Top pairings | What food to pair with Malbec

Pairings | Roast beef

What food to pair with Malbec

Malbec has become so popular it may have become one of your favourite red wines but what are the best kind of dishes to pair with it?

Given most of the bottles we see come from Argentina, steak might seem the obvious answer but there are lots of other dishes it would work with too. Here are some pairings you might not have thought of.

Food pairings with malbec

Young, fruity malbecs

  • Smoky cured beef
  • Beef empanadas
  • Charcuterie, especially flavourful terrines
  • Chilli con carne
  • Spaghetti and meatballs
  • Spaghetti bolognese (made British/American-style rather than a classic Italian ragu)
  • Fajitas
  • Beef burritos
  • Burgers (OK, that’s steak, I know!)
  • Medium hot lamb curries like rogan josh
  • Dishes with a plum compote
  • Roast or grilled aubergine
  • Dishes with beetroot such as a salad of smoked eel, beetroot and horseradish.

Heavyweight malbecs (more expensive, full-bodied malbecs of 14%+)

  • Steak, obviously and . . .
  • Roast beef or venison
  • Barbecued lamb, beef or pork - it particularly suits smokey, chilli-based rubs
  • Lamb tagines with prunes
  • Beef teppanyaki
  • Steak and hot game pies
  • Aubergine bakes
  • Farmhouse cheddar
  • Dark chocolate (a controversial one, this but some people argue that a ripe lush Malbec works well with a chocolate dessert. Not totally convinced myself.)

More rustic styles of malbec such as Cahors and Cot

  • 7 hour braised leg of lamb
  • Lamb shanks
  • Braised beef stews or shortribs especially with smoked bacon (Malbec’s also a good wine to add to a stew)
  • Pot roast pheasant
  • Duck confit
  • Cassoulet and other pork and bean dishes
  • Flavoursome sausages with garlic
  • Cheeseboards (barring lighter cheeses like goats cheese and stinkier ones like Epoisses. As Evan Goldstein points out in his excellent book Daring Pairings, Malbec works surprisingly well with more mellow blues like Barkham Blue or Stilton - though not, I think, with Roquefort)

See also 10 Argentinian wine pairings that don't involve steak


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