The 8 Best White Wines to Drink with Red Meat

The 8 Best White Wines to Drink with Red Meat

Red wine with red meat. It’s one of those sayings that’s so ubiquitous, it’s accepted as fact. And you know what? It is a fact– it’s just not the only fact.

It’s generally assumed that red wines go with red meats because the wines are weighty enough to stand up to the powerful flavors of beef or lamb. That’s fair. After all, sip some Muscadet after a bite of ribeye, and your glass might as well be filled with White Claw. A more in-the-weeds explanation for the pairing comes down to tannin. Wine tannins bind to meat proteins, making the wine seem less bitter, and the meat seem less rich. Since white wines don’t have tannins, they don’t provide that complementary effect.

Fortunately, that’s not the whole story. And if you want white wine, you shouldn’t let some oft-repeated, poorly-understood maxim tell you otherwise. Here are six white wines that are great with red meat.

Best White Wines to Drink with Red Meat

White Burgundy

Thierry Pillot, Bourgogne Blanc 2019

Domaine Corsin, 'Vieilles Vignes' Saint-Véran 2017

White Burgundy works with red meat for three key reasons. First, its structure and weight ensure it won’t be overpowered by strong flavors, while its acidity cuts through fat. Second, it tastes smoky, buttery, and earthy, all flavors you’ll also find in good steak. And finally, it’s White Burgundy– drink it every opportunity you get.


Chartogne-Taillet, 'Les Couarres' Extra Brut 2016

Herve Rafflin, 'Nature'l' Premier Cru Champagne Extra Brut NV

Champagne is the most food-friendly wine in existence. It’s great with oysters or caviar, fried chicken or potato chips, or yes, red meat. Like all of the wines on this list, it has high acidity that can counter meat’s oily, fatty richness, but it goes a step further with bubbles that help cleanse your palate in between bites. Champagne also has salty, nutty flavors that help bring out the same ones on your plate.

Chenin Blanc and Riesling

Château de Bonnezeaux, 'Frimas' Chenin 2019

Florent Garaudet, Puligny-Montrachet 2013

Chenin blanc and riesling have screaming high acidity and lots of fresh fruit flavors. Unlike the 100 other white wines that fit that description, these two are also rich, structured, and age-worthy. They’re powerful enough to go toe-to-toe with filet mignon, or even fattier dry-aged cuts.

Rich White Wines

Terroir al Limit, 'Terra del Cuques' Priorat 2016

Ronco del Gnemiz, 'San Zuan' Friulano 2019

Instead of choosing a white wine to complement red meat by balancing its flavors, perhaps you’d rather have a wine that amplifies them. If so, then go with something rich, oily, and full-bodied, like Hermitage Blanc, Priorat, or Friulano.

Want more unconventional pairings? Here are the best red wines to drink with fish.

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