Have you come up with your meat menu, but now you don't know which wine to pair with it? It isn't always easy to accompany every dish with the right wine, but fortunately there are many varieties of Italian wines to suit all tastes.
Which wine to pair with meat?
Let's start by dispelling the myth that meat can only be paired with red wine. For the right wine-meat pairing, there are multiple aspects we have to take into account: the type of dish and its succulence, whether or not you're using spices and sauces, and the type of cooking, and more besides. The general rule to remember is definitely that a delicate and simple dish should be paired with a light wine, while a complex and elaborate dish should be paired with a structured wine with good tannicity. Also, meat can be red, white or black and this can also guide us in our choice of wine and meat pairings.
The best wines to pair with steaks
If you can only enjoy steak accompanied by a good glass of wine, it's good to know a few pointers which may come in handy when choosing a wine. Lean cuts of meat go well with a light wine, while fatter cuts require full-bodied wines. For example, the Ribeye cut of steak goes very well with Amarone della Valpolicella or Cabernet Sauvignon, wines which are good for contrasting the fattiness of its meat through the concordance or contrast given by the hints of fruit. Filet mignon, on the other hand, is a type of high-quality, lean and tender cut of steak which goes perfectly with wines like Chianti, Merlot and Pinot Noir because they're characterised by a distinct acidity with fruity and floral overtones. If, on the other hand, you're looking for the ideal wine to go with roast or braised meats, then the multi-award-winning Primitivo di Manduria DOC 2019 "Lirica", one of the most critically acclaimed wines, is definitely worth a try.
Wines to go with turkey and white meat
Increasingly common in many diets due to their low fat content, white meats like chicken, turkey and rabbit are also the ones which go best with light and medium-bodied wines, whether white, rosé or red. Recipes like almond chicken or chicken curry are a perfect combination with wines like "Baiasyra" Terre Siciliane IGT Rosé or "Caparbio" Lazio Bianco IGT 2020. Examples of red wines to pair with white meats include Aglianico, a typical wine of Southern Italy, or the "C'era una volta" Bonarda dell'Oltrepò Pavese DOC sparkling wine.
Which wine to pair with game?
Game dishes are very structured and aromatic dishes, so they need a wine with a good personality to fully enjoy the meat and wine together without their flavours overpowering each other. When choosing the right wine, you'll need to bear in mind whether the game is furry, feathered or aquatic.
Furry game, like roast hare or rabbit, goes well with a Nebbiolo for example, while wild boar meat needs a wine with an aromatic and rich bouquet like Barolo, one of the most famous Italian wines.
With feathered game, one interesting combination could be with Chardonnay or with a Valtellina Superiore like "Garof" from the Mamete Prevostini winery. Medium-bodied red wines like Barbaresco or Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG are excellent with water game, like goose and duck, especially accompanied by sauces.