Best red wine for beef stew?
December 31, 2020 4:29 AM   Subscribe

I'll be making this beef and bacon stew later today. What would be the best red wine to use? The recipe calls for most of a bottle, and I don't know much about wine.
posted by cozenedindigo to Food & Drink (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The cheapest red wine in the store will be fine, like a Burgundy from Gallo or whatever.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:36 AM on December 31, 2020 [8 favorites]

Agreed that cheap is fine. I would stay away from anything sweet, but sweet red wines are a little bit unusual and are often literally labelled "sweet."

Pinot Noir
Red blends
posted by mskyle at 4:39 AM on December 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

This is astonishingly similar to the coq au vin I made last night (seriously, swap out the beef for chicken and you'd have the same recipe). The recipe I used suggested either a Cabernet or a Burgundy.

Probably the Burgundy - if you think about it, when you're cooking with wine, you're using a recipe that was developed by people who back in the day would use whatever wine they had lying around, and so odds are that if that recipe came from a specific wine region, they used their local wine. The recipe says that it's their spin on beef bourguinon, and beef bourguinon came from the Burgundy region of France, so when in doubt, go with a Burgundy. But if they don't have a burgundy, a cabernet also works.

Also, feel free to ask the staff at the shop. They tend to know their stuff, and are eager to help people who don't know about wine. If you say that you're just cooking with it, they'll also know to steer you away from wines with weird flavors that would conflict with your recipe or whatever.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:05 AM on December 31, 2020 [5 favorites]

the recipe calls for a dry red, so that just means not sweet. Most cheap red blends are usually on the sweeter side because that it what people tend to like these days, and cooking off the alcohol just amplifies the base flavors of the wine.

burgundy for a red would mean pinot noir is the varietal. lots of affordable pinot noir to be found, and you can help the stew finish off the rest of the bottle.
posted by th3ph17 at 5:09 AM on December 31, 2020 [3 favorites]

I ditto the cheap wine advice. Expensive wine has a broad balanced mix of aromas and those will be cooked away in the first moments in the stew. A waste.
posted by tmdonahue at 5:17 AM on December 31, 2020

Burgundy, also known as Pinot Noir, is the usual for boeuf bourguignon. Something inexpensive like Woodbridge is perfectly fine.
posted by smcameron at 5:18 AM on December 31, 2020 [8 favorites]

I'd go for burgundy or cabernet, and yes, cheap is just fine.
posted by bile and syntax at 7:00 AM on December 31, 2020

Can't really add much to the good advice already, but I just wanted to nth that you're not going to taste good wine here. America's Test Kitchen says that the only thing you really don't want is too much oak because it will intensify rather than cooking off.
posted by ftm at 7:01 AM on December 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Apart from the sound advice above, I suggest you buy a bottle or box that doesn't have a cork. The one thing that can ruin your dish is if there is bad cork in your wine, and if you are not familiar with the smell and taste, this is something that is easy to overlook while cooking, but can have catastrophic consequences.
posted by mumimor at 7:16 AM on December 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

One time all I had was a red sangria and used it in a similar stew. It still came out delicious. I don't think you can really go wrong here so don't stress to much.
posted by AlexiaSky at 8:52 AM on December 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

Thanks all!
posted by cozenedindigo at 10:43 AM on December 31, 2020

If you have access to a Trader Joe's they sell a Cotes du Rhone that would be perfect for this.
posted by saladin at 11:47 AM on December 31, 2020

I found a 4-pack of 6oz bottles of Frontera brand cabernet. Perfect for cooking, especially if you're not going to drink this wine too. Ask around in your store if they carry anything similar. They might.
posted by Autumnheart at 12:03 PM on December 31, 2020

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