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Wine Pairing With Ribs : How To Dine-In, In Style

Saucy ribs

Prepping for a summer BBQ or a hearty winter meal? Regardless of the season, ribs are always a great idea! To be sure, loved by many for their meaty and juicy texture as well as their deliciously savoury taste, ribs are some of our best sellers at La Boucherie. Certainly, a mouth-watering rack of ribs is close to perfection all on its own but, pairing it with a fine glass of wine, can enhance the flavours of the meat and add to its appeal.

The ideal wine pairing with ribs depends on the type of ribs you’ve cooked as well as the sauces and spices incorporated. Understandably, for wine lovers who lack expert sommelier knowledge, picking the right wine and ribs duo can be a confusing task. Fret not, to help our dedicated home-cooks create a scrumptious gourmet meal that is worthy of any fine dining restaurant, we’ve curated a list of ideal wine and ribs pairings. From spicy pork ribs to braised beef short ribs, we’ve picked a bottle of wine that will perfectly balance out each dish and elevate your at-home dining experience.

Saucy ribs

Types of Ribs: Beef vs Pork

Picking the right wine to pair with your delicious ribs depends on two main components: the type of ribs you’re serving and your choice of seasoning. Being such a crucial variant, before getting to our wine and ribs pairing, we’re going to start off by looking at the different types of ribs you can cook and their main attributes!

Pork Ribs

Pork ribs are loved for their juiciness and incredible flavour. When choosing your rack of pork ribs, you can choose from 4 main types:

  • Spare ribs: Perhaps the most popular of all ribs, spare ribs are taken from the bottom of the pig’s rib cage from the belly. The result is a long rack of ribs which is juicy and deliciously meaty.
  • Baby back ribs: Similar to spare ribs but taken from the part of the ribs that joins the spine, baby back ribs are lower in fat, moderately meaty and can be long as well as short.
  • St. Louis-style ribs: This variation on spareribs is served with the rib tips removed. This results in a rack that is longer than baby back ribs, and necessarily shorter than full spare ribs.
  • Country-style ribs. Technically not ribs, country-style ribs are cut from the front of the baby’s back ribs, near the shoulders and refer to pork chops on the bone.

Beef Ribs

When cooked well, beef ribs can be just as juicy and tender as pork ribs. These are the 3 main types of beef ribs cuts you can cook with:

  • Chuck Short Ribs. Often the most common type of beef ribs you can purchase, these ribs come from underneath the cow’s chuck area. They are loved for being flavourful, meaty and having a juicy fat content.
  • Plate Short Ribs. Consisting of the lower part of the cow’s ribcage, which is near the breastbone and towards the belly, plate short ribs are the meatiest type of beef ribs.
  • Flanken-style Ribs. Despite originating from the same area as short ribs, flanken-style ribs are cut differently. Cut parallel to the bone, these ribs are 4 to 6 inches long and feature a portion of the rib bone which is lusciously surrounded by meat.
  • Baby back beef ribs. Even meatier than chuck ribs, plate short ribs are large, meaty, and deliciously tender. Taken from the cow rib cage’s middle ribs and baby back beef ribs are packed full of flavour and deliciously tender.

Wine Pairing with Ribs: Our Top Duos

1.Bottega Amarone Degli Dei 2016 with Chuck Short Ribs

This award-winning red wine from Veneto, Northern Italy is one of the most popular wines from the region. Its intense red fruit and softer tannins pair beautifully with pork, veal, and poultry dishes and we love the way it complements a slow-cooked rack of beef short ribs.

Winner of the silver medal in the San Diego International Wine Competition, this 2016 Amarone is a medium-bodied vintage with medium levels of tannin and acidity. Being perfectly balanced, it won’t overpower the tender and slow-cooked flavours of your beef short ribs but will complete your meal to perfection.

2.    Barton & Gustier Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2018 with Sticky BBQ Ribs

Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a variety of wine that is cultivated in the south of France and pairs extremely well with flavourful comfort foods like BBQ Ribs. This bold and delicious red wine can overpower many foods, but sticky BBQ ribs have such an intense and complex play of flavours that it is not overshadowed by the robust nature of this wine. On the contrary, the high fat content in the meat is well-balanced out by the high level of tannins in the red wine, yielding a superbly cohesive meal.

3.    Barone Ricasoli Chianti DOCG 2019 with Pork Ribs in a Red Sauce

When pork ribs are cooked in an acidic tomato sauce you should match those undertones with a wine that also has high-acidity levels. Chianti is a medium-bodied, ruby red wine from Tuscany, Italy, that is primarily made out of Sangiovese grapes. Highly acidic, dry and yet juicy, this Chianti boasts inviting earthy and cherry flavours that beautifully pair with juicy pork ribs in a flavourful red sauce.

4.    Beni di Batasiolo Barolo DOCG 2016 with Plate Short Ribs

Produced by the Italian winery Beni di Batasiolo from the Piemonte region, Barolo wines are known for their bright ruby colours and “tar and roses” aroma. Full-bodied with firm tannins and elevated acidity, this 2016 Barolo is perfect for braising short ribs or to accompany a dish of braised plate short ribs. The bold, earthy quality of its flavour makes it wonderful with the powerful savoury taste of beef ribs and, by harbouring notes of dark fruit and chocolate, a glass of Barolo can beautifully seal off the meal with an unbeatable honeyed finish.

5. B&G Sancerre Passeport Label 2019 with Spicy Spareribs

When it comes to spicy spareribs, we recommend picking a refreshingly sweet white wine. This well-balanced white wine originates from the area of Sancerre, France and boasts profound citrus and pineapple scents that are finished off with delicious mineral notes. The sweetness of this wine balances out the heat of the sauce and allows the earthy flavours of the peppers to shine through the spice.

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