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Robin McBride
 
April 27, 2021 | Robin McBride

Best Red Wine Selection & Pairing Guide | McBride Sisters

We're Feelin' Bold & Boujie

We'll enjoy a great glass of red wine all year around. From a medium-bodied silky Merlot to a full-bodied, rich Zinfandel, we love pairing a glass with a meal on our Wine Wednesday, or as an end-of-the week wine down. When we have a glass of red wine in hand, we feel bold and boujie — spice up your palate with our all Red Wines set here to taste the differences between the wines & find your favorite red varietal. This wine set with set the mood and it includes our Merlot and Zinfandel - two online exclusive wines that you can only get on the website. Hurry before they're gone!

Apart from being a delicious drink, red wine is said to also has a range of health benefits, with studies finding that the red elixir is not only heart healthy, but it may also help you live longer, and boost your brain function. We’ve also read that red wine can also help you from getting sick. According to a study conducted from the University of Auckland, the antioxidants contained in red wine can reduce the chance of catching a cold. Sign us up!

Aside from all the amazing benefits and taste, how do you decide which red wine is right for you, and what food should you pair it with? We’re here to share the difference between some of the popular red wine varieties, a couple of must-try red wine recipes, and the best food to pair with each. Check out our red wine guide you on the best way to maximize each wine. Salut! 

The Red Wines to Know

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is the most widely planted red grape in the world, and for good reason. The wine is derived from a special kind kind of grape, a hybrid of a red Cabernet Franc grape and a white Sauvignon Blanc grape, which first occured in Bordeaux region of France. The dark, full bodied red wine is more on the juicy side and typically is drank alongside food, due to its heavier nature. In some regions, this wine is heavily oaked, giving it a coconut, nutty and vanilla profile.

Food pairings: Cab Sauv pairs well with other heavier dishes, such as red meats or pasta dishes with creamy red sauces. For a cheese pairing look to aromatic types such as blue cheese or camembert. 

Try pairing our McBride Sisters Collection 2018 Central Coast California Red Blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon with a ribeye or sirloin steak or a roast or grilled lamb. For non-meat eaters try pairing with a juicy stuffed portobello mushroom recipe. Available in our Bold & Boujie set here. 

Merlot

Known for its soft, sensual texture, one of the world's close second favorite red wine (after Cab Sauv) is extremely food friendly and produced for a range of price points. The easy-drinking red has an approachable style that makes it great for those new to red wine. With notes of chocolate and plum, this smooth and velvety medium bodied red wine has a versatility that makes it perfect both on its own and in blends.

Food pairings: Merlot matches well with a wide range of foods due to its medium bodied nature. Typically, Merlot pairs well with light meats such as chicken or lightly spiced darker meats.

Try our Chicken Merlot or Red Wine Brownie recipe below that adds Merlot in the recipe! We are all about the Merlot here, our online only McBride Sisters Collection Black Girl Magic 2018 California Merlot is a must try for red wine lovers and can only be ordered online. Our McBride Sisters Collection 2018 Central Coast California Red Blend is also going to be the perfect red blend to try featuring Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon. Try both in our red wines bundle here. 

Zinfandel

The late-ripening red Zinfandel wine produces a jammy flavor bursting with fruity aromas of blackberry, cherry, plums, black pepper, and cinnamon with varying levels of oak. A fuller bodied wine that is high in alcohol content, Zinfandel is known for its fruity meets spicy kick with a smoky body. Previously known as California’s grape, it used to be made in a sweeter wine style but is now grown all over the west coast and internationally as well produced in a more dry style.

Food pairings: Due to its unique flavor profile, Zinfandel pairs well with pizza, cheese lasagne, or any other dishes with tart sauces or cheese. It would also pair well with BBQ meat dishes (think juicy ribs) or even a spicy curry. Try any of these dishes with our online exclusive McBride Sisters Collection Black Girl Magic 2018 California Zinfandel. Taste our full red wine selection here. 

Shiraz/Syrah

Shiraz/Syrah (they’re the same!) produce a dark, heavy-bodied wine that can be peppery, spicy and bold. With notes of darker fruits such as blackberries and plums, this dry wine has a high level of tannins, which means it can have a high level of health-benefiting antioxidants.

Food pairings: In addition to pairing well with any bold foods, this is one of the rare wines that can also pair perfectly with spicy foods and will actually help enhance the spices in the dish. Alternatively, try balancing out the heavier taste with a charcuterie board containing a range of cheeses to bring out the subtle nuances in the wine. 

Malbec

Similar in flavor profile to Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec is an easy-drinking wine that has its origins in France, but is now primarily produced in Argentina. The fruit-driven wine has plum and cherry flavors that meet hints of vanilla and tobacco.

Food pairings: Malbec pairs well with lean cuts of meat, such as lamb or sirloin. 

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a popular light bodied red wine native to Burgundy, France, that is known for its flower and spice aromas which are complemented by a smooth finish. Despite being notoriously difficult to grow, the internationally producted wine is one of the few fruits that is often made into red, rosé, white, and sparkling wine. Typical flavors of a French Pinot Noir will be mushroom, cherry, potting soil and rose.

Food pairings: Due to its light body and complex structure, Pinot Noir pairs well with most foods. A fruitier Pinot may pair well with a roasted salmon dish or another fatty fish, while a more tannic Pinot can pair well with heavier game such as duck or with a beef stew. 

Have you been enjoying our wine guides? If you're hoping to learn more about the wines you drink, join our McBride Certified Wine 101 community for an wine course to learn all things wine, winemaking and wine tasting to give you the tools to feel comfortable in any situation. 


 Red Wine Recipes 

Sisters Grand Sangria Rouge

Ingredients

1 bottle Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge
1 bottle of our McBride Sisters Collection Black Girl Magic Zinfandel (or Red Blend - available in store)
2 ripe Oranges
1 bottle lemon-lime Club Soda
Ice

Method

  • Fill your glass with ice
  • Add in 1.5 oz Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge
  • 3 oz Black Girl Magic Zinfandel (Or Red Blend)
  • 2 oz fresh squeezed Orange Juice 
  • 2 oz lemon-lime Club Soda
  • Mix well, serve immediately 

Chicken Merlot 

Image & recipe via askchefdennis.com

Ingredients

1 whole chicken (3 - 4 lbs)cut up in pieces - skin taken off
1 large onion cut up into chunks
16 ounces of mushrooms cute into slices
3 carrots peeled and sliced into thick pieces 
5 stalks of celery diced into large pieces
1 can cannelini beans drained and rinsed
4 cloves of garlic
6 ounces of tomato paste
8 ounces of McBride Sisters Collection Black Girl Magic 2018 California Merlot
8 ounces chicken or vegetable stock
1 teaspoon dried basil 
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

 

Method

  • Place chopped vegetables and cannellini beans in the bottom of your slow cooker
  • Add chicken pieces on top of the vegetables.
  • In a bowl whisk together tomato paste, wine, stock and spices then pour over chicken and vegetables.
  • Cover and cook on low for approximately 5 hours or high for approximately 2 1/2 hours.
  • Remove vegetables and chicken after cooking and cover to keep warm.
  • Pour all liquid from slow cooker into a saucepan and reduce by half until sauce is thick and clingy.
  • Pour sauce over chicken and veggies and serve with rice, potatoes, pasta, or your favorite grain.

Red Wine Brownies 

Ingredients


1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup McBride Sisters Collection Black Girl Magic 2018 California Merlot
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups light or medium brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Image & recipe via bromabakery.com

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line an 8″x8″ baking dish with parchment paper or oil.
  • In a small saucepan over low heat melt the butter. Once melted, add in chopped chocolate, stirring constantly until the chocolate is melted completely.
  • In a standing mixer with a whisk attachment, add in brown sugar. Slowly pour melted chocolate mixture into brown sugar with the mixer running on medium speed. Add in eggs, one at a time, with the mixer still on. Beat for 30 seconds, until the color of the batter lightens just a bit.
  • Turn the mixer to low and add cocoa powder, flour, salt, vanilla extract, and wine, beating for an additional 30 seconds.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for roughly 40 mins, or until a knife inserted in the center of the brownies comes out mostly clean.

Xoxo,

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