Wine Pairing Guide

Recipes: Beef with Mushrooms, and Stuffed Tenderloin

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beef and wine  

When selecting wine to serve with beef, red wine probably comes to mind first. But white wines go with beef too, especially with cold roasts, hot and spicy dishes, beef sandwiches and salads.


Chardonnay is rich and full-bodied, almost buttery-tasting. Its apple and coconut flavors make it a good choice with Thai and other Asian dishes. It's a classic with roast beef and veal.

Sauvignon Blanc is sometimes called Fume Blanc. It is crisp tasting and moderate in body. It usually has an herbal flavor reminiscent of green grass or asparagus, which makes is an excellent match for a stir fry of beef and fresh vegetables.

Gewurztraminer is floral and spicy in flavor, usually with just a hint of sweetness. It's a classic match with Asian dishes and other hot and spicy ethnic dishes.

White Zinfandel (actually pink) is fresh and fruity, like raspberries or tropical fruit. It is delicious when serving beef barbecued with tomato-based sauce.


Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the biggest, most full-bodied red wines. It is the classic wine for beef. It is excellent with flavorful beef roasts.

Merlot is similar to Cabernet Sauvignon but it is softer and lighter bodied, usually with a black cherry aroma and a velvety smoothness. It is perfect with more delicately-flavored tenderloin.

Zinfandel (red) is often described as having a berry-like smell, usually like raspberries. Fruity, yet dry and robust, it is excellent with grilled steaks, pot roast, and beef bourguignon or stew flavored with Zinfandel.

Pinot Noir is a delicate, light-bodied wine of superb elegance. It is best with simply-prepared beef tenderloin and it is the classic accompaniment to prime rib.

Beef with Wild Mushrooms

By Maggi Garloff

Purchase a variety of wild mushrooms from your produce market for a rich, flavorful roast, or for a more economic version, substitute white button mushrooms.

Red wine: Zinfandel with its classic raspberry aroma.
White wine: Gewurztraminer complements the ginger in the marinade.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Marinating Time: 20 minutes to 24 hours
Cooking Time: 25-30 minutes

Oven Temperature: 425 degrees F.

  • 2-pound Beef Tri-Tip Roast
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound wild mushrooms (such as chanterelle, shiitake, morel, oyster,
          portobello, or a combination), sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Fresh Italian parsley (garnish)


  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or regular soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, very finely chopped


In a small bowl, mix all marinade ingredients. Place beef in a glass dish; add marinade, turning to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 20 minutes, no longer than 24 hours.

Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Remove beef from marinade; reserve marinade. Rub beef with 1 tablespoon olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add beef, turning to brown all sides. Place in oven; roast 25 to 30 minutes for rare (140 degrees F.) to medium (160 degrees F.). Place roast on heated platter; keep warm until serving.

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet (if needed) and mushrooms. Cook over medium-high heat until slightly tender. Strain marinade; stir into mushrooms. Cook over high heat until liquid has reduced to 2 to 3 tablespoons (3 to 4 minutes).

Carve roast across the grain into 1/4-inch slices. Spoon mushrooms over sliced roast. Garnish with Italian parsley.

Makes 6 servings (4 ounces beef)

Stuffed Beef Tenderloin

Red wine: Merlot is light, yet fruity.
White wine: Chardonnay complements the sage.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 45-60 minutes

Oven Temperature: 425 degrees F.

  • 4-pound Beef Tenderloin Roast
  • 1/3 cup Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/3 cup green peppercorns, drained
  • 8 fresh sage leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • String, to tie roast


Heat oven to 425 degrees F.

Pat tenderloin dry. Cut horizontally to within one inch of outer edge; lay open like a book. Spread mustard evenly over cut surface of tenderloin, sprinkle with green peppercorns. Arrange sage leaves over peppercorns. Close tenderloin; tie with string.

Season with black pepper; place in large roasting pan. Roast 45 to 60 minutes for rare (140 degrees F.) to medium (160 degrees F.).

Remove string before slicing into 1/3-inch slices.

Makes 8 servings (6 ounces beef)


Provided by California Beef Council

This page originally published as a FoodDay article in 1997.

Copyright © 2007, Forkmedia LLC. All rights reserved.

This page modified February 2007

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