Many people believe that there can be no better accompaniment to a good meal than a decent glass or two of red or white wine. Are you one of these?
In fact, there is good news for those of us who enjoy a good drop of red with our steak. According to a lot of medical research red wine with a meal containing red meat is actually good for your health. Sounds a piece of advice that many would be more than happy to comply with doesn’t it?
Why should you drink red wine?
Health benefits – The fact is that no matter how much you may be enjoying your meal there are harmful compounds in red meat that can build up in a person’s bloodstream. This so-called “bad cholesterol” damages blood vessels and can increase the risk of heart disease. To counteract this there are antioxidants in red wine known as polyphenols which act to stop the bad compounds from being absorbed in the gut, thus preventing them from entering the bloodstream and causing serious damage. This is why drinking red wine at a party or with your meal is recommended.
Enhance food flavours – Putting any perceived health benefits aside however, there are other benefits related to drinking red wine. With the right wine pairings, it can complement the meal you are eating and enhance the flavours. This is why red wine is good to drink at a steak house. Of course, there is actually nothing wrong with having a glass of rosé or white with red meat. But red wine will ensure your taste buds have a party!
When it comes to eating other meat such as chicken, pork or lamb, plus fish, of course, opinions tend towards a white or rosé being the most suitable. There really is a vast choice available and, as always, it all depends on personal taste. Wine and food experts will offer their own choices but there really is no definitive answer.Delicate flavours of meat will tend to go well with a delicate wine such as a Riesling. Stronger tasting meat, like rabbit, might be best accompanied with a Chardonnay or Pinot Gris. Dry whites are not for everyone and some people would prefer a medium or sweeter wine (like a German hock for example) with their chicken.
Tradition dictates that a red meat meal must be accompanied with something like a Shiraz, a robust dark red wine. This is why a good steak restaurant will have a variety of mature reds to choose from, such as a Chianti or Sémillon. These are both excellent choices to go with red meat.