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

Ask Dr Vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.

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

Ask Dr. Vinny Pairings

More In Dr. Vinny

What’s the difference between Brix, Baumé, Oechsle and residual sugar?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains why measuring sugar content in grapes is so …

Jan 18, 2021

Will my wines get too cold in the garage?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny covers the pitfalls of storing wine in the garage, …

Jan 11, 2021

Dr. Vinny's 25 Top Answers to 'What's the Difference Between …?'

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny offers disambiguations for wine topics far and wide.

Jan 4, 2021

Dr. Vinny's Most Interesting Questions of 2020

Wine Spectator's resident wine expert, Dr. Vinny, revisits the most thoughtful questions …

Dec 31, 2020

Dr. Vinny Answers Your Pandemic Questions (About Wine)

Wine Spectator's resident wine expert, Dr. Vinny, revisits all your questions about wine …

Dec 28, 2020

Why is the name “Sauvignon” attached to both red Cabernet Sauvignon and white Sauvignon Blanc?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains the relationship between Cabernet Sauvignon and …

Dec 21, 2020