With Beef Brisket being so rich and heavy with a dense meatiness, you’d expect a tannin heavy red wine to be the perfect match. However, with its fall off the bone tenderness, a medium-bodied Syrah, Zinfandel, or an acidic Rosso Conero work much better. While beef brisket is heavy, too much tannin overpowers the juicy flavours of this slow cooked dish so medium-bodied reds are a must.
Some say the oakiness of White Wine is perfect with BBQ or grilled food. I disagree. With Beef Brisket, we find that white wines are crushed under the dense meatiness of this heavy dish.
Rosso Conero & Beef Brisket Pairing
Rosso Conero is a tongue-staining Montepulciano/Sangiovese based red wine from Italy. When aged in oaked, Rosso Conero has rich smoke aromas on the nose, which complement grilled or smoked Beef Brisket. Meanwhile the fruit flavours of black cherry, raspberry and currant are refreshing against the charred bitterness of the crust of beef brisket. The cleansing acidity of Rosso Conero is also a good foil against the juicy fattiness of Beef Brisket.
Montepulciano & Beef Brisket Pairing
Medium-bodied red wines like Montepulciano does have a fair amount of tannin, but also has a natural elevated acidity that cuts through the dense meatiness of Beef Brisket. We find the robust herbal and tobacco like flavours deliver more depth to Beef Brisket, making for an excellent pairing. The chocolate flavours of an aged Montepulciano is a perfect complement to the crispy exterior of the Brisket.
Baltic Porter and BBQ Beef Brisket
A Baltic Porter is a British-style porter that has been fortified with a higher alcohol content. This was done historically so the beer would survive the journey across the Baltic Sea during the 18th century.
Foll bodied, sweet and malty, Baltic Porter has a roasted flavour that stops short of tasting burnt. It’s this roasted flavour, along with caramel and toffee flavours, that complements the smokey flavours of smoked beef brisket. The dark fruit flavours of Baltic Porter are refreshing against the meatiness, while the mid to high carbonation rip through the juiciness of the meat.
You might have to look around for a Baltic Porter. If it is unavailable, British Porter or Stout will hold up just fine.
Syrah & Smoked Beef Brisket
The spicy notes of Syrah stand up nicely to the peppery crust of beef brisket. Pick a Syrah that is medium bodied, so it won’t overpower the brisket with its tannin. This way you get the aftertaste of both the brisket and Syrah, not just the wine. This style of Syrah can be found in France or California, where the wines are smoky, herbaceous and higher in acidity. Australian Shiraz tends to be bold, spicy and jammy which might overpower the brisket.
Plush blackberry & blueberry flavours add a bit of refreshment, while other notes of tobacco, olive, bacon fat, rosemary and smoke add a bit of complexity to this pairing.
Zinfandel Wine Paired with Beef Brisket
Zinfandel is the go-to red for many Beef Brisket lovers. If you smother your brisket in BBQ sauce, a jammy Zinfandel can mingle with those extra flavours with ease.
If your brisket is plain, Zinfandel adds a sweet touch of fruit, and lots of acidity to cut through the fat. Personally, Zinfandel is not my favourite with Beef Brisket, as I find it’s a little too thin on the finish when put up against a peppery crust. However, lots of people rave about this pairing, which would make it a crime not to include it.