Côtes du Rhône pairs best with braised beef, liver and onions, roast pig, cold cut sandwiches, lamb chops, pizza and roasted chicken. Medium-bodied and fruity, Côtes du Rhône has a subtle earthy quality that makes it a food-friendly red wine.
Côtes du Rhône is a blended French red wine produced in the Rhône valley. Up to 23 grape varietals can be used to produce Côtes du Rhône, however, Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Carignan are the most common. Côtes du Rhône Villages refers to a superior version of Côtes du Rhône and will showcase a little more depth and complexity.
Côtes du Rhône has juicy and smooth flavours of blackberry, raspberry, strawberry and plum. Depending on the grapes used, you’ll also find notes of black pepper, earth, herbs, smoke, and spices. Côtes du Rhône is made to go with food and will pair well with any meat or roasted vegetable dish.
For bolder and expensive Côtes du Rhône, see food pairings with Chateauneuf du Pape.
Best food with Côtes du Rhône
|Type||Varietal||Food||Rating (out of 5)|
|Red Wine||Côtes du Rhône, Red||Braised Beef|
|Red Wine||Côtes du Rhône Villages Rasteau||Beef Short Ribs|
|Red Wine||Côtes du Rhône, Red||Pig Roast|
|Red Wine||Côtes du Rhône, Red||Italian Submarine Sandwich|
|Red Wine||Côtes du Rhône Villages Rasteau||Hunting Rabbit|
|Red Wine||Côtes du Rhône Villages Valreas||Hunting Rabbit|
|Red Wine||Côtes du Rhône, Red||Elk Steak|
|Red Wine||Côtes du Rhône, Red||Liver and Onions|
|Red Wine||Côtes du Rhône, Red||Baked Beans|
|Red Wine||Côtes du Rhône Villages, Red||Beef Bourguignon|
Braised Beef & Côtes du Rhône
Côtes du Rhône is my go to cooking wine. It’s fruity, earthy, dry and not overly tannic. It would only make sense that if I were braising beef using Côtes du Rhône, I would pair it up later with a nice glass of the same wine.
With Braised Beef, you are introducing a variety of flavours, such as paprika, carrots, black pepper, onions, garlic, thyme, rosemary and celery. The earthiness and spicy flavours of Côtes du Rhône meld perfectly with these savoury flavours. Meanwhile, the fruity notes of cassis, raspberry and strawberry keep you excited and your taste buds alert throughout the meal.
Liver and Onions & Côtes du Rhône
The earthy notes of Côtes du Rhône love the sweet and earthy sautéed flavours of onions, while the raspberry and strawberry notes offer a pleasant contrast against the gamey and rich flavours of the calf’s liver. Meanwhile, with Côtes du Rhône, you will get notes of black pepper, smoke, herbs, and meat that complement that iron bite of the liver. All of these factors make Côtes du Rhône the best wine to pair with Liver and Onions.
Liver and Onions used to be a staple on restaurant menus for decades but has gone out of style since the 2000s. The younger generation seems to find it gross, which is unfortunate as liver is loaded with vitamins and minerals. I’m certain it will eventually make a comeback and make its rounds on Instagram and Tic Toc. In the meantime, enjoy it while the prices remain low.
Roasted Chicken & Côtes du Rhône Pairing
Roasted Chicken is all about the contrast between the crisp skin and the juicy meat within. Côtes du Rhône is a natural pairing as the earthy veil loves the crispy skin, while the smooth finish of raspberry and strawberry elevates the tender meat inside.
Even better is that Côtes du Rhône is not a boozy red wine, so it won’t make you sleepy if you grab a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket for a light lunch or dinner.
Pizza & Côtes du Rhône Pairing
Côtes du Rhône is so food friendly that it will pair well with nearly any pizza topping you toss at it. The earthy, herbal and spicy notes of Côtes du Rhône ensure it will go well with mushrooms, onions, olives, beef, pepperoni, bacon, green pepper, eggplant, chicken and Italian sausage.
Meanwhile, the fruity flavours of raspberry and strawberry keep your mouth refreshed in between bites causing you to slow down and savour each sip and bite. This ensures you’ll have plenty of left-over pizza to enjoy as a midnight snack or for a quick breakfast before you head out to work.
For those new to wine, I always suggest a Côtes du Rhône Villages over a Côtes du Rhône as the Villages will be of better quality. With Pizza, you’re better off selecting a Côtes du Rhône (sans Village) as Côtes du Rhône Villages tend to have more tannin. Tannin and tomato sauce do not jive as the tomato sauce makes tannin taste like tin.
In reality, chances are high that a Côtes du Rhône Villages will be amazing with your pizza, provided it’s lightly sauced and the wine is at a medium tannin level. But if you’re new to wine, it’s often difficult to figure this all out while you are still learning.
Chili & Côtes du Rhône Pairing
Côtes du Rhône is not an expensive red, nor is it overly heavy in alcohol, which makes it well suited for the budget-friendly and sometimes spicy chilli. Medium-bodied and fruity, Côtes du Rhône offers just enough sass to keep you refreshed and mellow while you enjoy a savoury bowl of chilli.
Furthermore, all those earthy and spicy flavours of Côtes du Rhône, such as black pepper, smoke and herbs, complement the meat, sauce and any beans you toss into your chilli. (Although many claim real chilli does not contain beans.) Zinfandel is my favourite wine pairing with Chilli, but Cotes du Rhone is a close second.