Red wine and beef is a match made in heaven. Which red, however, depends on the cut of beef, the preparation and other flavors in the dish.
You'll want something with enough heft, depth of fruit and smoky oak to stand up to all the char and fat. Look for:
- American red Zinfandel
- Spanish Rioja
Go fruitier, jammier and spicier:
- California, Oregon or Washington Merlot
- Australian Shiraz or Cabernet blends
- Argentinean Malbec or Merlot
- For a rich-and-vinegary Béarnaise, American Cabernet is perfect
- With South American-style Chimichurri, go for Chilean or Argentinean Cabernet or Merlot
- With blue cheese and butter, go for a Southern Italian red
Pick a wine similar in flavor to what you're cooking with-you don't need to break the bank on braising wine, but stick to a similar region and grape.
Rich, meaty braises like Osso Buco need higher-acidity reds to cut the richness; think of funky, earthy French reds from the Rhone or Loire Valleys, Chianti Classico, Pinot Noir from Oregon or Spanish wines from Penedes.
Pretty much anything works well with a roast, especially lighter reds. Try:
- Pinot Noirs from the US
- Burgundy or Rhone-style blends from the US or Australia
Carpaccio: If you're serving Carpaccio as an appetizer, a full-flavored sparkling rose whets the palate for later courses; or, play to the traditional garnish of Parmesan with a young Barbera.