ALSO CONSIDER: Fruity reds (light dishes)
High protein foods such as red meat are best matched with red wine. This is because the tannin in red wine is attracted to, and binds with, the protein in red meat. As a result of this binding the tannin in the wine will appear softer on the palate and produce less of a drying effect on the mouth. This is why grape varieties with high tannin go so well with red meats. It is also helpful if these high tannin wines have good acidity, to cleanse the palate and cut through the fat content of the meat.
Rich and very ‘chewy’ red meat, like a steak, should be paired with a full flavoured and high tannin wine such as a Cabernet Sauvignon, or a Syrah. Generally, red meats are best paired with Smooth and Powerful style red wines because of their full flavor and high protein content. Lighter and simpler beef dishes, such as minced beef, may be paired with Fruity style reds.
To find a great pairing for a particular dish or an individual wine, see the Food index on Pocket Wine or go to the Food Pairing section of the relevant grape variety.