Updated September 27th 2023
Which is the best wine for Boeuf Bourguignon? This iconic French meat stew pairs best with red wines from the same region, but there are other good wine pairings. This wine guide will help you find the best wine pairings for Boeuf Bourguignon.
Before we bring out the wine recommendations for Boeuf Bourguignon, let's first look into the dish itself. In order to find the best wine for a dish, it is important to understand the typical characteristics of the food.
Boeuf Bourguignon, also called bœuf à la Bourguignonne or Beef Burgundy, is a popular slow-cooked stew where beef is braised in red wine. Boeuf Bourguignon is the French name and it can be translated to Beef of Burgundy. Burgundy is a famous wine region in east-central France and it is not surprising that it is also famous for its food with popular dishes such as Coq au Vin and other comforting dishes which contain red wine.
Many people consider Boeuf bourguignon the national dish of France due to its popularity and chefs all over the world cook this classic meat stew. However, there are some discussions about the recipe and which ingredients a classic Boeuf Bourguignon needs to contain. There are several variations of this dish, but it always contains pieces of beef braised in red wine. Almost always, small onions, garlic, carrots, mushrooms and bacon lardons are added in the stew. It is common to serve it with potatoes and parsley.
Fun fact: Back in the days, Boeuf Bourguignon was not the haute cuisine it is today. It was a simple way to cook cheap meat cuts in local wine and vegetables. It was everyday food for peasants but it has transformed into a world-famous dish which often is served in fancy settings.
To find the best wine for Boeuf Bourguignon we need to take into consideration the most important characteristics of this dish:
This traditional French dish is best paired with red wine from the same region. A red Burgundy wine is made of Pinot Noir grapes which have natural high acidity to balance the fatty meat stew. Pinot Noir is the most popular light red wine and the wines from this grape variety often have soft tannins, high acidity, red fruit and earthy aromas. The fruity aromas will blend well with the salty dish and the characteristic earthy aromas of Pinot Noir will match the mushrooms.
You might wonder, what is the best wine to cook Boeuf Bourguignon? Traditionally, red Burgundy wine was also the cooking wine of choice and many chefs argue that Boeuf Bourguignon should be both cooked and paired with a red Burgundy. Although, the price of red Burgundy wine can be quite high and it is perfectly fine to use other red wines with similar characteristics for cooking.
Tips! Learn more about Pinot Noir together with food in our Pinot Noir Food Pairing Guide!
You don't have to pair your Boeuf Bourguignon with red Burgundy wine. You can perfectly choose other red wines with similar characteristics (red fruit, high acidity and earthy profile). Gamay, Merlot or Tempranillo are good alternatives.
Boeuf Bourguignon is cooked in red wine and for that reason it is best paired with a red wine. If you prefer a white wine, we are not going to stop you. We recommend a fruity, full-bodied white wine with good acidity to match the rich, meaty stew. A Meursault aged in oak is a great alternative for those who want to pair Boeuf Bourguignon with white wine. Meursault is a rich white wine from Côte de Beaune in Burgundy. The high acidity and buttery aromas will balance the meaty stew. An oaked Chardonnay from other wine regions as well as an oaked Chenin Blanc are also good choices.
Enjoy your Boeuf Bourguignon and your wine!