Best Wine With Short Ribs – The Ultimate Food and Wine Pairing Guide

Short ribs are one of those comfort foods that always hit the spot when you’re craving something hearty and delicious.

They’re perfect for those chilly winter nights or even those special occasions when you want to impress your guests. 

When it comes to cooking, pairing the best wine with short ribs can take your dining experience to the next level. 

Whether you’re a culinary expert or just enjoy trying new recipes, finding the right wine to complement your dish can be daunting.

With so many options out there, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. That’s why we’ve put together this ultimate food and wine pairing guide for the best wine with short ribs.

The best wine with short ribs

1. Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most classic wine choices for pairing with short ribs. The bold, dense tannins of the wine complement the rich flavors of the meat, making for a perfect match. 

Cabernet Sauvignon

Look for a Cabernet Sauvignon with a fruit-forward profile and medium tannin to balance the rich and savory short ribs.

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2. Merlot

Merlot is another excellent choice for pairing with short ribs. The smooth, luxurious texture of the wine pairs well with the tender, juicy meat. 

Merlot is also known for its velvety tannins, which makes it an excellent complement to the savory and hearty flavors of the dish. 

Look for a Merlot with a hint of spice or black pepper to add an aromatic element to the pairing.

3. Syrah

Syrah, also known as Shiraz, is a bold and spicy red wine that can stand up to the intense flavors of short ribs. Syrah has a strong, almost smoky profile that complements the savory meat perfectly. 


Look for a Syrah with a more restrained tannin profile to balance the bold flavors of both the wine and the dish.

4. Zinfandel

Zinfandel is a versatile wine that’s perfect for pairing with a range of dishes, including short ribs. 

The bold fruit flavors of the wine make it an excellent match for the rich, savory flavors of the meat. 

Additionally, the bright acidity and subtle tannins of the wine balance the fatty content of the meat. Look for a Zinfandel with a higher alcohol content to complement the intensity of the short ribs.

5. Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a light red wine that may seem like an odd pairing for short ribs, but it actually works quite well. 

Pinot Noir

The subtle tannins and delicate structure of the wine add a refreshing contrast to the dish’s heavy and rich flavors, making for a well-balanced pairing. 

Look for a Pinot Noir with a fruit-forward profile and moderate acidity to complement the short ribs’ flavors.

6. Malbec

If you prefer a sweeter wine, Malbec is an excellent pairing with short ribs. 

This wine has a fruity flavor, with notes of black cherry and plum, which contrast nicely with the savory flavors of the dish. Because of its sweetness, Malbec won’t compete with the flavors of the short ribs but rather balance them out.

7 best red wine pairing with short ribs

1. Chianti

Chianti is a light to medium-bodied Italian red wine that has flavors of blackberry, cherry and plum with notes of herbs like oregano and thyme. 

Paired with short ribs, it complements the rich, savory, umami flavor of the meat while also cutting through the fat. 

To pair, start by pouring three ounces (or one large glass) of Chianti for each person and adjust as needed based on your preference.

2. Zinfandel

Zinfandel is a full-bodied red wine with bright fruit flavors of raspberry and blackberry accompanied by smoky notes. 


Its intense flavors pair well with short ribs by balancing out the richness of the meat. To pair, serve about three ounces (or one large glass) of Zinfandel for each person and adjust as needed based on your preference.

3. Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a light to medium-bodied red wine with flavors of cherry, cranberry and raspberry accompanied by notes of herbs and earthiness. 

Its delicate nature pairs beautifully with short ribs by both cutting through the fat and highlighting the savory, umami flavor of the meat. 

To pair, pour about three ounces (or one large glass) of Pinot Noir for each person and adjust as needed based on your preference.

4. Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied red wine that has flavors of blackberry, cassis, and herbs with earthy undertones. 

Its bold flavors stand up to the richness of the fat on short ribs while also highlighting the savory umami flavor of the meat. 

To pair, start by pouring three ounces (or one large glass) of Cabernet Sauvignon for each person and adjust as needed based on your preference.

5. Merlot

Merlot is a medium-bodied red wine with flavors of raspberry, plum and chocolate accompanied by notes of spices and herbs. 

Paired with short ribs, it cuts through the fat while bringing out all of its juicy flavors. 

To pair, serve about three ounces (or one large glass) of Merlot for each person and adjust as needed based on your preference. (Click Here for Guide)

6. Malbec

Malbec is a full-bodied red wine with flavors of dark fruits, herbs and spices accompanied by notes of earthiness. 


Its bold flavors stand up to the rich, savory, umami flavor of short ribs while also cutting through the fat. To pair, pour about three ounces (or one large glass) of Malbec for each person and adjust as needed based on your preference.

7. Syrah

Syrah is a medium to full-bodied red wine that has flavors of dark fruits, pepper and herbs accompanied by notes of smoke and earthiness. 

Its bold yet balanced character pairs perfectly with short ribs to bring out all its juicy flavors without overpowering the meat. 

To pair, start by pouring three ounces (or one large glass) of Syrah for each person and adjust as needed based on your preference.

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7 Best white wine pairing with short ribs

1. Chardonnay

When pairing white wine with short ribs, a complex and buttery Chardonnay is an excellent choice. 

This type of white wine has subtle notes of melon, fig, and citrus that work well with the richness of braised beef short ribs. 

For best results, opt for barrel-aged Chardonnays, which can bring out the full flavor of both the wine and the meat.

2. Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is another classic option when serving short ribs; its crisp acidity helps to cut through the fat from the dish, while its herbal flavors provide balance against any rich sauces or marinades used in preparation. Serve lightly chilled for maximum flavor.

Sauvignon Blanc

3. Riesling

A German Riesling is a perfect match for short ribs because it combines sweetness and acidity in one go. 

Its bright fruit flavors, like apple and pear, pair well with the meat’s natural sweetness, while its crisp finish helps to refresh the palate after each bite. 

Consider looking for an off-dry version of this wine, as it can help to keep the pairing from becoming too cloying. (For Tasting Guide)

4. Pinot Gris

Pinot Gris is a versatile white wine that works well with many different types of dishes, including beef short ribs. 

Its delicate aromas of peach and apricot are complemented by subtle notes of vanilla and honey, making it a perfect choice for those looking to add some sweetness and complexity to their meal.

5. Viognier

If you’re looking for a white wine with more body, Viognier is an excellent option. 

A full-bodied white that’s packed with flavors of peaches, apricots, and honeysuckle, it’s the perfect accompaniment to rich dishes like short ribs. Just be sure to serve it at cellar temperature for the best results.

6. White Bordeaux

For those who want something even bolder than Viognier, a white Bordeaux is an ideal pairing for short ribs. 

White Bordeaux

With its crisp acidity and notes of citrus and mineral, this French classic works well to balance the richness of the beef while adding complexity to your meal.

7. Chenin Blanc

Lastly, a dry chenin blanc can make an excellent pairing for short ribs. Its balanced flavors of honey and green apple keep it light enough to be paired with rich dishes, but its structure is strong enough to stand up against heavier sauces or marinades. Serve chilled for best results.

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braised short rib wine pairing guide

Braised short ribs are a savory, comforting dish that is perfect for a cool evening. Pairing this dish with the right wine can enhance the flavors of both the food and the wine. 

But with so many wine options, choosing the best one can be overwhelming. Here’s a detailed guide to help you select the perfect wine for your braised short rib meal.

1. Consider the Cooking Method

Braised short ribs are cooked slowly over low heat with a variety of aromatics and liquids. This method results in a dish that is rich and flavorful, with a soft and tender texture. 

These robust flavors call for a wine that can stand up to them. Full-bodied red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, or Zinfandel are great options for braised short-rib wine pairing.

2. Think About the Sauce

The sauce used in the braising process is an important factor to consider when choosing a wine. 

A heavier and more flavorful sauce, such as a red wine reduction, pairs well with a wine that has a lot of tannins. This is because the tannins in the wine help cut through the richness of the sauce, balancing the flavors. 

A lighter sauce, such as a tomato-based sauce or a broth-based sauce, pairs well with a medium-bodied red wine like Pinot Noir.

3. Consider the Side Dishes

When pairing wine with braised short ribs, don’t forget to consider the side dishes as well. 

For example, if you’re serving a dish with roasted root vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, or sweet potatoes, a bold and rich red wine like Malbec would pair well. 

If your side dishes are lighter, such as a salad or roasted asparagus, a lighter-bodied red wine like Merlot would be a good choice.

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment

Ultimately, the best wine for braised short rib wine pairing is the one that you enjoy the most. 

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of wines and flavors until you find the perfect pairing for your taste buds. Try different variations of the dish, experimenting with the cooking method and sauce to discover what wine complements it best.

Wrap Up

Choosing the right wine to pair with short ribs can seem daunting at first, but by considering these wine options, you can find the perfect match for the dish. 

Whether you prefer a bold and spicy Syrah or a fruity and light Pinot Noir, you can’t go wrong with any of these wine choices. 

So next time you’re cooking up some short ribs, treat yourself to a glass of wine that elevates the flavors of the dish. Cheers to delicious food and wine pairings!


What to pair with short ribs?

Short ribs are a hearty, flavorful cut of beef that can benefit from the right pairing. Depending on how you’ve cooked your short ribs and what flavors you want to highlight, there are several options for sides and accompaniments.

For classic comfort food pairings, mashed potatoes or creamy polenta make great complements to short ribs’ rich flavor and texture. 

Roasted vegetables provide balanced nutrition while adding sweetness and crunch – root vegetables like carrots and parsnips work particularly well. 

Buttery pasta dishes such as macaroni and cheese or fettuccine alfredo also go nicely with short rib’s savory profile.

Salads featuring seasonal fruits, nuts, and cheeses provide a bright contrast to the richness of the short ribs. 

If you want something a little more substantial, risotto is an ideal accompaniment to the beefy flavor of short ribs. Greens such as kale or arugula can also be served alongside a light vinaigrette dressing.

For dessert, classic chocolate cake or brownies are always welcome after a meal featuring short ribs. Fruit-based desserts like cobblers and crisps also work well,

But if you’re looking for something lighter, consider serving sorbet or ice cream with fresh berries.

What is the best red wine to use for short rib ragu?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to selecting the best red wine for short rib ragu. 

The best choice will depend on personal preferences and the flavors of your dish. 

Generally speaking, a full-bodied red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah/Shiraz are good choices that provide bold, robust flavors with enough acidity to cut through the richness of the meat. 

Other options include Merlot, Zinfandel, Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, and Barolo. Just make sure to choose a bottle with good complexity and structure so that you can really bring out the flavor of your short rib ragu. Cheers!

What goes well with red wine short ribs?

The most popular side dishes to pair with red wine braised short ribs include mashed potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts, garlic sautéed spinach, creamy polenta, and roasted root vegetables. 

Baked macaroni and cheese is another great option for a comforting side dish that pairs well with the flavor of the braised ribs. 

If you’re feeling creative, try pairing your cooked ribs with some special recipes such as cheesy parmesan risotto or herbed couscous. 

For a lighter option, serve a fresh green salad alongside your short ribs for a balanced meal.

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