Pairing Wine With Brisket

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Brisket is considered to be one of the best cuts for slow cooking. This method of cooking, whether on the grill or in an oven, allows the meat to tenderize and keep as much as juice and flavor inside. The meat comes from a muscle that is often exercised which makes it quite tough and full of connective tissue. 

As briskets are often slow cooked, the meat becomes quite tender and in turn this affects the wine you should have alongside it. A lower level of soft tannins alongside higher acidity will make a killer pairing. We would suggest going for dry, medium bodied red wines with medium tannins, high acidity, lots of primary fruit aromas, secondary aromas of smoke and oak aging and a bit of age. 

Wine Characteristics To Pair With Brisket 

CharacteristicDetail
SweetnessDry
AcidityHigh
TanninsMedium
BodyMedium Bodied Red
Tasting NotesRed fruit, black fruit, smoke, cloves, spice 

Sweetness – A dry wine will pair amazingly with brisket. Sugar level can vary, although keeping your choices inside the dry area will be a good call. 

Acidity – High level of acidity will do wonders, as it will cut through the fattiness and will cleanse your palate instantly. 

Tannins –  Regarding the tannins, you can have a bit of a gray area, but staying around medium level will be quite good. 

Body – When we consider the body and the texture of the wine we should keep in mind that the wine should match the body of the dish, therefore a medium bodied red will do great. 

Tasting Notes – A core of red fruit aromas with hints of some black fruit, complemented with a bit of oak influence such as smoke, cloves, spice, cinnamon. 

Best Red Wine To Drink With Brisket 

Red wines pair perfectly with beef. Red wines do wonders with red meat, and it goes without saying that the same rule applies to slow cooked beef briskets. The tender meat, full of protein will be complemented by the tannins of the red wine and the acidity level will just cut through it. 

Especially if the brisket is done on the grill, the smoky aromas from the oak aging will enhance the flavor of the meat. 

Pinot Noir from France

We’re gonna start off with a bit of a lighter grape variety so to say. Pinot Noir has a soaring acidity and a tannin level that is often between low and medium. However Pinots from Burgundy and especially village level Pinot Noirs from Cote de Nuits tend to lean more towards strong, medium level tannins. This will enhance the flavors of the brisket and will cut through the fat. 

Pinot Noir is a crowd pleaser, and it’s bound to be a good partner to your brisket. Smoked Brisket and Pinot Noir work magically together. Smoked brisket is quite tender, but it still has a lot of texture and fattiness which is just screaming for an acidic Pinot Noir. With its characteristic earthy aromas and a good oak influence, it will complement the brisket perfectly. 

Garnacha from Spain 

Also known as Grenache in France, grown in the southern Rhone valley, this grape variety is thought to be native to Spain. Garnacha is grown all over the country but the one we would suggest would be coming from Catalunya, from the wine growing region of Priorat.
Grown on slate soils, these wines tend to be a bit fuller in body and higher in tannins than their French counterparts. They will do wonders to the brisket, dissolving the meat and enhancing the flavors. 

Shiraz from Australia

Australian Shiraz is always a good match with meat, especially charred or smoked meat. If you decide to smoke your brisket don’t worry about your wine, get yourself a bottle of Shiraz straight away. Grown in Barossa Valley or Coonawarra, the wine will be rich with black and red fruit aromas, smoke from oak, sweet spices and chocolate aromas. It will make a great dining experience. 

Syrah or Shiraz makes a great pairing with Barbecued Brisket. The charred meat aromas coming from the grape goes perfectly with charred brisket. The wine has a great texture with a good structure which is needed when being drunk alongside such a rich dish.
Syrah from Northern Rhone or Shiraz from Barossa Valley will be great. 

Sangiovese from Italy 

Sangiovese in Tuscany is grown in many places, however the most known are from Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino. Chianti blends are a tad lighter with more red fruit aromas, good acidity and a medium level of tannins. They have an earthy nose which can play well with brisket. However, if you prefer a bit of a punch, Brunello di Montalcino packs one. These wines are richer, riper and more tannic than Chianti and they are made from 100% Sangiovese.
You will love them, that’s for sure! 

Zinfandel from the USA

A good Zin is a great way to go. Grown in California, known as Primitivo in Italy, these wines have a good fruit forward nose, lots of spice aromas, smooth tannins and a good acidity.
The greatest examples can be found in Mendocino, Lodi or Sonoma County.

Best Wine To Drink With Brisket 

The wines on our list work wonderfully with beef brisket as they all share the most important characteristics. They all have a good structure, medium body, good tannins and a soaring acidity to cut through the dish. We don’t doubt that you will enjoy it! 

  • Pinot Noir from France
  • Garnacha from Spain 
  • Sangiovese from Italy 
  • Shiraz from Australia
  • Zinfandel from the USA

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