5 Beef Friendly Reds

Wines that are perfect for the summer barbecue season


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5 Beef Friendly Reds I should have titled this article “5 Wines for Grilled Beef,” but the wine recommendations that I’ll be making are pretty much all beef friendly. It’s just that all of the beef I plan to consume from now through Labor Day will very likely be of the charcoal-seared persuasion. Don’t worry, I’m old school and use only hardwood charcoal, so there’s just pure beef and char going into my food and wine pairings here.

So what do I look for when pairing wine with beef? It’s a good question so let’s lay down some simple points on which to riff.

1. Smoky flavors are complementary.

2. A little sweetness can help balance out the char.

3. Bold flavors are natural partners.

4. Beef likes some peppery spice.

5. Fatty foods like a little acid trip.

If you want to see what I mean, read on!

Photo courtesy of jeffreyw via Flickr/cc

Mentioned in this article


  • Snooth User: Mikeperson
    815819 73

    complEment / complEmentary

    Just tryin' to help.

    Keep up the good work.


    May 23, 2012 at 3:20 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,748

    Thanks Mike!

    it is appreciated.

    May 23, 2012 at 3:44 PM

  • Snooth User: Richard Foxall
    Hand of Snooth
    262583 4,004

    I find with fatty meats that I really like the high tannins in Petite Sirah, but mostly with lamb chops rather than beef. But Brunello and rib-eye or oxtails? Right on.

    May 23, 2012 at 4:11 PM

  • What about some great Aussie reds.

    I can tell you that the Henschke Keystone or Petaluma Coonawarra Merlot go damn well with a bbqed rib on the bone!

    May 23, 2012 at 6:54 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,748

    Great recommendations, both of you. Thanks for the suggestions!

    May 23, 2012 at 6:56 PM

  • Here are 3 reds that are a match made in heaven for beef.

    1. Marques de Caceres Grand Reserva ; A wine with a great, fruity character and a good structure. It's chalky tannins make this wine a real good match.


    2. Parker Coonawarra Estate First Growth 2004 : With a strong, firm palate of liquorice and cedar flavours, it's dark dense, black fruits and a nice, long finish, this wine really is at it's best with rare beef.


    3. Planeta Merlot 2003 : With a lovely, creamy texture and velvety richness in the mouth. The touches of spice and mint is what really makes this wine a good paring with beef.


    May 24, 2012 at 3:52 AM

  • One you would overlook, just like I did, to go with lean beef
    Pinot Noir D'Alsace.
    I was surprised how this cold, clear but deep dark pink light red wine went well with steaks on hot summer evenings when in Alsace two summers ago.
    Good burgundies like Gevrey Chambertin also have an aspect of animal about them, a slight meatiness or whiff of dog, that suggest a good pairing with lean beef.
    Shiraz and beef - you cant go wrong. Rioja Reservas, ditto, also powerful Gigondas
    Cabernet can pair well with fattier, gristlier steaks, as can cru beaujolais.

    Generally anything with a bit of wood helps, I have only had disappointments by going too young when selecting red matches for steaks/beef.

    May 24, 2012 at 6:30 AM

  • Snooth User: duncan 906
    Hand of Snooth
    425274 2,809

    I agree with William.The perfect wine with steak is Burgundy.I had a Les Caves Hautes-Cotes Bourgogne the last time I had a steak and both were superb

    May 28, 2012 at 12:51 PM

  • Snooth User: coltspam
    1327708 34


    Aug 02, 2013 at 11:57 PM

  • well

    Aug 30, 2013 at 2:49 AM

  • good one

    Aug 31, 2013 at 4:55 AM

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