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Pairing Wine With Beef Wellington

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Author Seema Pal Published 2-7-2023

Beef Wellington is a traditional English dish that has gained popularity the world over. It is beef tenderloin covered with a delicious mushroom mince called duxelle, wrapped in prosciutto then finally wrapped again with crispy puff pastry. Upon serving, this is typically covered with a beef gravy that has been elevated with spices such as thyme, sage, rosemary, etc. Certainly a dish this exquisite calls for a well thought out wine pairing! 

Pairing Wine With Beef Wellington

Wine Characteristics To Pair With Beef Wellington

Characteristic Detail 
Sweetness  Dry 
Acidity  High 
Tannins  Medium Plus-High
Body  Medium Plus-Full
Notes  Red and Black Berries, Leather, Forest Floor, Citrus, Orchard Fruits, Caramel, Ginger, Herbs, Spices

Best Red Wine To Pair With Beef Wellington

There is so much to say about the pairing of red wine and Beef Wellington! First of all, the dish’s complexity of flavour would pair well with an equally complex high end wine, such as Barolo of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. Higher acid wines would be ideal to cleanse the palate of the delicious richness of the dish to elevate your dining experience. The duxelle layer has a delicious earthiness that would pair well with aged wines that are known to have earthy notes, especially a full bodied Pinot Noir from California or Oregon. The high tannin level we are looking for in wine would bind to the protein in the meat to give it a silky smooth mouthfeel. Here are some excellent examples to choose:

American Pinot Noir

Choose an example from the New World, such as California or Oregon. Better yet, one that is showing some age. These wines will have the earthy notes that are characteristic to this grape, and will be higher tannin than Old World style Pinot Noir wines due to the (generally)  warmer climate. This wine will show some delightful mushroom, forest floor, fresh and/or dried red fruits to complement the delicate yet robust meat flavours of this dish. Additionally, the light oak spices that Pinot Noir typically sees would complement the ones in the gravy it is typically served with. 


The nickname for this wine in Piemonte, Italy is “the King”. The reason for this stately name is because it is the most prized grape grown in this region with the best vineyard sites devoted to it. The wines from this grape are bursting with red fruit, very high tannin, herbs and spices, and Italian-style high acidity. The ageability of this wine can go on for many decades, making it a prized wine for your cellar. The high tannin will complement the beef, and since Barolo wines have a mandatory aging period, the tertiary characteristics (e.g. earthiness, forest floor, etc) is a perfect match. Beef Wellington is a rich dish, and the high acidity of the wine will contrast well with the richness to make your palate ready for your next bite!

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

There is no doubt that when many people think of steak, they think of Cabernet Sauvignon. The high tannin, full body and rich dark berry fruits will pair nicely with it. Also, if you find one with bottle age, the dried berry notes and tertiary characteristics will highlight the complexity of the dish to elevate your dining experience. These wines tend to be oaked more than Bordeaux, thus will have more mocha, spice, and coconut flavours which will complement the spices and richness of the dish. Choose a higher quality example as this will have higher acidity than other ones as the grapes will likely be from on the slopes in Napa, which will slow down ripening and retain acidity.

Left Bank Bordeaux

If you are treating yourself to Beef Wellington, there is no reason not to open up the Bordeaux you have been saving for years! This can be such a treat on so many levels. The characteristic left-bank aged Bordeaux are famous for their pencil lead, cigar notes with (predominantly) fresh and dried black fruits, high tannin and high acidity.  They are also prized for not being too overbearing as some might find the New World counterparts. These wines tend not to be as fruit forward as the ones from Napa, for example, and lean towards the more savory side. Try this one out and see for yourself why this is often seen as the ideal food and wine pairing!


This is a full bodied red wine that is not for the faint of heart! This punchy red wine is high alcohol, higher tannin, and high flavour concentration. This all can stand up to the boldness of the dish, as well as the complexity since this wine can be made from up to 13 different grapes. These wines are well known for “garrigue” notes, which sounds not as lovely as it actually is! Garrigue is what is called the scrubland of the southern Rhône, and is made of lavender, rosemary, sage, etc. that grows wild that imparts these same notes in the wine. This is another reason why this wine is perfect for this dish as it adds complexity, yet also matches some of the same notes in the beef-herb gravy that is often used. 

Best White Wine To Pair With Beef Wellington

Although the best pairing with this dish is red wine, there has to be some options for white wine lovers. Since Beef Wellington is full of robust flavours, choosing a white wine that is bold and full bodied is the way to go. Do not shy away from higher alcoholic wines as Beef Wellington can certainly match the intensity!

Napa Valley Chardonnay

Napa is a region of boldness when it comes to wine. The whites here are full bodied, and are bursting with stone fruit and tropical notes that typically are intense enough to stand up to a dish such as Beef Wellington. They are usually oaked in old oak to give it gentle spice flavours, such as ginger, vanilla and coconut that will add complexity to the dish. These wines are in the higher range for alcohol, and with such a hearty dish they will be the perfect pairing when it comes to white wine!

Southern Rhône White

This region makes delicious, full bodied whites that are not only intensely fruity but are also floral. With such great ageability, these versatile wines can be enjoyed in youth or also with age. The stonefruit and white blossoms will make a delicious pairing, and the full bodied nature of it will not fade away with the strong yet delicious flavours of the main dish!

White Rioja

These wines have historical significance as they are sometimes made in the oxidized and oaked version as in the past, but are also becoming more modern with fresh and fruity winemaking methods. Either style will give you a great pairing since it is the fuller bodied style of wine we are after to pair with Beef Wellington. Although oxidized style wine fell out of favour in the 1970’s, it is far more common to come across an oaked, lees-stirred version which both give it texture and body. The toast, nutty notes from the oak will give it the complexity it needs to pair well with the Beef Wellington dish, and even the fresher examples will stand up to the boldness of the dish! On the plus side, these wines have a great price to quality ratio, so give it a try! 

Australian Viognier

These wines fuller bodied wines are highly aromatic with intense fruit and perfumed floral notes. They are highly characteristic, and can be identified quickly due to its peach, mango, orange-rind, honeysuckle, and rose notes. This is sometimes described as “oily” in texture, and this weightiness makes a great match for the robust Beef Wellington. These wines are made across Australia, and are typically medium plus in alcohol and we know by this point that Beef Wellington can balance this out beautifully! 

Trebbiano Toscano

This is a white wine from central Italy that can vary in body. Choose one that is fuller bodied and higher alcohol (the staff at a specialty wine store will be happy to help you!) to match the intensity of this dish. The high acid will cleanse the palate from this rich, mouth coating main course and the intense peach, lemon, green and red apple fruit flavours will be delightful as a contrast with the earthy mushrooms. Also, this grape is known for its hints of basil and thyme, thus will make a delicious complement to the herbs used in Beef Wellington. 

Best Wine to Pair with Beef Wellington

The key to a great pairing with this dish is understanding its composition – richness, robustness, earthiness, and complexity. Choose an equally complex wine wine that is higher in acid to balance the richness that stands up to Beef Wellington’s bold flavours. This is an elegant and special dish that is usually enjoyed when celebrating a special occasion, so this would be a great time to try out a wine that has been sitting in your cellar for such an occasion!

  • American Pinot Noir
  • Barolo
  • Left Bank Bordeaux
  • Châteauneuf-du-Pape
  • Napa Valley Chardonnay
  • Southern White Rhône