Red with red, we’ve heard that phrase many times. It’s written in Chapter 1 of many a wine/food pairing book. But how many of us take matching a step further, considering the manner in which the beef is cooked?
I periodically read portions of the book, Taste Buds and Molecules: The Art and Science of Food, Wine, and Flavor, by Francois Chartier. The book is a bit much to devour in one sitting! It is a fascinating study of the molecular level of aromas and flavors and explains why it is likely specific foods pair well with certain wines.
Something I’ve learned about beef pairings, is that it really does matter how the meat is prepared when it comes to selecting the best wine. Grilled and roasted beef dishes are similar in that they both undergo browning. Browning produces a lot of aromatic compounds during the carmelization process: the most of any style of cooking. Often, notes of smoke and spice are included as well. As such, red wines with similar flavor profiles should be poured: full-bodied, oak aged and tannic wines go best. Chartier suggests Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Malbec, Nebbiolo, or Tempranillo.
Braised beef also has those carmelized notes due to initial browning, however the long cooking process in an aromatic liquid also adds a luscious depth to the meat. In this instance, Chartier suggests strongly fragrant and velvety thick wines such as blends like GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre), Cabernet-Shiraz or even Amarone.
What would you pair with Grilled Flank Steak?