Clearly, you know Red wine is an outstanding beverage made of dark-colored grapes. Obviously, you use it for many food recipes as well as for health improvement. In this article we will focus on how to choose the best red wine for cooking. And also article will provide details also the health benefits of pairing red wine with your meals too.

Why we use red wine for cooking??

  • For adding to marinades
  • As a liquid agent to improve the texture
  • A wine glass for passion or keep you cool
  • To enhance the flavor of your food [1]

What are the flavor components of red wines use for cooking??

Wines mainly consist of flavor components including,

  • Sweetness
  • Bitterness
  • Acidity (Sour taste)

As we are focusing on red wines, They usually have more of a bitter taste than other flavors. Different red wines have different flavors. So we have to pair them with different foods in terms of their flavor. Therefore when we are choosing the best red wine surely it is different from food to food. [1]

Things that you should consider when pairing red wine with foods,

  • The wine you use should be more acidic and sweeter than the food
  • The flavor intensity of wine should be similar to that of the flavor intensity of food
  • Surely red wines can be well balanced with fat
  • Red wines match best with red meats
  • It’s better if You can match the wine with the sauce than the meat
  • Surely red wines are responsible for enhancing the flavor compounds of paired foods [2]

The taste profiles of popular red wines use for cooking

Cabernet Sauvignon

Surely this wine is made of red grape varieties. And it’s flavor is mainly varies with the area it’s growing. Therefore clearly it has varying tastes. It is one of the best red wine types that will give you a better wine experience!! Usually a full-bodied with a firm taste. [3] Quite confidently you can choose this kind of a wine if you need more fruity flavors in your food.[12]


Similar to cabernet sauvignon, in this wine also flavor varies with the growing area. And also it has a desirable color that improves your appetite significantly!! [3][13]

Usually, wine Producers mix this grape variety with other varieties like Cabernet sauvignon and merlot to make blends. These blends are full of excellent health benefits!!

Pinot noir

No doubt, this also another red wine with desirable taste. However, it has a less bitter taste because their tannin are softer and polyphenol levels are low. It has a very fruity aroma. Best when you if you with fruit salads. [3]


Clearly, Merlot wine also has a less bitter taste. This is mainly due to low tannin contents and less roughness of tannins. Typical Aromas of the wine mainly include fruity aromas like plums and blackberry and some herbal aromas. [3]


Particularly among many red wine varieties, this wine is a kind of multi-purpose wine. This has berry and a spicy flavor like peppery flavor. Therefore you can best match it with Pasta, Pizza, etc. [3]


Of course similar to the other wines Sangiovese also has specific aromas depend on where they are grown and how it is prepared. Especially it has Strong fruity and floral aromas. Besides, it has a high acidity resulting in a sour taste and some bitterness due to tannins.[3][4]

How you choose the best red wine for cooking??

For cheeses,

You add cheese for many foods you eat. Now let’s see how can match different cheeses with different red wines. You can match Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Zinfandel with cheeses of similar intensity.[5]

  • Cabernet Sauvignon best matches with cheeses like cheddar cheese and gorgonzola
  • You can match Merlot with Parmesan and Pecorino-Romano cheese types
  • Syrah is the best match for sharp cheddar and Roquefort
  • For goat cheese, pinot noir is best [6]

For food preparations with nuts,

  • Surely for nuts like walnuts and hazelnuts you can use pinot noir, Syrah, and merlot
  • Merlot is especially good for chestnuts[6]
  • Rich red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are well matching with toasted nuts
  • Especially for pecans Pinot noir is best [14]

For meats,

We can choose the best red wine Especially When considering preparation methods. And also the color of meat is also important. Red wines are well suited with red meats.[2]

Upon roasting the flavor of meat improves while making it tender and lighter. So the red wines best matching for those roasted meats are light-bodied red wines. Pinot Noir is the best match.

When considering BBQ chicken You know that it has a smoked flavor. This smoked flavor can be enhanced by red wines like Zinfandel, and Cabernet Franc.

  • Surely for foods with spiciness such as spicy chicken, spicy sausage and pork, etc. , Syrah is better
  • Especially for foods with lamb, chicken, and sausage Pinot noir is best
  • Pinot Noir is also best matches with duck meat
  • For grilled meats and stew you can use merlot
  • Particularly for beef stew Cabernet Sauvignon [6]

For fruits and vegetables,

  • Definitely for stewed tomato, Potato, and beets Syrah is far better
  • For fried onions, fried tomatoes, and plums, peaches you can choose Merlot
  • Cabernet Sauvignon is Surely well matching for fruits like berry fruits (blueberry, blackberry, etc. ) and vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower
  • Particularly For Strawberries Pinot noir is good
  • And also pinot noir is an excellent match for fleshy vegetables like mushrooms and most of the dried fruits.[6]
  • When considering foods like dried tomatoes and summer squash pinot noir is better[15]

For Seafood,

  • Surely try to get best results from using Pinot Noir for Salmon and tuna
  • And try Syrah for ahi tuna
  • Especially for grilled meaty fish go for Merlot [6]

How can you match red wine with sauces??

Well, pairing wines with sauces is not difficult. You simply have to consider the type of sauce that you add to the food and simply match it with the wine !!

  • Try Pinot noir with mushroom sauce and light red sauce
  • And for heavy red color sauces, experience excellent pairings with Syrah
  • particularly for brown sauces and tomato sauce, Cabernet Sauvignon is a good match[6]
  • For more acidic tomato sauces try to match Sangiovese or Zinfandel.Surely it will be an excellent match [16]

What are the benefits you get with pairing red wines with your food??

Well, drinking red wine along with food definitely has health benefits. But is it healthy to cook with wine??

Clearly, certain studies suggest that you can have nearly similar benefits by cooking with wine to that of drinking wine. If you add wine at the end of the cooking, you can retain nearly 70 % of the alcohol you added. By reducing the intensity of the heat treatment you can preserve more wine in the food. [8][9]

That is good news. Isn’t it?? Well, these are the best health benefits that you can gain with cooking your foods with wine!!

  • Surely you can improve your heart health with red wine.Because wines are made of grapes that are rich in polyphenols. In fact red wines contain lots of polyphenols than white wines. Therefore they can reduce cardiovascular diseases including hypertension and coronary artery diseases. Surely the main effects are due to resveratrol. [10][17]
  • The anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of resveratrol prevent fat deposition in your body and, further improve heart health.
  • Furthermore, Compounds in red wine Suppress the proliferation of cancer cells thereby reducing the cancer risk in your body. [11]


Healthy food is one of the ultimate factor for healthy long-lasting life. As a Food scientist who completed BSc (Hons) Degree on Food Science and Technology, I like to use my knowledge in food science to help people. I'm interested in each and every topic related with modern food related health problems because it is the leading factor for most of the health problems today. So I would like to direct my efforts in educating people to lead a healthy life with healthy meals.

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