Malbec Food Pairings

Fun, Flavorful Dishes to Complement the Red Wine's Personality

Malbec is Argentina's big, bold red wine grape, though it's also known and grown in France, South Africa, Chile, Australia, and the U.S. Full-bodied, tipping towards the higher end of alcohol, acidity, and tannin content, Malbec makes a very food-friendly pairing partner with its concentrated black cherry and blackberry fruit components, fig-like flavors, mocha, and mineral notes along with a unique gamey quality that often rolls out with smoke, pepper, and tobacco spice. From roasted and stewed beef or game to braised lamb, sausage, mushrooms, and spice-laden sauces, Malbec has the versatility and spice-affinity to handle a stunning array of food combinations and cuisines. We'll start you off with some tried and true recipes, but feel free to use these suggestions as a springboard for your own Malbec food pairing adventures.

  • 01 of 06

    Crockpot Lamb Shanks

    Crock-Pot Lamb Shank

    The Spruce 

    The medley of mushrooms, oregano, basil, and thyme provide the ideal starting point to mingle Malbec with lamb. This unique red wine varietal craves mushrooms and delights in herb-based dishes surrounding hearty meats. Make sure to use the Malbec you'll be serving with the lamb shanks for the half cup of red wine that the recipe calls for to make this particular food and wine pairing really pop. Everyone will love this easy and elegant crockpot lamb shanks dish.

  • 02 of 06

    Slow Cooker Carolina Pulled Pork

    Carolina Pulled Pork Slow Cooker

    Getty Images / Lauri Patterson

    We are a fan of the crockpot—quick and easy to prepare and ready when dinner time rolls around. This restaurant-rivaling slow cooker Carolina pulled pork recipe brings some serious barbecued pork together with minimal effort and maximum flavor. The sweet and tangy character of the barbecued pork is the perfect pairing for many South American Malbecs. With their dark, fruit-forward character and tendency towards higher levels of acidity, they cut the fat and shine a welcome spotlight on the Big Daddy's Carolina Style barbecue spice.

  • 03 of 06

    Vegetable Beef Stew

    Beef stew

    Getty Images / James Baigrie

    Big, bold Malbecs can more than handle spicy sauces, and pairing it with this traditional beef stew gives ready testimony to the food-friendly, spice-loving nature of the markets best Malbecs. We gave this beef stew a cup of Malbec to edge it towards pairing perfection and the mix of rich meat and veggies makes it an essential wintertime pairing.

  • 04 of 06

    Prime Rib Roast

    prime rib

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Malbec, meat, and spice—a recurring theme that bodes really well for this red South American sweetheart wine. We love the creative mix of Cajun spice with brown sugar in this prime rib roast recipe; it truly brings out the varietal's velvety textures and innate spice character. Make the 1/2 cup of red wine the recipe calls for a Malbec and you will elevate the wine's pairing potential even more.

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  • 05 of 06

    Classic Thai BBQ Grilled Chicken

    Classic Thai BBQ Grilled Chicken Recipe (with Tangy Dipping Sauce)

     Getty Images / Yaowalak Thongpoonkaew

    Just to show how accommodating Malbec can be, we've paired it with a classic Thai barbecue grilled chicken recipe featuring fantastic flavor components. The potent potpourri of unique Thai flavors—sweet, spice, and savory—call for a wine that will balance and enhance the dish and avoid the temptation to be overcome by ethnic flavor power plays, Malbecs have a sweet spot for barbecue sauces of virtually any theme and this recipe is no exception.

  • 06 of 06

    Roasted Beef Tenderloin

    Roast beef tenderloin

    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt

    The full-bodied flavors and softer tannins of an Argentinian Malbec handle the classic flavor profile of this delicious roasted beef tenderloin. The black pepper and marjoram spice in this recipe pick up the consistent spicy undertones of this popular varietal well with a happy marriage of protein, ​fat, and tannin ending in a round, full-flavored finish.