What Pairs Well With Red Wine? Food and Wine Pairings to Try

by | Jan 26, 2024 | Wine

A beautiful bottle of red wine is a natural accompaniment to almost any meal. However, certain food pairings allow the flavors to intertwine deliciously, creating an unforgettable and upscale dining experience you won’t soon forget.

Whether you’re attending a dinner party, planning a meal for someone special, or simply looking to enhance your wine game, it helps to know which entrees go best with your selection.

Are you wondering what pairs well with red wine? Today, we’re sharing some of our favorite combinations to inspire you.

Red Wine and Red Meat

Red meat and red wine often go hand-in-hand. However, this doesn’t mean that every cut of meat will taste right alongside every grape variety.

When searching for the perfect duo, there are two considerations to keep in mind: the tannin level of your wine and the richness of the meat. More robust red wines, like Cabernet Sauvignon, go best with grilled meats, while smoother wines pair better with braised options.

Here are a few red wine pairings for the carnivores at the table.

Cabernet Sauvignon and Grilled Steak

One of the boldest and most flavorful red wines available, Cab Sauv can hold its own against the intense flavor of a perfectly grilled steak. As you bite into your sirloin or ribeye, notice how the smoky flavors interplay with the hints of berries, blackcurrants (cassis), spice, and tobacco that define this wine.

Cab Sauv also has a smooth, balanced acidity and firm tannins, which help balance the juiciness of the steak. This is one of the most traditional red wine pairings, sure to please any guest.

Grenache and Beef Stew

Compared to Cab Sauv, Grenache is brighter and zestier, with intense notes of fruit and herbs. In addition to rich flavors of strawberry, raspberry, and black cherry, there are also delicate hints of spices, including anise and cinnamon.

A glass of this wine pairs beautifully with a cut of red meat that’s a little softer and silkier, such as braised beef.

While you can prepare this meat in a variety of ways, a hearty stew is an ideal way to round out the meal. Many stew recipes even call for a little red wine in the broth, like this one!

Syrah and Leg of Lamb

Medium-to-full-bodied with firm tannins and high acidity, Syrah is an excellent wine to serve alongside lamb dishes, especially ones that are roasted, such as leg of lamb, rack of lamb, or lamb cutlets. To bring out the flavor of the wine, it’s best to serve the lamb on the medium-rare side.

Red Wine and Pasta Dishes

If Italian food is your sweet spot, you’ll be delighted to find that red wine and pasta are a match made in heaven. While nearly any noodle dish will technically work, it’s best to stick with tomato-based sauces for the best outcome. This is because the natural acidity of the tomatoes will effortlessly enhance and bring out the acidity in the wine.

One of our top food pairing recommendations is spaghetti with meat sauce, served with a great bottle of Cab Sauv. The medium-bodied wine is acidic without being overly so, and it will lend a nice balance to the meal.

Red Wine and Fish

When you think about pairing wine with fish, you might picture white varieties first. While it’s true that this is the conventional combination, many red wines also go wonderfully with your favorite seafood dishes.

Take our Tearing at the Seams Red Blend, for instance. This unique blend combines the dark, fruity flavors of Petite Sirah with Grenache and Syrah, for a one-of-a-kind profile that’s intense and acidic without overtaking the meal.

Serve a glass with a beautiful plate of grilled salmon or shrimp for a wonderfully balanced dish.

Red Wine and Poultry

In most cases, light-bodied red wines are best when you’re preparing a poultry dish, such as roasted chicken. Even when well-seasoned, poultry has a lighter and more tender flavor than red meat, so you don’t need such a robust flavor or tannin profile to balance it out.

With its earthy, smoky qualities, Cab Sauv is incredibly delicious paired with chicken, especially when the meat is grilled or barbecued in a tangy, tomato-based sauce. If you opt for a super hearty, deep-flavored dish, such as chicken coq au vin, you may need a full-bodied red, like Syrah, to strike the right balance.

Red Wine and Snacks

We don’t have to look far to find plenty of snacks that go with red wine! In fact, a great glass of red is practically begging to be served next to a few bowls of delicious nibbles.

Cheese and dark chocolate are some of our favorite noshes to pick, though it’s important to consider the variety you select. A sharp-tasting cheese, such as aged cheddar, will need a full-bodied wine, while a smooth, creamy brie pairs well with a light-bodied one. A nutty, tangy cheese like bleu cheese is especially delicious with Cab Sauv!

If you have more of a sweet tooth, you can serve your dark chocolate with a red wine that has a fruity undertone, such as Syrah. The subtle sweetness of the wine will complement the bittersweet profile of the chocolate, creating a unique blend that you’ll want to indulge in time and again.

What Pairs Well With Red Wine? Try These Dishes Today

When you have a few go-to combinations up your sleeve, you’ll never have to stare at your open pantry and think, “What pairs well with red wine?” While these are a few of our favorite pairings, there are so many more to explore and enjoy! The key is to balance the flavors of the meal, choosing a bottle that will enhance and draw out the flavors of your entree, not work against it.

At Levo Vineyard, we’re proud to offer a variety of fine wines sure to please even the pickiest palate. Explore our collections online, and sign up for our membership to make sure your favorites are always in stock!