Beef Jerky Is The Unexpected Snack Pairing To Try With Red Wine, According To A Sommelier

red wine and beef jerky
red wine and beef jerky - Staitc Media/Shutterstock

If you've been searching for the perfect snack to complement red wine, we have a recommendation, although it may surprise you. In an enlightening conversation with Tasting Table, Troy Bowen, owner and sommelier of Noble Riot, reveals a pairing that might revolutionize your wine nights. Unlike conventional snack choices like cheese, Bowen suggests snacking on beef jerky while relishing wine.

While enjoying a steak dinner, it's common for one to pair the red meat entree with a glass of red wine. Bowen explains the science behind this match. "Protein likes the astringency of tannins, so red meats often go well with red wines," he shares. Tannins contribute to the astringency and dryness you taste when you drink red wine. When one consumes red meat and drinks red wine, the wine's tannins bind to the proteins in the red meat instead of the proteins in saliva. Wine, when paired with red meat, thus goes down smoother.

But when it comes to snack time, few people will fire up the stove and cook a steak. It's much easier to reach for a bag of beef jerky to pair with red wine when lounging on one's couch. But note, not just any bag of beef jerky will do as there's an art and method to the pairings.

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Method And Madness To Pairing Different Types Of Beef Jerky With Different Types Of Wine

jerky and red wine
jerky and red wine - Strigana/Shutterstock

For fans of peppered beef jerky, Troy Bowen specifically states, "Peppered jerky was made for the pepper notes in Syrah..." Syrah is bold in flavor with floral and smoky notes, making peppered jerky its perfect pairing. If your beef jerky is milder in flavor, Bowen suggests pairing it with reds like Cabernet Franc and Grenache. As per Bowen, the more neutral flavors of milder beef jerky shine against these reds. For those who love spicier jerky, Bowen advises, "Some of the spicier flavors would actually show up really well against a Riesling with just a whisper of sweetness." Sweeter white and red wines can counterbalance the spiciness of spicy jerky. In the process, the sweet notes in sweeter wines will shine more as well.

While beef jerky is an unexpected snack pairing with red wine, it is a compelling alternative to cheese, nuts, fruits, and chocolate, the classic snack pairings. Beef jerky is robust in taste and comes in many flavors, which can please different palates. Cheers to this unexpected and fun pairing, and as always, enjoy responsibly.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.