If red meat goes with red wine, what about plant-based “meat”?

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Dear Dr. Vinny,

If red meat goes with red wine, what about plant-based “meat”?

—Arkay, Malaysia

Dear Arkay,

Good question! I’ve been seeing more and more plant-based “meats,” both in the grocery store and on menus.

I checked in with Wine Spectator’s editor at large emeritus Harvey Steiman, a real food-and-wine pairing master, to get his take. “Since plant-based ‘meat’ is supposed to emulate natural meat, the things that connect a particular food to certain wines should behave the same way, Steiman says. “So yes, red wine is fine, but so would oak-aged whites with grilled burgers. With burgers, meatballs or chili, the wines need not be too specialized. Simple wine, simple food. That would be my take.”

Steiman added that, as with other foods, how you prepare the food matters. Something that is grilled and slathered in barbecue sauce would pair better with a hearty red, while a dish of steamed dumplings might be better with an aromatic white.

—Dr. Vinny

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