Malbec is Argentina’s big, bold red wine grape. It’s also known and grown in France, South Africa, Chile, Australia, and the U.S. What’s the best Malbec food pairing? Steak is the most famed, and there are a number of other stellar choices beyond this. While we’re discussing it, is there such a thing as a best Malbec snack pairing? Of course there is.
Malbec Appetizer Pairing
Let’s first tackle the finger foods:
Steak bites are an obvious pairing when it comes to finger food. These are lean, simple, easy to prepare, and delicious. Steak brings out the best in Malbec’s thick, berry flavors.
Salmon tartare is another superb choice. It usually mixes soy sauce, mirin, and cilantro together with salmon. It’s easy to prepare and goes well with the wine’s silky texture.
Lamb meatballs are a particularly good pairing. Not all wines hold up to lamb, but Malbec has a strong flavor and texture that goes well.
Spanish tapas are a good choice, particularly when chorizo is involved. The spicy meat sets off the wine’s blackberry aroma, fruit-heavy taste, and unique mouthfeel.
Snacks Inspired by Sides & Mains
You’ll notice everything so far involves meat. Malbec is an ideal pairing with red meats and many seafoods (swordfish, halibut, salmon, shrimp), but it also goes well with spice, and many vegetarian or vegan options. Let’s start there:
Potato dishes are delectable with Malbec by their side. This goes for tartiflette, potato skins, french fries, baked potatoes…if it has potato in it, it goes with Malbec. The cheesier and oiler the better. Many red wines don’t pair well with cream flavors, but Malbec is an exception. Oils can help the dish complement Malbec’s strong tannins. A little bit of blackening depending on the dish can bring out Malbec’s leathery sumptuousness.
Stuffed peppers are another great vegetarian/vegan option. Wild rice or spanish rice paired with mushrooms makes a good filling.
Burgers bring us back to meat dishes and there’s almost no way to go wrong pairing them with Malbec. Make a blue cheese burger for an intense pairing, a jalapeno bison burger for an awe-inspiring mouthfeel, or an elk burger to set off its juiciness well. And make them slider-sized for easy snacking!
Savory smoked duck is a superb choice. Malbec tends to favor the dark meat on poultry, and duck is oilier than most. That makes it a good malbec choice and the smoking process adds a thicker, more textured flavor that capitalizes on this.
Malbec Cheese Pairing
Malbec has a unique knack with blue cheese. Most other wine and cheese pairings can’t begin to approach their unique relationship. While you can eat blue cheese on its own or on crackers, it really brings out the best of the wine and the cheese when there’s some meat involved, too.
To fill out the cheese plate when drinking Malbec, aim for particularly aged cheddars or smoked varieties of cheddar or gouda. Something with a little sweetness, such as maple smoked cheddar will really stand out.
Yum! Try one (or all!) of these Malbec snack pairing options.