Pairing Wine With Beef Short Ribs

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Beef short ribs are a specific cut that usually has several thickness levels and are prized for slow cooking. There are many ways to make beef short ribs which will dictate which wines you drink with them, but the general rule would be having red wine.

Red wines complement beef extremely well, as the tannin level breaks down the meat while the acidity cuts through it. A fuller bodied red wine will pair perfectly with beef and it will give you a rounder mouthfeel. 

Wine Characteristics To Pair With Beef Short Ribs

CharacteristicDetail
SweetnessDry
AcidityMedium to High
TanninsMedium to High 
BodyMedium to Full bodied red,Full bodied white
Tasting NotesRed Wine Notes – Black fruit, red fruit, smoke
White Wine Notes – Stone fruit, butter, oak 

Sweetness – Going for a dry wine will be a good call, however the sugar levels might vary a bit. If there are a couple of grams of sugar it won’t hurt your dinner but don’t overdo it. In general, most dry wines have less than 4 grams of sugar.

Acidity – Medium to high acidity would be a suggested level, and it will make a banging pairing, since the acidity cuts through the fat and cleanses your palate. 

Tannins – Medium to high tannin level should be your goal, as the tannin plays a key role in dissolving protein. It is necessary to have lots of tannins when you have red meat for dinner. 

Body – When it comes to red wine, we would suggest having a medium to full bodied red. If you would prefer having a white wine, go for a full bodied white, as it will need a lot to stand up to a dish such as beef short ribs.

Tasting Notes – A core of black fruit with a bit of red fruit aromas will be great, complemented by smoke aromas coming from oak. What would make your dining experience even more sophisticated would be a red wine with a bit of age since they develop meat, game, tobacco and earth aromas with age. 

Best Red Wine To Drink With Beef Short Ribs

Red wines marry well with red meat and this is the general rule that is usually followed by sommeliers around the world. It’s quite simple actually, red meat is rich in protein, texture and fat which is just screaming for a rich, tannic, complex red wine. 

We have quite a lot of options and recommendations ready for you but let’s start with a superstar wine. 

Châteauneuf-du-Pape from France

This is an absolute banger of a wine. Coming from the Southern Rhone valley, produced in a small appellation which is famous for all the right reasons. These wines generally have Grenache as a base grape variety but they can contain up to 13 grape varieties in the blend. 

They have a core of black fruit with a touch of red fruit aromas, lots of complexity and when aged they develop lots of meat, game, earth, tobacco, cedar and leather aromas.
This will be just amazing with beef short ribs. 

Syrah from France

We have here a grape variety grown all around the world, but the most famous ones tend to be produced in the Northern Rhone valley, with most famous appellations being Cote-Rotie and Hermitage. Lots of black fruit, black pepper, cured meat and game aromas, these wines tend to be elegant yet robust. They are a great choice with beef short ribs.
If you are looking for a less expensive option, you can have Crozes-Hermitage, St.Joseph or Cornas.

Nebbiolo from Italy

Nebbiolo is grown in the Piemonte region in northwest Italy. The wines tend to be lighter in color, medium in body, high tannins and a soaring acidity. More red fruit oriented however they have a signature earthiness and a herbal aroma, with Italian herbs dominating the nose.
Most known appellations are Barolo and Barbaresco, however there are more options such as Valtellina and Gattinara.

Cabernet Sauvignon from France

We had in mind wines coming from the left bank of Bordeaux, which are generally Cabernet led blends. It is almost always blended with Merlot and Cabernet Franc and these wines command respect all over the world. They are just a great match for beef.
You can feel free to explore other winemaking regions when it comes to these blends as they will complement your dinner well.
If you prefer Merlot dominated blends, just cross over to the other side of the Gironde estuary and get yourself a wine coming from St.Emilion or Pomerol. 

Best White Wine To Drink With Beef Short Ribs

In general, a white wine is a bit lacking in body and texture when it comes to pairing with beef. However we do understand that you might prefer having a white over a red wine and therefore we would like to give you a couple of options. 

Go for a full bodied white wine with a good acidity level and lots of flavor intensity. 

Chardonnay from France

A full bodied, rich wine coming from the region of Burgundy, in some cases it can stand up to beef. Make sure to avoid Chablis and go for the southern parts of Burgundy as these wines tend to be barrel fermented, full bodied but still retain a good acidity level. Good suggestions are wines from the Cote de Beaune and even Pouilly-Fuisse further south. 

Riesling from Germany

This is quite a specific pairing but if you have beef short ribs with a spicy sauce, an off-dry Riesling will be a good choice for you. They tend to have a lower alcohol level with just a touch of sugar which makes it perfect for anything spicy.
Alcohol and spicy food doesn’t go well and for this reason stick to this wonderful style of Riesling.

Best Wine To Drink With Food Beef Short Ribs

The list below is just a shortlist of our suggestions of wines to go along with your dinner. These are all complex, sophisticated wines which will make your dining experience memorable.

Good acidity, good tannins, fuller body and lots of flavor intensity, these wines are a treat themselves. 

  • Châteauneuf-du-Pape from France
  • Cabernet Sauvignon from France
  • Syrah from France
  • Nebbiolo from Italy
  • Tempranillo from Spain

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