Pinot Noir is considered, in general, a light, fruity red wine, an ideal companion for salmon or other fatty fish and, perhaps, chicken. But Pinot Noir can have enough structure, character and weight to stand up to beef. It depends on the Pinot Noir grape and the winemaking and the beef dish. But it is workable, for sure.
Ontario Pinot Noir will harmonize with beef-based dishes. When vinified in a cool climatic region, like Ontario, the wines attain ripe fruit flavours over the long, warm growing season and refreshing acidity due to the cool nights. This acidity cleans the palate between bites. Heavy beef dishes with gravy are best suited to a more full-bodied red wine. But lean beef prepared in a variety of ways will complement Pinot Noir and vice versa.
Beef carpaccio with arugula is one example. Or try herb-crusted beef rib roast to complement Ontario Pinot Noir.
Here is the recipe:
Herb-Crusted Beef Rib Roast
For the herb crusted rib roast recipe you’ll need an inexpensive but whole bottle of Pinot Noir (see below). Do not use a $20 Pinot Noir for cooking. Place a beef 4-rib roast on a rack in a roasting pan. In a food processor or mortar and pestle add ¼ cup of mixed peppercorns and grind. In a small bowl mix the crushed peppercorns with 3 tablespoons of kosher salt, 2 tablespoons of fresh thyme and 2 tablespoons of fresh rosemary. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the mixture. Coat the outside of the roast with the peppercorn mixture. Let the roast stand for about 1 hour. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 450 F. Make sure the oven rack is on the lower third. Roast the beef for about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 F and continue roasting for about 1.5 to 2 hours. Use a thermometer inserted into the center of the meat. Let the thermometer register 110 F. Then pull the beef from the oven. Set it on a platter. Let it sit for about 40 minutes. The roast will continue to cook. At 130 F, the roast will be medium rare.
Discard fat from the pan juices. Set the pan over 2 burners. Add 1 cup of inexpensive Pinot Noir, bring to a boil and deglaze the pan, scraping up the hard bits. Pour the pan juices into a cup.
Cook ½ cup of chopped shallots in 1 tablespoon salted butter. Cook until translucent. Add the wine mixture from the cup, along with the wine remaining in the bottle, and boil over high heat until mixture is reduced to 3/4 cup, about 10 minutes.
Add 2 cups of beef or chicken broth and continue to boil over high heat until mixture is reduced to 1 1/2 cups. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of butter until it is melted and incorporated. Season sauce with salt and pepper if needed. To carve the roast, slide a carving knife along the inside of ribs to separate the meat from the bones, then cut the ribs into individual bones. Slice the meat and serve with vegetables and Pinot Noir jus.
Suggested Wines: Ontario Pinot Noir has enough weight to stand up to the beef. Its crisp acidity will nicely offset the saltiness in this beef rub. Find one at WinerytoHome.com:
Inexpensive Pinots (cooking):
Higher Quality Pinots (drinking):
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