A Guide to Pairing Wine With Beef Dishes
One of the wonderful things about winter is savouring slow-cooked, hearty meals. Full-flavoured and nourishing, beef is a great feature ingredient for these types of dishes, and for wine lovers, there's a great range of wines to choose from, based on things like sauces, spices, and cooking techniques.
WHAT WINES PAIR WITH BEEF?
Beef and wine pairings at a glance:
Medium to full and textural whites like Verdelho, Pinot G, Fiano and Chardonnay pair perfectly with beef-based Thai-style curries. They’re also delicious with lighter pastry-based beef dishes, and crumbed cuts with an accompanying salad.
Light to medium bodied aromatic reds including Pinot Noir, Grenache and GSM blends, and Nero d’Avola are great with crowd-pleasing spicy chipotle beef. They’re also delicious with dishes containing mushrooms, beef charcuterie, and simple Italian-inspired beef dishes.
Medium weight and savoury reds like Merlot and blends, Sangiovese, Tempranillo, and cool climate Shiraz make a marvellous pairing with pot roasted beef or osso bucco. They’re also delicious with slow-cooked dishes, tapas or mezze-inspired beef dishes, and mild curries.
Bold and fuller bodied reds including warm climate Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and blends, Durif and Malbec are all sumptuous matches with char-grilled or barbequed beef dishes. They’re also delicious with roasted beef cuts, spicy Asian beef dishes, and beef dishes containing black olives and woody herbs.
When it comes to pairing food types and wine, our Tasting Panel has all the tips, so read on to discover their must-try beef recipes, chosen from our extensive online Selector recipe library, and their suggested wine matches.
“When pairing beef recipes with wine, the key considerations are the cut of meat, how fatty it is, how it's prepared and any accompanying sauces,” advises Wine Selectors Tasting Panel Co-Chair and self-confessed foodie, Adam Walls. “While red wine lovers can match almost any variety, white wine lovers should stick with fuller, more textural varieties.”
While red wine lovers can match almost any variety, white wine lovers should stick with fuller, more textural varieties.
BEEF RECIPES TO PAIR WITH WHITE WINE
Wine matches: White wine lovers don’t miss out on enjoying their favourite styles with beef dishes. Choose fuller, more textural white varietals like Verdelho, Pinot G, Fiano, Chardonnay, Viognier, and Roussanne to pair with the following recipes.
BEEF STIR-FRY RECIPES
Wine matches: Both of these beef stir-fry recipes are very rich, so require a fuller bodied red wine match like a warm climate Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet blend, Durif, or Malbec.
BEEF BRISKET RECIPES
Wine matches: Red blends are great with dishes that showcase a range of flavours. A balanced combination of red varieties will complement both the richness of the brisket and the complexity of flavours in both these dishes.
BEEF CURRY RECIPES
Wine matches: Shiraz is Australia’s top-selling red wine, and for good reason! You won’t find it difficult to pair these flavour-packed curries with a tasty local drop.
BEEF RAGU AND SLOW COOKED BEEF RECIPES
Wine matches: Pot roasted, slow cooked and braised beef dishes with melt-in-the-mouth textures pair well with the richness and peppery spice of cool climate Shiraz, or try Mediterranean favourites, Sangiovese or Tempranillo.
BEEF PIE RECIPES
Wine matches: Both of these pies are deliciously rich, so are best paired with a red that some ‘oomph’. Try Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec. For those who prefer something a little lighter, Nebbiolo or Nero d’Avola are good choices.
BEEF RIB RECIPES
Wine match: A Cabernet Merlot blend would pair beautifully with this mouth-watering miso-based dish. The rich, supple characters of the Merlot temper the boldness of the Cabernet, making it a great match for marinated and barbequed ribs. Meanwhile, the intriguing coconut-based dish is a sensationally savoury companion to the mouth-watering Sangiovese.
BEEF STEAK RECIPES
Wine matches: Great Australian steak can be paired with just about any red wine of your choice. For Dan Hong’s steak with the flavours of pho, a lighter red or Rosé are just the ticket. Adam D'Sylva's rib-eye steak with curry butter has flavours that are quite nuanced, perfect to pair with something not too heavy like a bright GSM, mid-weight Tempranillo, or a Sangiovese.
GRILLED BEEF RECIPES
Wine match: Bolder, fuller bodied reds such as warmer climate Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and blends, Durif and Malbec are ideal partners for barbequed or roasted beef with their charry richness.
ROAST BEEF RECIPES
Wine match: Bolder, fuller bodied reds such as warmer climate Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and blends, Durif and Malbec are ideal partners for roasted beef.
WANT TO LEARN MORE?
For more great food and wine combinations, be sure to check out our dedicated Food and Wine Pairing pages.