When you’re trying to pair wine with your meal, you’re probably using the age old rule of thumb – white wine with fish and red wine with meat. Well guess what, no decent food connoisseur is going to abide by such a simplistic rule like that! Especially when it comes to how to pair your wine with meat.
Red meat, much like wine, is not all the same. Several factors contribute to the right wine pairing such as the type and cut of your meat, the spices and sauces with your dish, how you’re cooking your dish. Every single element is fundamental when it comes to finding the perfect balance and flavor combination.
White meat which is a typical meat at the dinner table, is usually cooked in a simple way and combines perfectly with a structured white wine. The intensity of the wine ideally should increase in complexity of the dish and its preparation. If you’re meal consists of grilled chicken or roasted, spiced chicken then it’s best to go for a rosé or a Rosso di Montepulciano D.O.C. This is a wine which is perfect with salami and similar spiced meats. A young red is well suited for fatty, heavier side dishes like peppers or for the “alla cacciatora” preparation which is typical in Tuscan cuisine.
If your main course is red meat, you will want to opt for a structured red wine which offers a complex bouquet and acts as an excellent complement to the flavors of red meat dishes. Red wine with red meat works well in these situations, but should be avoided with meals like tartare or any meat that is not fully cooked. Dishes like these work well with dry white wines, or perhaps even a Novello di Toscana. The Novello di Toscana, as well as Chianti Classico and Rosso di Montalcino also pair really well with grilled meats.
Cooked meats such as roasts or braised dishes must be paired with stronger red, mature red wines such as a Chianti Classico Riserva, especially if you want to enhance the flavor of meats like game. On the same note, red wines such as the Brunello di Montalcino work perfectly with dishes such as Florentine steak.