What to Pair with Structured, Rich, Full-Bodied Reds

Skirt Steak with Pinto Beans and Pasilla Chile Vinaigrette Photo © Christina Holmes
By Megan Krigbaum Posted March 13, 2014

Here, the best foods to pair with full-bodied red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec.

For F&W's simplest pairing guide ever, we placed wines into five basic categories. Then star chef Hugh Acheson gave us excellent, easy recipes to match.

Wines: Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec

This category encompasses everything from fancy collector Napa Cabs and Bordeaux to backyard barbecue wines, like Malbec. Whatever their reputation, these rich, lush wines all demand meat. Match the powerful reds with equally substantial dishes, like braised short ribs or spicy grilled steak.

Worst pairing ever: Cabernet Sauvignon with oysters. Never has a red wine tasted so metallic, nor an elegant bivalve been so obliterated.—Shayn Bjornholm, Examination Director, The Court of Master Sommeliers

Recipes: Skirt Steak with Pinto Beans and Pasilla Chile Vinaigrette
Spice-Roasted Duck

Related: Train Yourself to Pair Wine and Food
20 Wine Pairings to Try Before You Die
7 Rules for Perfect Pairings

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