The below was produced for Expat Living Magazine in January 2016.
There is a scientific theory as to why red wine and red meat complement each other so beautifully.
It relates to tannins, naturally occurring compounds that exist inside grape skins, seeds and stems. These materials dissolve themselves into red wine during the production process, and dry out the mouth when we consume them: they are the reason our mouths sometimes feel dry the morning after an evening spent enjoying red wine.
According to the theory, high-tannin red wines such as Chilean Malbec are at the exact opposite end of the taste spectrum to smooth, tender, red meat. Such wines therefore dry out the mouth at the exact same time red meats, such as a dry-aged wagyu porterhouse, moisten it.
An Australia winemaker, Hamish McGowan, was fascinated by this complementarity and set out in 2003 to produce the perfect accompaniment to red meat.
A useful rule of thumb when choosing which wine to pair with Beef is to let the cut guide you: a heavy steak calls for a heavy – high tannin – wine; a lean cut, a lighter wine.
For example, Fillet Steak and Top Sirloin – both lean cuts – are delicious when served with aged red wines whose tannin content has softened over time. 10 to 20 year old Bordeaux, generally, pairs beautifully.
In contrast, richer cuts, such as Ribeye or Wagyu with its splendid marbling, require robust, high tannin, wines such as a relatively young Australian Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon.
PopUpWine and Stoke – the BBQ experts – regularly host evenings on the subject of wine pairing. Tickets are available at c. $60 per person (which includes complimentary wine). If you would like to attend, please drop an email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
James Hindle, 27/1/16