Beef stew is a heavy dish full of salt, fat, and aggressive flavors that pair best with full-bodied wines that are not overly tannic.
While many wine enthusiasts may reach for a “steakhouse wine” like Cabernet Sauvignon when choosing the best red wine for beef stew, these may not always be the best options.
The best wine pairings for beef stew are round and full-bodied, with enough tannin to break down the fat without overpowering the palate.
In this guide, we will explore some of the best red wine options for pairing with beef stew that is sure to impress at your next dinner party!
Top Pairings of Red Wine For Beef Stew
Malbec is a dark-skinned French red wine grape that is now grown all over the world. Some of the most famous and sought-after representations of Malbec today are produced in the Mendoza region of Argentina.
These wines are traditionally aged in oak, which gives the wine deep flavors and aromas of leather, tobacco, and baked goods. Malbec wines are full in body and contain “grippy” tannins, which are a result of the oak barrels used when aging.
Winefolly is one of the top wine publications online today, and Malbec is one of the first wines mentioned in their comprehensive guide to pairing red meat with wine. Malbec is an extremely versatile wine grape and can be paired with a variety of different red meats.
While Mendoza, Argentina is the most important Malbec region in the world today, there are a number of other areas across the country that have gained recognition for producing high-quality bottles of aged Malbec. The Uco Valley is one of the top regions outside of Mendoza.
Bodega Aleanna ‘El Enemigo’ Malbec is one of the best values in all of Mendoza and offers high quality at under $30 per bottle. This is a fantastic price considering that it is one of the most highly rated bottles in the entire region, and has received a 90-point score by Wine Enthusiast.
Syrah is a very popular wine grape that is well known for carrying “spicy” notes that are quickly apparent on the palate. It is produced all over the world and is called Shiraz when produced in certain parts of the world including Australia and South Africa.
This tannic and full-bodied red wine grape originated in France, where the highest volume and quantities of Syrah are produced today. French oak is used to give these wines refined layers of flavor, and the tannins work in harmony with hearty dishes like beef stew.
Warm-weather wine regions are best suited for the production of high-quality Syrah, as adequate sunlight and a long growing season are the ideal conditions for the grape. Sunny California is a fairly large producer of high-quality Syrah, as well as Australia and Chile.
Domaine Rene Rostaing Cote Rotie Cuvee Classique Ampodium is a French bottle of Syrah that pairs beautifully with a variety of different beef stew recipes. This full-bodied wine is full of intense aromas and flavors that can stand up to even the most hearty stews and roasts.
Paul Jaboulet Aine Hermitage La Chapelle is another fantastic French Syrah that is perfectly suited to pair with the tasting profile of a traditional beef stew. It hails from the prestigious Hermitage region, and is both refined and powerful, making it great for pairing.
3. Bordeaux Blends
The Bordeaux region of France is one of the most historically important wine regions in the entire world and produces some of the most expensive bottles of wine on the market today. The iconic blends of the area are made up of the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes.
Merlot is used to add body and balance out the aggressive tannins of Cabernet Sauvignon, and the result is a full-bodied wine that delivers huge flavor without overpowering the flavors of red meat dishes like beef stew. Food & Wine recently listed Bordeaux as a top beef stew pairing.
Cabernet Franc is also used in certain areas of Bordeaux, and some of the best blends in the area use all three of these world-famous wine grapes. Many other places worldwide produce versions of this blend, but the Bordeaux region is still king when it comes to these red wines.
Chateau Lafite Rothschild is one of the original First Growths of Bordeaux and is one of the first world-famous wines that has been enjoyed by kings throughout history. It is a fantastic pairing for beef stew, along with just about any other red meat on most restaurant menus.
For wine enthusiasts who would like to try the famous Bordeaux blend on a bit more of a budget, Chateau Cantemerle is a fantastic option. They produce a bold bottle of red wine that can be purchased for under $50 and makes a lovely pairing with any stew.
4. GSM Blends
The GSM blend is made up of three different red wine grapes that all complement each other to achieve balance and depth of flavor not possible individually. Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre all work harmoniously to produce a one-of-a-kind wine that is a perfect complement to beef stew.
This blend is most often produced in France today, with the Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape regions leading the way both in terms of production and quality. New world countries have begun making GSM blends as well, most notably the US and Australia.
GSM blends are particularly well suited for pairing with heavy entrees like beef stew due to the combination of full body, depth of flavor, and tannins that work to break up fats.
Clos Saint-Jean Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Combe des Fous is one of the most famous and highly rated bottles of GSM in the entire world. It has received high marks from esteemed wine critics such as Jancis Robinson, and makes a great pairing with all heavy red meat dishes.
Château La Nerthe Cotes du Rhone Villages Les Cassagnes de La Nerthe Rouge is a fairly affordable bottle of GSM that offers all the best parts of this fantastic blend at a fraction of the price of neighboring estates. It is a perfect wine for large dinner parties where stews are served.
Montepulciano is an Italian wine grape that has developed a reputation in the wine world as a “crowd pleaser” due to its soft flavors, medium acidity, and soft tannins. These factors combine to make a wine that is very easy to drink and can be appreciated by a variety of palates.
The majority of Montepulciano vineyards are planted in the central Italian region of Abruzzo, where the most famous and high-quality representations of the grape are produced today. Montepulciano d’Abruzzo can be found all over the world, and a bottle is usually very affordable.
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo makes for one of the best possible red wine pairings for beef stew due to the fact that there is enough acidity and light tannin to stand up to the beef, while the mild flavors do not overpower the balance on the palate.
Tenuta Ulisse ‘Amaranta’ Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is a fantastic representation of this Italian red wine that is a great candidate for beef stew pairing. It has received high marks from a number of different important wine critics, and can usually be found for under $30 per bottle.
Azienda Agricola Valentini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is one of the best bottles of Montepulciano in the entire world and can cost up to $300 per bottle depending on location. It is considered by many to be the best possible representation of the grape, and pairs great with beef.