March 1, 2022

What Meat Dishes Should You Pair With Your Wine?

You would be hard-pressed to find a wine enthusiast who doesn’t have a meat dish that they like to pair with their favorite wine or vice versa. Meat and wine can pair together perfectly to enhance each other’s tastes, but only if you have the right meat/wine pairings. You put the wrong combination together, you can have one overshadowing the other, to the point you can’t taste the best of the wine or your meat dish. 

With how many wines and meats there are, it can be difficult to figure out which ones go best with which. Thankfully, most red wines and white wines pair with certain types of meat, but some specific pairs taste better together than others. To help anyone with the same dilemma, we have suggestions for what to try during your next visit to Cork Bar & Restaurant.

The Best Meat/Wine Pairings

Meat can be broken into several different categories. First, there’s meat from land animals, and then there’s seafood. But within those labels, we have shellfish and regular fish, along with red meat and white meat. Good thing for us, there are red wines and white wines to go with them all.

Red Meats

The label of red meat vs. white meat comes from what color the meat is after being cooked. If the meat retains or gains colors, typically dark or red colors, after being thoroughly cooked, it is considered red meat. Red meats include:

  • Beef (adult cow)
  • Lamb and mutton (sheep)
  • Pork (pig or swine)
  • Veal (calves or young cows)
  • Venison (red deer or reindeer)
  • Goat

Typically, red wines pair better with red meats than white wines. Despite being similar in color, it’s actually because red meats stand up better to the tannins in red wine than other meats. White wines also tend to have higher acidity, which can pair better with red meat for certain people’s tastebuds, but typically an all-red meat/wine pairing is a good choice for a meal. 

White Meats

When compared to red meats, white meats are meats that are white when completely cooked. White meats, also known as poultry, can also be separated into light meats and dark meats depending on how thoroughly you want to cook them. Most white meats are birds, but not exclusively. White meats include: 

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Duck
  • Goose
  • Pheasant
  • Rabbit

Which type of wine white meat goes with depends on how it’s cooked. If white meat is cooked as a light meat, it typically pairs better with white wines, but dark meats pair better with weaker red wines. Light meats can’t handle the tannins of red wines, and while dark meats handle it better, not so much that they still taste as good when paired with strong red wines.


Fish refers specifically to non-shellfish, like salmon, tilapia, bronzino, and many more. Because fish are so diverse compared to meat harvested on land, it’s not typical for all fish to taste better with red or white wine.

  • Dry White Wine: Cod and tilapia taste better with dry white wines than anything else. Dry wines enhance the flavor with their smoothness more than other kinds.
  • Red Wines: Salmon and tuna taste better with red wines, the mixture enhancing the fish’s aroma and overall taste.
  • Both Red and White: The special and one-of-a-kind texture of octopus and squid pairs well with both red and white wines. Your best choice is to go with your absolute favorite.


There are several different types of shellfish, but they typically taste better with moderate white wines. The tannins in red wines overshadow and drown out the taste of most shellfish if you’re not careful. At the same time, dry white wines don’t add as much to the flavor as moderate white wines, which bring out the nuttiness of shellfish like lobster, crab, and clams.

Find the Perfect Meat/Wine Pairings at Cork Bar & Restaurant

Our menu is filled with different wines and meat dishes that you can come and try. Whether it’s red meats, white meat, fish, or shellfish, we have a combo that will leave your mouth watering, and your tastebuds truly satisfied. 

Make a reservation online so you can taste what all the fuss is about. Reservations for outdoor dining in our igloos are made here.