Log In / Join Now

Ask Dr. Vinny

Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...

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

Wine Basics

We break down the basics—how to taste, serve, store and more. Plus:
» Maps of major wine regions
» Grape variety characteristics

How-to Videos

Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more

Wine Spectator School: All courses are FREE for WineSpectator.com Members

Learn from the experts and get the most out of each sip. Take one of our online courses or take them all—from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sensory Evaluation and more.

Browse our course catalog
Check out the professional wine sales and service courses
Learn Wine Forum: Got questions? Get answers

WineRatings+ app: Download now for 340,000+ ratings.