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The 15 Best Recipes To Pair With Merlot

You know Merlot. It's the friendly, inviting pal of the sometimes standoffish Cabernet. Merlot's the wine that wants you to approach it. It's ready to share its soft, supple, fruity qualities...right now.

Merlot's gentle tannins help develop a wine that's easy to drink, with soft, rounded edges and lush fruit flavors of plums and berries. Don't banish it to the cellar, pull the cork and dive in!

Here are 15 of the best food pairings with Merlot:

1. Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Blue Cheese Butter

Why it works: Steaks and Merlot are a sure thing. This one, though, is even sure-ier. Why? Blue cheese, rosemary, garlic, and a hot grill. Merlot’s mad for this meal.

Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Blue Cheese-Chive Butter

Photo by SunnyByrd

2. Mediterranean Lamb Burgers

Why it works: Say yes to Merlot and burgers in general. By the same token, give the nod to Merlot and lamb in general. And to lamb burgers specifically? Yes, the answer is yes.

Mediterranean Lamb Burgers

Photo by Michaelc

3. Roast Chicken with Thyme and Onions

Why it works: Wait, roast chicken with white, right? Well, ok, maybe. But no, go Merlot here. It's a matter of preference, obviously. But if you typically prefer to drink red with dinner, a simple, basic roast chicken with herbs goes really well with Merlot.

Roast Chicken with Thyme and Onions

Photo by SunnyByrd

4. Tennessee Meatloaf

Why it works: Apparently, they know how to make meatloaf in Tennessee. This one is billed as “the most delicious meatloaf in the state.” Believe it. It boasts a holy trinity of Merlot-loving meats: ground beef, pork, and veal. The glaze will amaze with a nice plummy Merlot.

Tennessee Meatloaf

Photo by naples34102

5. Roasted Pork Loin

Why it works: This easy-to-prepare roasted pork loin is rubbed with a rosemary and garlic paste. And the rich wine-reduction sauce has depth, which Merlot can really latch onto. Pro Tip: Use the wine you're drinking with dinner for the reduction sauce.

Roasted Pork Loin

Photo by tsgma

6. Make-Ahead Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Why it works: Beef stew is a genius match for Merlot. And of all the beef stews that pair great, this one made the list because it’s a wonderful, make-ahead meal that cooks all day. At dinner, a soft, luscious Merlot will step right up to it and be all, "You and me, it's on!"

Make-Ahead Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Photo by abapplez


Related: The Best Recipes to Pair with Zinfandel


7. Veal Chop with Portabello Mushrooms

Why it works: I know I’ve hit upon a great pairing when I stop just shoveling it in. I slow way down, and start lingering, giving every bite, every sip a few extra beats. This is one of those pairings. A classic. Use the Merlot you’ll be drinking with dinner in the reduction sauce. If you don't eat veal, a pork chop would also go for the glory.

Veal Chop with Portabello Mushrooms

Photo by naples34102

8. Shepherd's Pie VI

Why it works: Meat and potatoes, they're always a winner with Merlot. Cook them in a casserole with some veggies and melty Cheddar, and Merlot is in it for the big win.

Shepherd's Pie VI

Photo by Allrecipes Magazine

9. Pan-Seared Duck Breast with Blueberry Sauce

Why it works: Merlot loves duck. And the feeling is mutual. Roast duck, grilled duck, duck with fruit sauce -- they’re all mad for Merlot. This recipe is one to break out on Valentine’s Day or when special guests are coming over and you want to cover yourself in glory. Too worky? This super-simple roasted duck would also be magnificent with Merlot.

Pan-Seared Duck Breast

Photo by SushineWheat

10. Hamburger Steak with Onions and Gravy

Why it works: A great pairing doesn't need to be fancy. These simple ground beef steaks are served with a yummy, meaty gravy. With mashers and Merlot, a typical weeknight meal is suddenly special.

Hamburger Steak with Onions and Gravy

Photo by abapplez

11. Simple Grilled Lamb Chops

Why it works: Pair merlot with chops on the grill and you’re guaranteed success. Lamb chops, pork chops, it doesn’t matter; if chickens had chops I’m sure they’d be great with Merlot, too.

Simple Grilled Lamb Chops

Photo by MrsAltmiller

12. Chef John’s Chicken and Mushrooms

Why it works: Another Merlot-friendly chicken recipe. And this one is a snap to make. Why does it work? The meaty mushrooms. And the simple sauce made from the roasted chicken and mushroom juices and finished off with a little butter and maybe some fresh herbs. File under No Fail.

Chef John's Chicken and Mushrooms

Photo by Chef John

13. Grilled Mushroom Swiss Burgers

Why it works: Beef, mushrooms, and Merlot are pairing up again. Do you sense a trend? Add a little melty cheese on top. Merlot would practically pour itself to pair up with this burger.

Grilled Mushroom Swiss Burgers

Photo by Baking Nana

14. Roast Leg of Lamb

Why it works: Ok, this one makes the list because sometimes you gotta go big. The rich lamb, the wine-friendly rosemary and garlic, you cannot go wrong here. Also, despite the impressive appearance, this recipe is shockingly easy.

Roast Leg of Lamb

Photo by TheBritishBaker

15. Slow Cooker Roast Beef

Why it works: Slow cooked beef in a meaty gravy, it’s the kind of pairing that Merlot lives for. Any number of slow cooked beef roasts would be tremendous. This one gets the nod because it’s just so simple. If you have 5 minutes in the morning, you’re set for a wine-friendly dinner after work. Victory.

 

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Carl Hanson

About Carl Hanson

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