ask dr. vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.


Dear Dr. Vinny,

The usual pairing for a steak is a good red wine. However, I've heard that a strong white wine can go with red meat, but I've never had the heart to try what seems like an odd couple to me. Can you recommend some whites which may complement steak or lamb?

—Alan, La Jolla, Calif.

Dear Alan,

I agree that it's an odd pairing. I like aromatic whites with pork dishes, but I'm hard-pressed to find something to replace a hearty red wine when I'm sitting down to eat a steak.

White wines often lack the intensity and tannins that stand up to red meat, and will do little to spotlight their flavors. My recommendation would be to go for full-bodied white wines, such as Viogniers or New World Chardonnays, for the best match. Well-oaked Chardonnays will have a better chance if there is a butter sauce in the mix, and Viogniers pair very well with the flavors of rosemary.

Regardless, I try not to get too worked up about food and wine pairings. Eat what you like, drink what you like, and try to enjoy every meal.

—Dr. Vinny

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