-- If you usually prefer red wines,
consider a Cabernet
Sauvignon or a Merlot.
Since red Bordeaux
wines are almost always made primarily from either Cabernet or
Merlot, you could select a Bordeaux, too. Do not stress too much
over the exact wine selection. There are a lot of very good brands
from which to choose. Just pick a known brand of Cabernet, Merlot
or Bordeaux in your price range and you'll be fine. Try and get
a wine with a vintage date that is at least 3 years old if you
can. As the wine selections get more expensive, they get more
likely to have bigger flavors, more tannin and the need for more
are more considerations at the bottom of this page if you want
to refine the match of red wine and beef.
-- If you normally prefer dry
white wines, then it would be a good time to select one of
the much lighter red wines. Most people who prefer dry white wines
do not appreciate the fullness of flavor and the bitterness of
the tannins in Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Bordeaux. The good
news is that not all red wines have the bitterness and flavors
you want to avoid. I suggest that you try a Beaujolais
or a Pinot
Noir. Both of these choices are best when served slightly
chilled and neither has bitterness from harsh tannins. Beaujolais
is a very fruity wine from the Beaujolais region in France
that is made from the Gamay
grape. Beaujolais is a very good choice for individuals who prefer
a fruit-forward dry white wine. Pinot Noir will seem a bit dryer
than Beaujolais and is a better choice for those who have been
drinking dry Chardonnays for a long time. Pinot Noir is a very
good transition wine for white wine drinkers who are learning
to enjoy red wines. The beef should be cooked without getting
the outside charred very much, or the char should be trimmed before
serving. The bitterness from the char will lessen the quality
of the 'light red' wine with beef match.
-- If you usually like wine with
a little sweetness, you may want to get a White Zinfandel
. White Zinfandel may not seem a likely choice at first blush,
but it works. Even though these wines are low in tannin, there
is enough there to work with the beef. The slight sweetness also
gets along will with the proteins in the beef. As a person who
prefers dry red wines, I cannot tell you how surprised I was when
I first tried White Zinfandel with beef. Do try to cook the beef
in a way that each portion does not have an abundance of char
on the outside. The bitterness found in the char can overwhelm
the lighter taste of the White Zinfandel.
OK... Those are the basics. There
are plenty of other wines that will work as wonderful matches
with beef. They are a bit beyond the scope of this article but
I will point you in the right direction. Consider a Syrah
(Shiraz), a red Zinfandel or a French Rhone
wine like Chateauneuf du Pape. Each has it's own flavor characteristics
and will appeal to different groups of people but trying them
to find out which you prefer is lots of fun. Or is it the proverbial
'tough job but someone has to do it'?
Do not make wine selection a hard
decision. Just go with the guidelines listed earlier and look
forward to a great time with food and friends. Whatever wine you
chose, do make sure it is served at "cooler then room temperature".
A good serving
temperature will enhance the taste of the wine.
want to take the 'wine with beef' match to the next level, consider
these additional aspects:
very young red wines, cook the beef rarer than you might otherwise.
The extra fat and protein will limit the harshness of young
well aged red wines, cook the beef more than you normally would.
Very rare beef can overwhelm the subtle complexity that are
the desireable result of proper aging.
may be beef but it calls for different wines. Look at Pinot
Noir or Syrah (Shiraz) for lower tannin levels and a better
char that develops on an individually grilled cut of beef (filet
or steak) will match better with younger or more tannic wines.
Char has bitterness that matches with the bitterness found in
harsher or younger tannins.
and other cuts of beef that are cooked as multiple servings
(rather than indivually cooked cuts like steak) develop less
char per serving and match better with wines of more age or