5 Beef Friendly Reds

Wines that are perfect for the summer barbecue season


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A Little Sweetness Can Balance Out the Char

Sometimes we get carried away when grilling and the smoky, sweet flavor becomes obscured by some overaggressive char. Fear not! Even a steak that’s crusty and black on the outside has a perfect partner. In this case, something that helps to soften those crispy edges is just the ticket.

A little sweetness can help balance out that bitterness. Many wines actually work fairly well, attesting to the current tendency of many wine producers to leave a little residual sugar in their wines. Big fruit can also help to reinforce that impression of sweetness, as can the use of American oak barrels, making a good old Zinfandel perfect for the bronco burger you burned, or maybe it was a London broil. You thought 4 inches was the right thickness?

Two to try:

Sausal Family Estate

Klinker Brick Old Vine

Photo courtesy of adactio via Flickr/cc

Mentioned in this article


  • Snooth User: Mikeperson
    815819 73

    complEment / complEmentary

    Just tryin' to help.

    Keep up the good work.


    May 23, 2012 at 3:20 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,749

    Thanks Mike!

    it is appreciated.

    May 23, 2012 at 3:44 PM

  • Snooth User: Richard Foxall
    Hand of Snooth
    262583 4,003

    I find with fatty meats that I really like the high tannins in Petite Sirah, but mostly with lamb chops rather than beef. But Brunello and rib-eye or oxtails? Right on.

    May 23, 2012 at 4:11 PM

  • What about some great Aussie reds.

    I can tell you that the Henschke Keystone or Petaluma Coonawarra Merlot go damn well with a bbqed rib on the bone!

    May 23, 2012 at 6:54 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,749

    Great recommendations, both of you. Thanks for the suggestions!

    May 23, 2012 at 6:56 PM

  • Here are 3 reds that are a match made in heaven for beef.

    1. Marques de Caceres Grand Reserva ; A wine with a great, fruity character and a good structure. It's chalky tannins make this wine a real good match.


    2. Parker Coonawarra Estate First Growth 2004 : With a strong, firm palate of liquorice and cedar flavours, it's dark dense, black fruits and a nice, long finish, this wine really is at it's best with rare beef.


    3. Planeta Merlot 2003 : With a lovely, creamy texture and velvety richness in the mouth. The touches of spice and mint is what really makes this wine a good paring with beef.


    May 24, 2012 at 3:52 AM

  • One you would overlook, just like I did, to go with lean beef
    Pinot Noir D'Alsace.
    I was surprised how this cold, clear but deep dark pink light red wine went well with steaks on hot summer evenings when in Alsace two summers ago.
    Good burgundies like Gevrey Chambertin also have an aspect of animal about them, a slight meatiness or whiff of dog, that suggest a good pairing with lean beef.
    Shiraz and beef - you cant go wrong. Rioja Reservas, ditto, also powerful Gigondas
    Cabernet can pair well with fattier, gristlier steaks, as can cru beaujolais.

    Generally anything with a bit of wood helps, I have only had disappointments by going too young when selecting red matches for steaks/beef.

    May 24, 2012 at 6:30 AM

  • Snooth User: duncan 906
    Hand of Snooth
    425274 2,274

    I agree with William.The perfect wine with steak is Burgundy.I had a Les Caves Hautes-Cotes Bourgogne the last time I had a steak and both were superb

    May 28, 2012 at 12:51 PM

  • Snooth User: coltspam
    1327708 34


    Aug 02, 2013 at 11:57 PM

  • well

    Aug 30, 2013 at 2:49 AM

  • good one

    Aug 31, 2013 at 4:55 AM

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