A beginner’s guide to meat and wine pairing

A beginner’s guide to meat and wine pairing

A juicy, flavoursome steak or a plate of fresh seafood is great all on its own, but paired with a good glass of wine? Phenomenal. In fact, wine and food matching can take any meal to a whole new level of deliciousness. If you’re new to the world of meat and wine pairing, we’re here to help with this beginner’s guide to creating your own perfect match.

Steak, lamb and other red meat

Generally speaking, the leaner the red meat you are matching, the lighter the red wine you can pair it with. A rich cut such as Wagyu rib-eye will pair beautifully with a bold and high tannin red wine such as Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon. For meats with more delicate texture and flavour like eye fillet or lamb, choose a red wine with finer tannins, such as Malbec or Pinot Noir. Pairing to try at The Meat & Wine Co: Monte grass-fed dry-aged rib-eye steak on the bone with black garlic butter, paired with a 2016 Wirra Wirra ‘RSW’ McLaren Vale Shiraz.

Fish and seafood

White wine typically pairs best with fish and seafood, and the type of white depends on the dish. Lean and flaky fish like sea bass and perch pair well with zesty and refreshing whites like Pinot Grigio and Semillon, while meatier fish like salmon and swordfish match flavourful, rich whites such as oaked Chardonnay and Viognier. Other seafood such as oysters and prawns are best paired with crisp, unoaked whites like Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling, as well as champagne and sparkling wine. Pairing to try at The Meat & Wine Co: Salmon with fermented chilli, miso, sesame, soy, scallions, ginger and garlic, paired with a 2017 John Duval ‘Plexus’ Marsanne Barossa Valley Viognier Roussanne.

Chicken and other poultry

White meat such as chicken or turkey breast tends to pair well with white wines like Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay, while dark meat like duck and other game matches nicely with medium-bodied red wines such as Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon. However, the sauce and ingredients used in any poultry dish can great affect the final flavour, so it’s best to choose a pairing based on the specific dish. Generally speaking, lighter dishes pair well with whites, while bolder dishes pair best with reds. Pairing to try at The Meat & Wine Co: Marinated chicken breast with white barley, porcini mushroom sauce, rocket, salsa verde and red wine jus, paired with 2017 Vasse Felix ‘Premier’ Chardonnay.


Although technically a white meat, pork tends to be quite rich, and as such, pairs well with both white and red wines. As with poultry and other types of meat, the dish itself will dictate the best wine pairing, but as a general rule, pork is best paired with medium-bodied and light wines with a fruity flavour profile and a low tannin count. Pairing to try at The Meat & Wine Co: Southern chilli glazed pork belly with carrot, celeriac, beetroot and pumpkin slaw, paired with a 2018 Pewsey Vale Prima (off dry) Eden Valley Riesling, or a 2013 Domaine Faiveley Gevrey Chambertin Burgundy. Treat yourself to the ultimate meat and wine pairing by booking a table at The Meat & Wine Co.
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