5 Best Tips to Pair Meat and Wine for 2023

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A flavored, succulent steak or a platter of lip-smacking meat sounds excellent, but when paired with a good glass of classic wine, there is nothing like it. The best assortment of meat and red wines could take your meal to a phenomenal level of scrumptiousness and palatability.

You can pair the best alcohol and charcuterie, which is an assortment of meats paired with red aperitif as well as several other accompaniments such as fruits, cheese, and sauces. If you are new to appetizer and food pairing, here are some of the best tips to help you make your next dinner party the talk of the neighborhood:

1. Red Meat and Red Wine

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Red appetizers complement red meat much better; however, you need to consider the way you are planning to prepare your meat dish. When you are serving a grilled steak, it goes best with a red appetizer that has a depth of fruit and smoky oak for combating the fat and char of the steak. Wines such as Cabernet Priorat, Spanish Rioja, and American Red Zinfandel complement grilled steak best. Wines with a spicier and fruitier flavor are best paired with pan-fried steak like Cabernet blends, Oregon pinot noir, California or Washington Merlot, or Australian Shiraz.

Bordeaux-style blends, Bordeaux, and California Cabernet, are terrific with both steaks and dishes such as lamb chops accompanied by frizzled herbs. The firm tannins present in these wines helps in refreshing the palate after every bite. Food connoisseurs tell us that roasts work wonders with some of the lighter red aperitifs. You may consider trying Rhone-style blends and burgundy from America and Australia, the United States’ Pinot Noirs. Depending on whether you are using it for braises, it would surely make a massive difference in the choice of alcohol that would best complement the meat. Stock-braised dishes would be requiring red drinks with relatively higher acidity for getting to the richness while wine-braised dishes would go best with wines that are similar to the specific braising booze.

Usually, the leaner the red meat you serve, the lighter it should be your pick of red appetizer. For example, a perfect cut like that of Wagyu beef rib eye will pair perfectly with a daring, high-tannin bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz. Again, if you are serving meats having a subtle flavor and delicate structure, such as lamb fillets, you can opt for reds with more delicate tannins. The best ones are Pinot Noir and Malbec.

2. Red Bordeaux Blend Wines with Varieties of Meat

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Did you know that red Bordeaux blend wines (check here) pair best with saltier, denser, spicier, and fattier lamb and steak? Serve these meat varieties, and your guests wouldn’t be able to resist your mouth-watering dinner served with the best reds. You can also serve Bordeaux and pair it with more flavorful, leaner meats such as pork or, for that matter, duck.

3. Turkey, Chicken, Poultry, and Wines

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Chicken and turkey breasts seem to pair excellently with white aperitifs such as Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, whereas dark meats such as duck go well with standard-bodied reds like Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir.

Then, the ingredients and sauce used in a poultry dish will affect the food flavor and, therefore, go for a pairing depending on the precise recipe you are planning to serve for your guests. Usually, light dishes pair best with white aperitifs, while bolder platters go well with red aperitif varieties. How about some marinated chicken breast with porcini mushroom sauce, barley, salsa verde paired with the best Chardonnay?

4. Seafood and Wine Pairing

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White aperitifs go very well with fresh seafood and fish. The kind of white appetizer you pick depends mostly on the dish you prepare. For example, crumbling and lean fish such as perch and sea bass pair excellently with energizing, stimulating white varieties such as Semillon and Pinot Grigio. Again, flavorful, meatier fish such as swordfish and salmon pair best with creamy whites like Viognier and oaked Chardonnay.

The other delicious seafood like prawns and oysters pair fine with crisp white aperitifs like Riesling, champagne, sparkling, and Sauvignon Blanc. You can serve salmon with fermented chili, sesame, miso, ginger, garlic, and soy and pair it with Viognier.

5. Pork with Wine

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When pork is paired with alcohol, you need to consider the way you had prepared the dish to identify the best pairing. Spicy pork dishes would be going best with aperitifs such as Riesling, which is known for its semi-sweetness of citrus and fruits. Barbecue pork dishes pair well with Riesling too. However, pork made with fruit generally pairs well with jammy red aperitifs such as Zinfandel and wine need to be cool, taste will be perfect.

Pork stir-fry would be going well with Riesling. However, it is known to also pair well with Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Gris. However, enjoy flavorful dishes such as pork tenderloin with Pinot Noir Zinfandel, or even Zweigelt. While preparing sweet & sour pork, you must consider looking for liquors such as Pinot Grigio or also white Zinfandel for complementing the contrasting flavors. You may consider choosing a creamy Chardonnay with a pork herb dish since the appetizer would not be overwhelming the herbs and even the braises.

Break Away from the Stereotypes

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White wine with white meat or fish and red meat with red appetizer, right? No, not on all occasions! You need to consider breaking the rules and come up with unique pairings that seem to be simply amazing. For instance, salmon’s fattiness matches gorgeously with the light redness of the Burgundian Pinot Noir. It is of prime importance to ensure that the weight and intensity of the wine complement that of the specific dish it is going to be paired with. It would be best if you did not hesitate to break away from the stereotypes.


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You must always remember that it is an easy task to pick your appetizer as per the dish instead of cooking around the wine. Consider choosing your food menu well before you pick your wine as that should be instrumental in narrowing down your options and helping you in determining the perfect white or red wine to go with your meal. It would help if you kept in mind that the whites and reds would be best complementing poultry and chicken. It would help if you did not forget that in any pairing, remember that you certainly do not wish the wine’s taste to overpower the dish’s flavor. Treat yourself and your guests with the best pairing of meat and liquors, red or white. There is nothing like a beautiful evening spent with your family and friends. Make it unique with delicious meats and liquors served on the table.