Beef chili is a New World dish that demands a New World wine; those big, brawny flavors tend to overpower the higher acid, more tannic and subtle wines from France and Italy. Your best bets are full-bodied reds with ripe, sweet-seeming fruit and barely there tannins that will pair nicely with the chili’s heat. Malbec from Argentina can be a great option; look for bottles from Altos Los Hormigas or Mapema. Or try California Zinfandel from producers like Seghesio Family Vineyards or St. Francis Winery.
Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and author of the forthcoming The Modern Potluck (Clarkson Potter, 2016). She is also the cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.