Follow this guide to pairing popular New World reds that range from light and fruity to bold and earthy.
1. Ontario – Pinot Noir
Light, tart and bursting with cherry flavours, Ontario produces the most Burgundian of New World Pinots. Their earthy edge is in synch with vegetables like beets, mushrooms and lentils, and their natural born acidity cuts through rich orange-fleshed fish such as trout and Arctic char.
Get the recipe: Beet and Goat Cheese Salad
2. New Zealand – Pinot Noir
Kiwi Pinot is generally fruiter and more quaffable than Ontario, but it matches a similar range of foods. It’s terrific with a Sunday roast chicken, and just about any salmon preparation. Otago Pinot is more full-bodied (and expensive) than Marlborough juice, and should be opened with red meat.
Get the recipe: Salmon in Parchment with Ginger, Soy and Enoki Mushrooms
3. Chilean Cabernet – Sauvignon
Lush, fruit-forward and ready to glug, Chilean Cabs offer tremendous value, especially compared to their French and American counterparts. They’re excellent with most beef or lamb dishes, and their gentle sweetness can stand up to milder blue cheeses like Gorgonzola. It’s also nice to have a bottle on hand for take-out burgers.
Get the recipe: Blue Cheese-Crusted Filet Mignon
4. Argentine – Malbec
Originally from France, Malbec has found a spiritual home in Argentina where it produces big, affordable, age-worthy reds. It’s a natural with chargrilled steaks, which are consumed in great quantity in Argentina, and its cassis and plum flavours hit the mark with braised beef or lamb in dark, rich sauces.
Get the recipe: Braised Lamb Shanks in Red Wine and Spices
5. Australian – Shiraz
The signature red from Down Under is a great match to a wide range of foods, everything from mushroom pasta, to roast duck, to venison stew. Its residual sugar also helps it stand up to the spice of a hearty chili or barbecued meats. If you can find a lighter Shiraz from cooler Victoria, save it for grilled tuna.
Get the recipe: Peking Duck Noodle Soup
6. South African – Pinotage
A cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, South Africa’s signature red grape yields full-bodied wines with smoky, earthy undertones. The oak aging often imparts a rich mocha flavour, which flatters gamier meats like venison and liver. Pinotage is a bruiser, and it won’t wilt under the heat of a fiery curry.
Get the recipe: Roasted Venison Stew with Parsnips and Carrots
7. California – Zinfandel
Zinfandel is the first wine grape planted on American soil by Italian immigrants, who call it Primitivo. Sweet, jammy and boozy, this muscular red is superb with slow-smoked barbecue and glazed meats off the grill. Its peppery finish also works well with spicy Italian sausages or Indian food.
Get the recipe: Sticky Barbecue Back Ribs