Blend of berries, licorice, cocoa, and anise spicy aroma, red wine has bitter and puckering bold flavors compared white wine. Made from fermented grapes, red wine is a popular choice to serve with a variety of foods.
It’s a classic order, sumptuous and versatile too. From Cabernet Sauvignon to Merlot, there are thousands of red wine varietals that pair well with specific foods to enjoy the maximum flavor.
What to eat with red wine? Typically, red wine pairs wonderfully with roast beef, tomato-based pasta, strong and heavy cheese, chocolate, portobello mushrooms, pork, and pizza.
However, specific red wine varietals match with a wide range of food options:
- Merlot: roasted chicken, turkey
- Malbec: stews, tomato-heavy meat dishes, burger
- Cabernet Sauvignon: red meat, roasted or grilled lamb, steak
- Pinot Noir: seafood, salads, mushroom, flatbread
- Barbera: antipasto, burger, rabbit, sausage, veal, carpaccio
- Chianti: pasta with tomato sauce, pizza, most Italian foods
- Zinfandel: chicken, curry, sheep cheese, steak, turkey, lamb, rabbit, venison
In general, red wine cooks and pairs excellently with bold-flavored meats such as red meat, roasted chicken or turkey, spiced vegetarian stews, heavy tomato meat dishes, seafood, salads, or mushrooms.
Check out this article to discover some of the amazingly foods to serve with red wine for a complete and memorable experience. Read more about what to eat while drinking red wine.
What goes with red wine?
While red wine cannot taste good with all meals, some foods bring out the naturally occurring tastes, aromas, and flavors in red wine.
When red wine is paired with the optimal cheese, meat or vegetables, the combination turns out to be very delicious and particularly satisfying.
Choose the right foods to pair with red wine to make the occasion more relaxing than irritable.
Specific foods to eat with red wine include:
- Meat: steak, beef, burger, barbecue, lamb
- Seafood: crab cakes, salmon, tuna
- Cheese: brie, gouda, aged cheddar, pecorino, stilton, goat
- Cured meat: prosciutto, salami, chorizo
- Nuts: almonds, pistachios, cashews, peanuts, pine nuts
- Fruits: pears, green apple, peach, orange, lemon, blueberries
- Vegetables: fennel, squash, spinach, zucchini, sweet potatoes, leek, artichoke, potatoes
- Spices: cinnamon, star anise, vanilla, peppercorn, cocoa powder
- Herbs: rosemary, basil, mint, cilantro, sage, oregano, thyme
Good snacks to eat with red wine
Not every snack pairs perfectly with red wine due to its bold, dark, and heavy tannins. Therefore, it requires specific snack ideas to balance the taste of red wine without overpowering it.
Some excellent snack choices to pair with red wine include:
- Crackers and cheese: Charcuterie board including crackers, cheese, and cured meats are the go-to when you want to serve red wine and snacks. Gouda cubes or cheddar cheese with butter crackers are an excellent choice but just about any combo will do to find a favorite.
- Chicken wings: Red wine isn’t complete without chicken wings on the side. No matter what red wine is selected, chicken wings always find a way to elevate your tastebuds. If the wings are too spicy, pair them with an off-dry wine. On the other hand, dry, savory red wines are perfect with less-spicy wings.
- Meatballs: Serve a glass of Malbec with meatballs as this wine features a great structure that is perfect for a meaty entree or hors d’oeuvre.
- Pizza: As if it couldn’t get any better, pairing pizza with a glass of Zinfandel is heavenly. However, selecting the type of wine is ultimately based on the toppings.
- Trail mix: Combine roasted almonds, pistachios, cashews, peanuts with dried fruit such as cranberries and raisins when serving Pinot Noir or Beaujolais.
- Chips and dipping sauce: Crunchy tortilla chips with salsa verde, creamy tahini, spinach artichoke, avocado aioli, or hummus tastes great with Malbec, Chardonnay, or Port.
- Chocolate: Any dark or milk chocolate bar or truffle goes well with Merlot, Zinfandel, or Syrah.
What flavor goes with red wine?
The trick to an executive meal with red wine is combining tastes that blend well with the food, and red wine is a commonly approachable beverage in terms of food pairings.
Some flavors that go well with red wine include rosemary, peppercorn, star anise, charred shallots, fennel seeds, garlic, thyme, mint, toasted nuts, cocoa powder, or dried or fresh mushrooms. You can never go wrong when trying new flavors with red wine.
Here are classic flavor combination that goes well with red wine:
- red wine + mushrooms + lentils + salmon
- red wine + lamb + spinach
- red wine + scallops + grapefruit + onion + vinaigrette + goat cheese
- red wine + barbecue sauce + chicken
- red wine + pâtés + mousses + terrines
Eat with Red Wine: Conclusion
Staying open-minded, being flexible, and experimentation is the key to finding out what to pair with your bottle of red wine. Whether the wine flavor is peppery, dry, bitter, or complex, this will ultimately affect the food combo.
In general, red wine goes well with red meat and fatty seafood such as salmon. Furthermore, a glass of red wine is mostly served with dishes including tomato-based pasta, strong cheese and cured meat charcuterie boards, dark chocolate snack, and pizza.
Not only dinner courses, red wine can be served with fun snacks like chicken wings, meatballs, pizza flatbread, trail mix, tortilla chips and dip for an appetizer starter.
From Merlot to Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir, there are various kind of red wine to select from that goes with specific meals and ingredients.
If you are starting to enjoy a glass of red wine and exploring the options, use the food pairing ideas and flavor combinations in this guide to try yourself.