Beef Pot Roast pairs best with dry red wines such as Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot, and Bordeaux. If the red wine is dry, fruity, and a touch peppery, it will make an excellent pairing with your Pot Roast.
Mature or aged red wines will go better with Pot Roast than their younger counterparts. Pot Roast uses a cooking style that breaks down the collagens of the muscles, meaning the meat is quite tender and flavourful. A bold Cabernet Sauvignon that is full of tannin is going to steal away some of that flavour when paired with Pot Roast, making a subdued Cabernet Sauvignon a much better choice.
Pot Roast vs Roast Beef
The main difference between a Pot Roast and Roast Beef is that a Pot Roast is cooked in liquid and Roast Beef is cooked dry. Pot Roast beef will be braised as it’s sitting in a broth of red wine, vegetables, herbs and gravy. If you are interested in the best wine to cook Pot Roast with, I mention below that it is Shiraz. You can learn more by scrolling to the bottom or jumping to that section.
With a Pot Roast, you are often taking a tough and chewy cut of Beef like brisket, chuck roast, or round Roast and cooking it for a long time in a big pan with tall edges until the meat falls apart in your mouth. The Pot Roast cooking method breaks down the collagens in the meat, making them unstable. You can easily tear off chunks of Pot Roast as it is so tender. Roast Beef, on the other hand, is firm, allowing you to slice it as thick or thin as you want. Roast Beef will also have a savoury crust, where a Pot Roast will not, as it has been braised.
As Pot Roast beef falls apart when you try to cut it, Pot Roast leftovers are unsuitable for a Roast beef sandwich as the Beef is wet and will slide off in chunks. However, Pot Roast Meat would is amazing as Hot Beef Sandwich. A Hot Beef Sandwich is where you have the Beef layered between two pieces of white bread and covered in gravy. You’ll need a knife and fork to eat this sandwich as it’s impossible to pick up.
Best Wine With Pot Roast
Bordeaux & Pot Roast Pairing
Bordeaux is the best wine to pair up with a Pot Roast, as this French red wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and three other grapes. The French know food, and they know wine, and Bordeaux is amazing with a Pot Roast dinner.
Bordeaux is complex and full-bodied red wine that makes a perfect complement to the savoury flavours of a hearty pot roast. Bordeaux’s notes of black cherry, plums, cedar, tobacco, leather and herbs all make for an exquisite pairing that will tantalize your taste buds.
Buying Bordeaux can be tricky. Not because Bordeaux is hard to find but because there is so much to unpack and understand about Bordeaux. When you go to the wine shop, you might find a Bordeaux that is $15, and you’ll also see Bordeaux that skyrockets past $100 to thousands of dollars. The best advice I can give you is to find a Bordeaux that fits your budget.
Inexpensive Bordeaux is going to be fresh, fruity, likeable and easy to drink. As you go up in price, there is going to be more oak and more complexity. Thus, if you want more notes of smoke, vanilla, truffle and chocolate, go with a Bordeaux that is $40+. If you want simplicity, and notes of black cherry, cassis and plum, stick with something around the $25 range.
Cabernet Sauvignon & Pot Roast Pairing
A mature Cabernet Sauvignon that has seen some age will go great with a hearty Pot Roast. Featuring flavours of black currant, blackberry, cherry and plum, Cabernet Sauvignon offers a refreshing contrast to the savoury flavours of Pot Roast. A mature Cabernet Sauvignon is also going to have smoother tannin than a young Cabernet Sauvignon, and this is important when it comes to Pot Roast.
Pot Roast uses a braising cooking method where meat is cooked in a broth and its juices until the collagen of the meat has broken down. This makes the meat soft, tender and incredibly flavourful. A young Cabernet Sauvignon is going to have a biting amount of tannin, which will overpower the savoury flavours of your Pot Roast, meaning you’ll taste less of the Pot Roast, and you won’t even taste all that much of the red wine.
There is a fair amount of fat and protein in a Pot Roast to smooth out a bossy Cabernet Sauvignon full of tannin, but I feel in that process, you lose so much of the meaty flavours.
Mature Cabernet Sauvignon, on the other hand, is already smooth right out of the bottle. You still have plenty of tannin to mingle with the meat, however, you’re going to taste more of the intriguing flavours of Cabernet Sauvignon, such as its notes of chocolate, eucalyptus, leather, herbs, bell pepper, smoke, tobacco and violet.
How Do I Know When My Cabernet Sauvignon is Ready to Drink?
Knowing when a Cabernet Sauvignon is ready to drink can be tricky. The best way is to read the wine maker notes on the back of the bottle. You might see a sentence or two that states when it’s best to crack open that bottle. Visiting the producer’s website and finding your bottle also helps.
But what if you’re in a wine store, and you’re grabbing a bottle for tonight? I’d suggest asking a store employee or picking up a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon that is in the $25-$40 range. Oak aging contributes tannin to a bottle, and bottles over $50 often require some serious aging. Thus, if you buy a bottle between $25 – $40, it won’t be too oaky, and it’s most likely to be produced in a style where it’s ready to drink.
Bottles less than $25 will also work but will come across as more fruity, and you won’t get those interesting flavours of smoke, tobacco or leather that work so well with the savoury flavours of your Pot Roast.
Shiraz & Pot Roast Pairing
An Australian Shiraz is exceptional with a Pot Roast. Full-bodied and lush with jammy flavours of raspberry, blackberry and blueberry, Australian Shiraz offers up a refreshing counterpoint to the savoury flavours of your Pot Roast. You’ll also find notes of dark chocolate, black pepper, spice, and smoke which make Shiraz wonderful with the flavourful juices of your Pot Roast.
Any Shiraz will work with Pot Roast, however, I am recommending an Australian Shiraz as it is a crowd-pleaser for North American tastes. Shiraz from France is called Syrah – and while similar to Australian Shiraz, French Syrah is less fruity and more savoury, where you’ll get notes of bacon, green olives and herbs in it. On the other hand, Australian Shiraz is peppery, jammy and smoky, making it ideal for our North American taste buds.
Zinfandel & Pot Roast Pairing
A fruity and peppery Zinfandel is an excellent red wine to pair with Pot Roast. Pot Roast is loaded with savoury flavours of Beef, and a Zinfandel loaded with flavours of black cherry, raspberry, plum and blueberry offers a refreshing contrast. Meanwhile, you get hints of smoke, black pepper, tar, and cloves which complement the savoury nature of your Pot Roast.
Zinfandel differs from all the other wine recommendations here in that Zinfandel is not overly high in tannin unless it has been heavily oaked. Thus, a reasonably priced Zinfandel in the $20-$30 range is going to be ready to drink and ready to pair up with your Pot Roast dinner.
Best Wine to Cook With Pot Roast
Shiraz is hands down my favourite wine to cook with when it comes to Pot Roast. I love a peppery Australian Shiraz, and I feel this bold red wine imparts plenty of pepper, smoke and spicy flavours.
The common advice when cooking with wine is to use what you are drinking. In a world where we are all wealthy, I would agree, but some of us, like myself, live like peasants and save our money so we can buy more expensive wines. I am not going to cook with any red wine where the bottle is more than $25. Will the Pot Roast taste better with a more expensive bottle? More than likely. Will anyone even notice? Probably not.
Thus, I suggest using any dry red wine for your Pot Roast, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel or an inexpensive Bordeaux in the $10-$20 range.