9 Red Wine Food Pairings Made in Heaven
The pairing of food and wine offers a world of endless possibilities of enjoyment. Although it does all come down to a matter of taste, and there are no definitive rules when it comes to matching the two, there are some combinations that have simply stood the test of time. Pairings should be a fun way to allow you to explore new levels of complexity of both the wine and food. Here are a few red wine food pairings to get you started.
1. Pinot Noir and seafood
Although many reach for white wine when fish is on the menu, the beautiful juxtaposition of Pinot Noir can make it a wonderful accompaniment for seafood. Lighter in body, it will not overwhelm delicate flavours but can still stand up to a heartier fish like salmon. With a diversity of flavour notes from cheery to forest floor, Pinot Noir also welcomes a variety of sauces and side dishes. Pinot Noir is one of the most popular red wines that you can buy. It’s known for the versatility to pair with a variety of seafood dishes.
2. Syrah and BBQ
One of the world’s most popular grape varieties, Syrah has probably been consumed with just about every meal under the sun. Although it is certainly diverse and can be great with everything from sharp cheddar to black forest cake, it is particularly delicious with BBQ. It has enough fruit to complement the spice and won’t be overshadowed by the bold flavours.
3. Merlot and mint sauce
This combination is likely to surprise some, but it’s important not to knock it till you try it. Merlot actually holds a wealth of soft berry flavours alongside notes of eucalyptus, juniper and mint. This can make it a fun wine to experiment with, and you can get really creative playing up the different herbal aromas it contains.
4. Cabernet Sauvignon and gorgonzola
We all know that Cabernet Sauvignon is the natural companion to a ribeye, but it also has a softer side that works wonders when paired with some types of cheese. It’s bold tannins and fruit act as a lovely foil for gorgonzola, for example. Whether served on its own or in a sauce, Cabernet will do much to enhance the flavour of this creamy cheese.
5. Malbec and steak
Instead of always reaching for your favourite Cab when meat is on the menu, why not try Malbec with your next steak? This Argentinian favourite is at its best when served alongside grilled meat and can even stand up to pungent sauces like peppercorn or horseradish.
6. Tempranillo and mushrooms
The brightness of this juicy wine makes it a great companion for vegetarian main courses. It works in dynamic contrast to the earthiness of something like mushrooms to reveal a whole new level of flavour of complexity. Try Tempranillo with an herby mushroom pasta and chances are you will not be disappointed.
7. Sangiovese and pizza
Serving a darling red grape with pizza might not seem like the most creative of ideas, but some things just belong together. This grape’s high acidity and moderately high tannins make it a great companion for a pepperoni pizza with a rich tomato sauce.
8. Pinotage and sausage
A grape unique to South Africa, Pinotage is medium to full-bodies and offers notes of cherry and raspberry. Although not to everyone’s liking, a good bottle of Pinotage is a natural fit with a smoky grilled sausage.
9. Grenache and game
This old-world wine is the perfect partner for hearty and rustic dishes of all varieties. If you’re looking for something interesting to pair with venison or pheasant, the bold flavours of Grenache will not let you down. It has a candied-fruit and cinnamon flavour that will make any game dish deliciously complex without being overpowering.