Wine for beef bourguignon
Blog, France

Which Wine to use for Beef Bourguignon?

Which Wine to use for Beef Bourguignon?


two black glass bottles on the top of the brown wooden barrel


You want to try a French classic and delicious beef stew? And you would like to know which wine to use for your beef bourguignon? Bienvenue mon ami! Welcome my friend, you have landed at the right place!

I will tell you below all you need to know to make an informed decision ahead of your preparation.

A little history:

Beef Bourguignon, or boeuf bourguignon in French,  is a classic of the French Cuisine.

It is originated from the region of Burgundy in France, and was introduced on the French tables as far as the middle age. The Burgundy region has been renowned for the quality of its vineyard, some of which are labelled ‘Grand Cru‘ (or great growth, this means top of the top! Read the last paragraph if you want to find out more!), and cattle breeding. Therefore, it doesn’t come as a surprise that these two regional specialities were brought together to produce one of its most appreciated dish. It is mainly prepared during winter days. Families enjoy it during Sunday lunches and other holidays gathering. You can also find it in the Popular French Brasserie or Breweries. It is now known internationally as one of the emblematic dish of the French Cuisine.

Ok, but how to choose the best wine?

If you are like me, far from being a wine connoisseur, it can be confusing to know which wine is best to use when cooking the beef bourguignon. Don’t panic! You don’t need to go very much further. Here you will find all you need to know to try this recipe here, and enjoy this meal with friends and family.

For those of you who would like to cook this meal but are worried about alcohol intake, rest assured! The alcohol evaporates completely as you cook it, making it a dish everyone’s can enjoy, even kids!

Some tips before you start:

As you will learn in the recipe, this is a slow-cooked beef stew. As such, it can take up to 8 hours to cook at low/medium heat. This cooking method and the quality of the wine will make the difference in how the flavour are enhanced and gives you a unique taste of the traditiaonl French table. It represents a rustic vision of the French cuisine, simple, generous and tasty. Haaa! All I see now is the red and white table cloth where the baguette is laying… waiting. Can you see it too?

The other upside of this amazingly tasty dish is that it tastes even better the next day. Let it sit overnight so it can impregnate with the sweetness of the beef and the flavour of the wine. Then, all you have to do on the day is to reheat it, while bringing out your wine glasses and waiting for your guests. Oh! and don’t forget your bread (who else is fan of the French Baguette?)!

Important fact on the wine to use for beef bourguignon

First, it is important to know which wine to use for your beef bourguignon. It is certainly not white wine, nor rosé. This dish requires you to use red wine. But! Not any red wine will give you the desired results.

Ideally of course, if you can use a red Burgundy, then you can’t go wrong. Pinot noir or Gamay type are the best suitable type of wine for this dish. So if on your bottle it says Pinot noir even without any other mention, you can go ahead and buy it.

Another important information is you do not need to buy an expensive wine. Even Burgundians agrees on the fact that you don’t need to put so much money in the wine you would use to cook the dish. You can save it to drink it with the meal, instead.

However, it is not uncommon that the wine used in the dish is also served on the table. Basically you pour half of the bottle in and save the other half to drink it. Hehe, I saw that big smile!

So good news, right? You don’t have to go with an expensive wine but not a cheap one either! The list below will give you some guidance on how to best chose your wine.

No matter where in the world you have decided to cook the beef bourguignon, I will guide you to make the best choice with what you have locally. Allons-y, mes amis! wine recommendations for beef bourguignon

A savoury wine will permeat the meat and enhance it without masking its taste. According to the experts, the wine should be a little more acidic than the sauce for a better taste. I do not recommend Cabernet or Merlot are they are heavier and you want to pick moderately tannic and lighter wine.

Read on and pick your wine  from the options below:

Red Wine Burgundy are the best options:

  • Passetoutgrain
  • Cote d’Auxerre ou de Palotte
  • Nuits Saint George
  • Givry

Other regions you can choose from:

  • Bordeaux wine

Grape Variety to pick if you don’t find above specified wines:

  • Pinot noir
  • Gamay

If you want to learn more about French wines classification:

Burgundy wines are, for most, classified ‘Grand Cru’ or greath Growth because they are produced on certain classified parcels of the Burgundy region. This label is granted based on certain criteria such as the microclimate favouring a certain wine production, the quality of the soil or ancestral vilticulral techniques. All these elements guarantee the originality of the wine, its taste and flavor. The ‘Grand Cru’ title is really strict and is only given if all the criteria of the AOC – French acronym for Appelation d’Origine controlée – which is a body that certifies the respect of the highest standards it has established for the quality of the wine products. If these criteria are not respected the wines will be relegate to an inferior rank such as ‘premier Cru’ or other regional appelation.

Some of the wines classified as ‘Grand Cru’ from the Burgundy region:

  • Châteauneuf du Pape
  • Ruchottes Chamberlain
  • Clos de la Roche
  • Clos Saint Denis
  • Musigny
  • Close de Vougeot

Comment below and let me know which wine you have chosen for your beef bourguignon 🙂


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