5 Best Wines to Pair with Short Ribs and Why It Works

short rib wine pairing

Quick Answer: Your Favorite Red Wine. Because red wines and red meats go together. Plus most short rib recipes include red wine as part of the sauce. So I'm sure you'll be delighted if you pair your favorite red wine with short ribs. If you need some recommendations, I would choose a Brunello di Montalcino or a Chianti Classico. These wines are full-bodied with enough tannins to bring out the meat's flavors and high acidity to cut through the rich and fatty ribs.

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There is nothing quite like a tender, juicy, fall off the bone short rib. Whether you’re cooking them for your dinner party at home or ordering them at your favorite restaurant, they are always a crowd pleaser.

But what wine should you pair with short ribs? In this blog post, we will discuss 5 of the best wines to pair with short ribs and why they work so well together!

What is Short Rib?

beef short ribs on the cow

Beef short ribs, are a cut of meat from the lower part of the cow’s rib cage (the short plate) behind the brisket. Beef short ribs have a high amount of fat and marbling.

This marbling helps to keep the short ribs moist and flavorful during cooking. Typically, short ribs are cooked using the braising method – low and slow – in order to achieve that perfect level of tenderness.

Braising is a method of cooking where the meat is first seared at a high temperature and then finished cooking in a liquid (usually broth, water, or wine) at a lower temperature. This process breaks down the collagen in the meat, resulting in short ribs that are melt-in-your mouth tender.

Now that we know a little bit more about beef ribs, let’s discuss which wines pair best with this delicious dish!

beef ribs soy sauce braised short ribs spicy hot rib sauce

What are the 5 Best Short Rib Wine Pairings?

1) Brunello di Montalcino

Banfi Brunello best italian red wines

Brunello di Montalcino is a full-bodied red wine that hails from the Tuscan region of Italy. This wine is made from 100% Sangiovese grapes and is known for its high tannin content.

The medium tannins to high acidity levels in Brunello di Montalcino make it the perfect wine to pair with short ribs. The acidity will help to cut through the rich, fatty short ribs and the tannins will help bring out the flavors.

And as you continue drinking, you’ll notice that the wine’s tannins become softer and the wine smoother – making it an even more enjoyable pairing!

2) Zinfandel

Rombauer Zinfandel

Zinfandel is a red wine that is made from the Zinfandel grape. This grape is native to Croatia, but today, most of the world’s Zinfandel wines are produced in California.

Zinfandel wines range in style from fruity and medium-bodied to rich and full-bodied with hints of pepper. But regardless of the style, Zinfandel wines always have high levels of acidity.

This makes Zinfandel an ideal short rib wine pairing because the acidity will help to cut through the richness of the meat. And depending on the style of Zinfandel you choose, the fruitiness can also help to balance out the heaviness of short ribs.

3) Cabernet Sauvignon

costco cabernet sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is a red wine grape that is native to the Bordeaux region of France. But today, this grape is grown all over the world – including in California, Chile, and Australia.

Cabernet Sauvignon wines are typically full-bodied with high tannin levels. The flavors and aromas you can expect from a Cabernet Sauvignon wine include blackberry, dark fruit, cassis, and dark chocolate.

Pairing short ribs with Cabernet Sauvignon is an excellent choice because richness of the wine can equal the richness of the dish. But also the high tannins in the wine will help break down the fat to bring out even more flavors of the meat. At the same time, the fat in the meat will make the wine taste smoother and bringing out more of its black fruit flavors.

4) Merlot

peju merlot

Merlot is a red wine grape that is native to the Bordeaux region of France. Merlot wines are typically medium-bodied with lower tannin levels than Cabernet Sauvignon. This makes Merlot a great pairing with short ribs for those who don’t love super tannic wines.

The flavors and aromas you can expect from Merlot wines include black cherry, plum, and chocolate. Merlot is a versatile, food-friendly wine because of its smooth palate and fruit forward flavors. It’s always a great choice to pair with any food. So, with short ribs, a Merlot wine is perfect to round out the flavors of the meat and strong enough not to be overpowered by the richness of the dish.

And if you’re looking for a Merlot with a little more oomph, try a Merlot blend that includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, or Cabernet Franc. Or one from Napa Valley or Bordeaux.

5) Syrah

Syrah is a red wine grape that is native to the Rhone Valley region of France. But today, Syrah wines are produced all over the world – including in Australia, Chile, and California.

Syrah wines are typically full-bodied with high tannin levels and flavors and aromas of blackberry, blueberry, earthiness, smoke, pepper, and spice.

Pairing short ribs with Syrah is an excellent choice because the wine’s spice and acidity enhance the sauce flavor of the dish, while the tannins in the wine provide a smooth texture. And the savory-ness of a high-quality Syrah goes well with this rich, fatty, and meaty dish.

Wine Pairing Tips with Short Ribs

  • The acidity in the wine will help to cut through the rich, fatty short ribs.
  • Tannins in the wine will help bring out the flavors of the short ribs.
  • And the proteins of the meat will help soften the tannins in the wine. 
  • A fruity wine can help balance out the heaviness of short ribs.
  • A bold wine should be able to stand up to the rich and hearty dish.

My Favorite Short Rib Recipe

beef ribs recipe medium high heat medium heat chicken stock

I always enjoy cooking this dish (low and slow) in a large dutch oven when I am hosting a  dinner party- my dad even says it restaurant quality! Mashed potatoes and green beans are the perfect side dishes. Just pour the rich red wine sauce over everything and it all works out!

For the best and easiest Red Wine Braised Short Ribs recipe (use kosher salt), here is my favorite => click here.

FAQs

What pairs well with beef short ribs?

Red Wine! Red wines are the perfect way to enhance the flavors of this rich and hearty dish. Because the acidity in the wine will help to cut through the fat, while the tannins will help bring out the flavors of the meat. It’s just the perfect beef short ribs pairing!

What wine goes with rib of beef?

Your Favorite red wine.

Is Merlot good for short ribs?

Merlot is a fantastic short rib wine pairing because it is food-friendly and has a smooth palate. The flavors of the wine will help to round out the flavors of the meat.

What wine goes with Korean short ribs?

Any of the red wines above will work. If there is any sweetness to the delicious sauce, you can try a Malbec or a Shiraz that can compliment that sweetness well.

Summary

We hope you enjoyed this blog post on the best wine pairing for beef short ribs.

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