Pairing Wine With Pot Roast

with No Comments

Pot roast is an American dish, likely brought to the New World by early French settlers. It brings some unique characteristics that make it a fun food to pair with wine.

Firstly, due to the beef being cooked in moist heat, it can become incredibly tender. The beef in a pot roast has more of a “melt in your mouth” texture than other classic beef dishes, like a straightforward roast or a succulent steak.

Secondly, the beef is in direct contact with veggies and herbs while cooking, such as carrots, potatoes and thyme. It imparts a wonderful, savory flavor to everything in the dish – so we’ll be looking for a wine that can match that.

Pairing Wine With Pot Roast

Wine Characteristics To Pair With Pot Roast

Characteristic Detail
Sweetness Dry
Acidity High
Tannins Medium to High
Body Bold
Tasting Notes Big structure, strong notes of red and black fruits, spice, herbs and pepper. 

Pot roast is a hearty dish, and if you do it right it’s going to have plenty of meaty flavors throughout. For that reason, we recommend going for a deep red wine – something with a bit of character and a swift one-two punch of dark fruits and herbs. It’s going to mingle beautifully with the notes of rosemary and thyme in the dish and provide a wonderful, palate-cleansing complement to the succulent, savory flavors that this dish is known for. 

Best Red Wine To Drink With Pot Roast

For our recommendation, we’ve opted for several red wines that lean towards medium-bodied, simply because pot roast is an incredibly tender dish. It’s not that heavier wines like Barolo will overpower a pot roast (you can definitely pick up a Barolo if that’s what you prefer), but these fruity, herby, medium to full-bodied wines are famed for their ability to pair with beef, and they will enhance your dining experience perfectly.


Pot roast is a belly-warming comfort food – very suitable for eating after a tough day working outside. For that reason, we’re recommending a rugged American Zinfandel. Look for a big, hearty one from Northern California – perhaps Anderson Valley. These wines are best described as homely and warm, with deep jammy fruit notes and hints of smoke, that will mingle perfectly with the flavors of the savory meat.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely more on the side of full-bodied, but it is impossible to disregard when searching for a beef pairing. In this case, we would recommend looking for a Cab from Bordeaux, blended with softer elements of Merlot. These wines are replete with dried herb flavors, and when paired with a hearty pot roast, you can truly unlock the full potential of the meal and the wine. They are also extremely nuanced wines, with a lot of depth, so they can stand up to any herbs, spices and vegetables you decide to add to your pot roast.


Grenache is known for being a big, fruity wine, and that’s exactly what you want. For pot roast, we would specifically recommend something from the Rhône Valley. These wines are usually blended with Syrah and Mourvedré (a “GSM” blend) and are packed with herby, “garrigue” notes, which refers to the earthy smell of low-lying bushes that grow in France. These earthy and slightly meaty flavors are ideal for pairing with a pot roast. However, if you see a “Garnacha” from Spain that will work very well too – Grenache is a natural pairing for succulent meats.


Syrah and Shiraz are both fantastic options for pairing with pot roast. For Syrah, you can look for a herb-packed wine from the Rhône Valley or Châteauneuf-du-Pape, or anywhere else that you personally enjoy. The rich red fruits and herby notes of these wines will complement the flavors of pot roast perfectly. Shiraz is a slightly different story, but the jammy, smokey reds from Australia are brilliant company for hearty meat-based dishes like pot roast. 

Best White Wine To Drink With Pot Roast

There is also some (limited) potential for pairing white wine with pot roast. While wines like Pinot Grigio might be a good pairing for pork, pot roast is packed with herbs and bold vegetable flavors that might overpower more neutral white wines. In this case, you should look for wines with some aging and oak influence


For a pot roast, Viura (also known as Macabeo) is a great grape to look out for. More specifically, we recommend Viura from Rioja, which is one of the few whites you’ll see from that region. White Rioja is often aged before release – keep an eye out for labels bearing “crianza”, “Reserva” or “Gran Reserva”, which indicates some barrel aging. These wines can be remarkably full-bodied, so they can match bold dishes, and are often full of tarragon and marjoram notes, perfect for enhancing a pot roast. 

Best Wine To Drink With Pot Roast

The best wines for pairing with pot roast will have enough character to stand up to the dishes’ meaty, savory flavors. It also helps to have some herby notes, as pot roast is often seasoned with thyme, rosemary and black pepper. These are our top 5 wines, which range from rugged and hearty to soft, easy-drinking and herbaceous:  

  • Zinfandel
  • Grenache
  • Syrah
  • White Rioja
  • Cabernet Sauvignon