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What Wine Should You Use to Marinate Red Meat?

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Question: What red wine would you typically use to marinade red meat? I usually grab a cheap table wine. I have always wondered if it really makes a difference. Do different grapes break down the fatty tissues any better than others?

Answer: Ideally, the type of wine used to marinate the meat (or used in any cooking) should be the same wine that would be served with the meal. If the wine served with the meal is a bit pricey then I would recommend a less expensive wine within the same grape variety.

As for the breakdown of fatty tissue, wine contains tartaric and malic acids that help carry flavor into the protein during the marinating process. This process breaks protein chains, which tenderizes the meat. The acid will continue to tenderize the meat as long as the meat is left in the marinade. Be sure to follow recipe instructions for marinating time so the texture of the meat doesn’t end up too soft.

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