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Best red wine for beef stew: cooking, pairings and recipes


What could be more comforting, comforting and hearty than a beef stew? Nothing, of course. But if you’re looking to give it a little more flavor and spiciness, knowing the best red wine to make your beef stew can help.

Most things in life are best with wine, and a hearty beef stew is no exception. Yes, it gives your food a richness that it otherwise would have lacked. But besides wowing your loved ones / guests, it is also full of antioxidants and very good for your health.

Health professionals recommend drinking between 15 and 30 grams of wine per day, and it plays a key role in the Mediterranean diet. Adding wine to your stew is a perfect way to add to it without overdoing it. (Although, yes, drinking what you don’t use is perfectly okay. Don’t waste, don’t want to, right?)

We’re talking about wine, beef stew and eternal happiness. (Except the last one, but the three are definitely related.)

Most wine experts seem to agree that a dry red wine is best when making a beef stew.

Three main types of wine will serve you well. But which one you choose depends on the flavors you want to put in your stew. Some people like beef stew to have a fruity flavor, while others despise it. Some people like a little sweetness in there, while others like the meaty goodness throughout.

So what are these three red wines that you want to look for? Let’s take stock of our suitors!

Pinot Noir

This probably originated from Burgundy in France. It is a dry red wine that tends to be lighter than many other reds, with low tannins and medium-high acidity, and has aromatic notes of cherry, raspberry, clove and hibiscus.

This means it is fruity and slightly sweet, with a hint of spice. If this is how you enjoy your stew, this is the one for you!


It’s another French grape (and the name roughly translates to “petit merle” – daww), and it’s super dry – perfect for beef stew!

It’s much bolder than a Pinot Noir, with medium tannins and moderate acidity, and it contains flavors of cherry, plum, and chocolate, meaning you’ll have a much stronger and more robust flavor to add to it. your stew. But there is also a nice sweet note of vanilla which will make a seriously more gourmet stew.

Cabernet Sauvignon

It completes our French trio – it’s the most popular wine in the world, and for good reason.

Dry but with a strong flavor, with medium tannins and acidity, Cabernet Sauvignon is similar in taste to Merlot but stronger. If you want that really filling, unsweetened or fruity taste, it’s yer boi. It has notes of black cherry, cassis and spices, making it a stew with a rustic taste.

So what are these tannic things we mentioned?

They are responsible for that dry feeling you get in your mouth when you drink red wine – the higher the tannin content, the drier it tastes.

But what does this have to do with beef stew? Well, the tannins react with the fat in the meat. They break it down, meaning the flavor of the meat releases and spreads throughout your delicious stew. Oh, what is this? Even more taste? We will take it.

Alcohol-Free Alternatives to Red Wine in Beef Stew

So you don’t like the taste of red wine or can’t drink it, but you still crave that richer flavor in your stews. No problem. There’s no reason you should go for bland, inferior stews – you deserve better!

There are a few alternatives to red wine that will make your stew taste as good as those with wine. Try these great options:

  • Red wine without alcohol. Yes, that’s the obvious answer, but to be honest, using alcohol-free wine in a stew makes it taste like its alcoholic cousin. However, some alcohol-free wines contain tiny trace elements of alcohol, so be sure to check the label if you can’t get any. any alcohol at all.
  • Tomatoes. When you add red wine to a stew, you are essentially adding notes of acidity and sweetness. Well, tomatoes do that too! A paste or even a carton of tomato juice will do.
  • Red grape juice. Don’t want to use wine? Then use what red wine was before it grew! Red grape juice will give you a sweet and fruity flavor. But be sure to use a bottle of unsweetened juice unless you like your stew. Hello soft.
  • Broth. You can buy your broth or make it at home. Either way, a meat broth will add an even richer flavor to a stew. Beef broth is a perfect partner, for obvious reasons earlier. (Beef + beef = beef2)
  • Cranberry juice. CJ fans will testify to the dry, tangy flavor of cranberry juice. The aromatic effect of adding cranberry juice to a beef stew is reasonably similar to that of adding a red wine. Again, make sure it’s not sweet.

What is that? Want to drink your red wine, in addition to eating it in your beef stew? You renegade!

Most people agree that cabernet sauvignon is the way to go if you need a red wine to accompany a beef stew. With that dry taste thanks to all those tannins, which in turn bring out the flavor of the beef, it won’t be overwhelmed if you have a really hearty stew full of meat and veg.

However, if you’re in the mood to try something different (or if you already have Sauvignon in your stew), how about Malbec? This Argentinian variety is quite similar to its French cousin, with a dry taste and hints of plum, blackberry and cocoa. It will work just as well for that fancy dinner you’re already planning in your head.

Tingling of the taste buds? Ready to go to the supermarket and throw in all the wine and beef you can find in your basket? Wait: you need a recipe first!

If you’re looking for delicious beef stews that put red wine front and center, take a look at these:

  • Beef stew with carrots and potatoes. Why play with a classic? This traditional French recipe is a winter warmer and a thief of the heart.
  • Beef bourguignon. How can you improve on a classic beef stew with red wine? Simple: add bacon to it. This recipe makes a beef stew so tender it should fall apart with the touch of a fork.
  • Italian-style braised beef stew. OK, we know the French make great beef stews. And the Italians? Try this for a slice of the dolce vino.
  • Beef and red wine stew with meatballs. You might think British cuisine lags behind its European siblings – until you’ve tried the Beef Stew with Dumplings. Soak them in the juices for a heavenly flavor; you will never come back.

Red Wine Beef Stew is a delicious and filling dish, but you have to choose the right wine to bring it to perfection.

Dry red wines rich in tannins are your friends: the tannin really brings out the flavor of the meat and reinforces the rustic charm of the stew itself. Go for a Pinot Noir if you like your light and fruity stews, a Cabernet Sauvignon if you like it strong and rustic, and a Merlot if you fall somewhere in between.

Most importantly, use a wine that you are also happy to drink. Because it would be a shame to waste the rest of the bottle, right?

Bon appétit, and thoroughly!


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