher acidity so that they will cut through the texture of the lean meat.


Wine with Chicken

One reason for chicken’s popularity is that it’s flexible with wine. Unlike steak, which seems to demand a robust red, or fish, which wants a crisp white, chicken is a lot less fussy. Maybe that’s because the bird itself is a bit of a hybrid, part lean white meat, part rich dark meat. Chicken and Chardonnay is the classic pairing and works with just about any chicken dish and other whites including Pinot Blanc and Riesling also work well. One exception however is roast chicken that works perhaps even better with red wine. Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot), Burgundy (Pinot Noir), Beaujolais and Dolcetto, fruity Zinfandel all match well with this dish.

 Wine with Lamb

Lamb is a lot more delicate in flavor than most beef, so generally you should select lighter, more delicately flavored wines. The herbal accompaniments traditionally used to flavour classic lamb dishes – bay leaf, rosemary and mint especially, and in Mediterranean settings often black olive as well, are exactly the more complex savoury notes that go well with a Cabernet Sauvignon. You can also opt for more medium-bodied wines or bold reds with smoother tannins such as Malbec, Syrah, Petite Sirah, and Petit Verdot.

Wine with Pork

Cabernets with grilled pork are a classic combo, and so is pork and a nice Pinot Noir. Pork is a very versatile meat and goes with many reds and whites depending on how it is flavoured. For instance, if you prepare a pork tenderloin the dish will be screaming for a Riesling. So wine and pork are absolutely well suited, but it will always be up to your tastes. If you’re infusing your pork with sweet spices or a dried chile sauce, like mole, try berry-rich Zinfandel. These low-tannin reds work well and are still rich enough to pair with pork.

No matter what meat you choose for your meal, make sure that it is of the highest quality because this will affect its taste and even that of the wine. You should always select free range meat from a reliable supplier like Canning Free Range Butchers, who have a long history of providing top quality meats to customers.

Even if you’ve never had wine with your meal, you might want to give it a try. Not only does the wine make your favorite slice of meat more flavorful, but red wine gives your health a boost as well.


Author: Anya

Founder at The TechGirl Journal & The IDEA Bucket ; Anya lives in California while working in the field of Computational Genomics. TechGirl Journal is focussed on the lifestyle of a girl in STEM and tips on how to build a business and a career in tech with a focus on skill-development, interviews, internship, personal projects, and pet-peeves! The IDEA Bucket is focused on small business ventures and practical, urban lifestyles. For specific inquiries, you can e-mail:

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