Pacific Rim
January 13, 2022 | wine | Pacific Rim

Best Red Blend Wine Pairings

In general, wines make food taste better and vice versa. But when it comes to a red blend wine pairing, many people get nervous because these wines have a wide range of flavors that encompass peppery, dry, bitter, fruity, earthy, and so on. Red blend wines also vary greatly in their acidity and alcohol content. As a general rule, the heavy red blend wine pairing is best with meat dishes, like steak or lamb, whereas the milder red blends are paired best with light foods, like pasta, mild curries, cheese, and crackers, etc.

Red Wine Pairing 101

Bold red blends tend to have a stronger taste, and so the food should also be bold.

If you are consuming heavy foods, select a bold red blend and vice versa.

If you are consuming a sweet red blend, avoid sweetened foods at the same time. The combined sweetness will most likely be too much. In general, the wine should be sweeter than the food. 

If you select a bitter or acidic wine, avoid similar foods. Bitter wines are ideally paired with fatty foods.

Heavy red blends tend to have a high alcohol concentration and, hence, it is important not to drink them on an empty stomach because you can quickly feel a little tipsy. Eat some food before the wine. 

If you were selecting an earthy red wine, like Pinot Noir, you'd pair it with foods like mushrooms, miso, or lentils (earthy foods).

But the most fun comes from trial and error. In some cases, you may have to try a few red blends to determine which foods they pair best with, and which suits your palate best.

Red blends can be tricky to dive right into since there are almost unlimited combinations when it comes to red blends. So, for starters, here are some baseline recommendations for red wine pairings so you know which blends would potentially be good to try with each food, depending on the blend:

Recommendations Include the Following:

Pinot Noir is a light red wine that is versatile and pairs with many foods, including salmon, glazed duck, barbecued chicken, or casserole. Try our 2020 RAINSTORM PINOT NOIR.

For steak, a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon will be ideal. You can even consume this wine with grilled lamb. Our recommendation is our 2018 SILVER TOTEM CABERNET SAUVIGNON.

Merlot pairs best with beef dishes and pork.

Malbec will pair well with almost any meat dish, including pork, lamb, or steak.

So, if you find a red blend that seems to lean towards one of those staples or another, you'll know which direction to start in when it comes to pairings.

What Foods Should be Avoided with Red Blends?

Because the best red blend wine tends to have a moderate to heavy body, they should usually be avoided when eating light foods, like salads, seafood, puddings, artichokes, soups, rice, etc.

Even though wine experts offer an assortment of recommendations for red blend wine pairing, it is all a matter of personal preference and the decisions rest entirely in your hands. Not everyone has the same taste buds and not everyone likes the same type of food. If you want to learn more about red blend wine pairings and some of the best red blend wine around, call Pacific Rim and Company at 1-503-863-5454. Their knowledgeable staff can help answer any questions you may have.


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