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Simple tips for pairing red wine

Can you pair all red wines in the same way? Learn the difference between pairing a young wine, a Crianza or a Gran Reserva. Don't forget to read these simple tips and master the art of pairing red wine! Let’s get started!

Maridaje vino tinto

How to pair red wine

Red wine is one of the star players for pairing with our favourite dishes. Of course, its intense flavour goes perfectly with any culinary or sensory experience. But can you pair any red wine with any recipe? The answer is a definite no.

As you know, there are different types of red wine and, as such, each one is the best suited for a particular kind of food. Remember that what we want to do is find the perfect combination to add to the flavours and have both the food and drink stand out in perfect harmony.

As such, we’ve put together a set of useful tips for pairing red wines in terms of their vintage. That way, you can clear up any doubts and pair your dishes without any qualms.

Pairing with young red wines

As you know, young wines are ones that have not been aged at all. These wines are normally lighter and easier on the palate, which makes them perfect to go with a range of dishes.

Pairing with a young red is a foolproof choice for:

  • Simply cooked white meat
  • White fish in stews or sauces (red wine and fish is possible!)
  • Nuts, olives and pickles
  • Semi-soft and medium-hard cheeses (blue cheese or goat’s cheese also go well with young wines because it balances out their intense flavour)
  • Pasta with tomato-based sauces
  • Milk chocolate (with a low cocoa percentage)

What do we recommend? A young Tempranillo such as 875m Tinto, a fresh wine that doesn't hold back on the intense flavour that we love in red wine. It’s great, even for people who are looking to get started in the world of red wine.

Find out about all our red wines

Pairing with Crianza red wines

As we get towards the more aged wines, we need to be more careful with what we choose to pair them with. Basically, because we don’t want to mask the flavours of the other products.

Remember that Crianza red wines are ones that have been in the barrel for at least 12 months. To pair Crianza red wines successfully, you can do it with:

  • Red meat
  • Charcuterie
  • Aged cheeses
  • Rice dishes with meat or very strong flavours
  • Oily fish
  • Pasta with tomato-based sauces
  • Milk chocolate (with a mid-range cocoa percentage)

In this case, El Coto Crianza is the perfect example, since it’s an amazingly versatile wine that’s easy to pair with both meat and fish. On the nose, it’s a fresh and fruity red, but in the mouth it has a pleasant lingering silky texture.

Pairing with Reserva and Gran Reserva red wines

Pairing Reserva or Gran Reserva wines sort of follows the rule we mentioned before. In this case, since they are complex wine with a very defined body, the best thing is to save them for potent dishes.

Reserva and Gran Reserva wines are both barrel- and bottle-aged. This takes place over a long period of time. For Reserva reds, the minimum ageing period is 3 years. With Gran Reserva wines, it’s an ageing process of at least 5 years.

To pair a Reserva or Gran Reserva wine without any qualms, it’s best to go for:

  • Game
  • Red meat
  • Charcuterie
  • Pure chocolate
  • Rice dishes with very strong flavours

As for house recommendations, we'd go for Coto Real Reserva (perfect for duck breast, pigeon or any red meat) and Coto de Imaz Gran Reserva (ideal for suckling lamb, game and red meat). Both will surprise you!

Maridaje vinos crianza

Keep this little guide in hand and you’ll master any pairing with red wine. If you need more tips for picking out the perfect red wine for each dish, take a look at this article.

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