Malbec Food Pairing

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Opening a bottle of Malbec is like driving on a road less traveled. Although Malbec is a delicious wine, it’s not as popular as Pinot Noir or Merlot. 

Malbec wines are produced from a small purple grape variety with thick skins. These grapes tend to have fruity notes and medium tannin levels. While it is still grown in France, the grapes struggle with the cool climate. Today, nearly 70% of Malbec vineyards are in Argentina. 

Malbec’s complex flavor profile and smooth texture reflect its cross-continental history, which can elevate your dining experience when paired with the right food.

Meat That Pairs Well with Malbec

Malbec wines swing in harmony with boldly flavored foods such as red meats. The moderate tannin level is particularly suitable with leaner beef cuts. Check out flat iron, skirt, or flank steak for your Argentinian Malbecs. Bottles from Southern France have the lushness to enhance the succulence of dark turkey meat and salmon.

The tangy fruit flavors of these wines can also balance the earthiness of Bison, lamb, and venison dishes. 

Cheeses That Pairs Well with Malbec

With the intense fruity aromas in Malbec, pairing it with cheese can be a delicate matter. The bold notes of dark forest fruits and cocoa can overpower lighter flavored cheeses. 

Cheddar, gouda, Colby, and Asiago are excellent choices. Blue cheese is also a perfect choice because it doesn’t overwhelm the notes of coffee, chocolate, vanilla, dill, and tobacco typically found in malbec wines. 

Appetizers that Pair Well with Malbec

There’s a long list of appetizers that go well with Malbec. Consider a charcuterie platter with farmhouse Cheddar, Manchego, Taleggio, Iberico ham, and salami. Spicy and full-flavored entrees like stuffed jalapeño, mini beef empanada, and chipotle beef sliders make scrumptious pairings.

Vegetarian Dishes That Pair Well with Malbec

Many of us probably think of beef when we think of Malbec wines. Surprisingly, these wines also marry beautifully with many vegetarian dishes. Some recipes to try are crispy cheese crostini, grilled mushroom caps, baked eggplant, and fried tofu with spicy ginger-sesame sauce. 

Also, think of plates dominated by roasted vegetables, potatoes, lentils, beets, grilled endive, and green/red bell peppers.

Herbs That Pair Well with Malbec

Interestingly, the fruitiness of dry Malbec wines can be enhanced by herbs! This makes moderate amounts of juniper, rosemary, thyme, and sage make good partners for these drinks. 

Exotic spices like cinnamon and clove also magnify the smoky finish of a Malbec wine.

Best Foods to Pair with Malbec

The fruit-forward profile of Malbec balances the earthy flavors of lean red meat, spices and herbs, and funky flavors of aged cheese.

  • Flank steak
  • Blue cheese
  • Grilled mushroom caps
  • Roasted vegetables
  • Baked salmon

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