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The general rule when deciding which wine with meat is to match the intensity of the flavours of the meat with the wine.  The flavour and texture of beef varies depending on the age of the animal, the cut, how long it has been hung for and how it is cooked.

Meats with more fat and a higher intensity of flavour require a fuller bodied wine with a high level of tannin which will absorb the fattiness of the meat. A barrel aged cabernet sauvignon from Australia or a full bodied Malbec from Argentina.

Steak tartare is a dish and one that has an array of textures and flavours, spicy, touch of sweetness and a high level of umami, the savoury flavour that makes some foods hard to resist. It is important to choose a wine that will not overpower the flavour. A lighter bodied red such as a Pinot Noir from the Languedoc.  Alternatively a glass of Champagne or good quality Cava will work just as well.

Young beef will not have such a range of flavours and rich texture as the meat from older animals that has been hung and matured.  Consequently the style of red wine you choose to accompany the meat will vary.   Try a young Tempranillo from Rioja or Primitivo from southern Italy will work well.

How do you like your steak cooked?  Rare meat will have more blood that will need a wine with a higher level of tannin and acidity to soak it up. A full bodied Syrah from Crozes-Hermitage is high in both tannin and acidity or an Australian Cabernet Sauvignon from Coonawarra.  If you prefer you meat well done a full bodied Garnacha from Calatayud will pair well with the caramelised flavour you get when meat is cooked for longer on charcoal.

Hamburgers and red wine make a great pairing. Depending on how the meat is seasoned you will need a medium bodied red with good acidity to cut through the fat and to match with ketchup or barbecue sauce. A mouth filling red blend of Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon, or a South African Pinotage will work.

Pairing a wine with a sauce of marinade is important.  For example a barbecue sauce has smokey and sweet flavours so I would suggest  red such as a Shiraz from South Africa or a Grenache from the Southern Rhone.

A Chimichurri sauce, requires a full bodied red with high acidity to cut through oil and flavour.  Try a Carmenere from Chile.

For a tomato based sauce you need to have a wine with a higher level of acidity to match the acidity in the tomatoes.  Italian reds pair well, Sangiovese,  Valpolicella or a Mencia from Bierzo which has a notable kick of acidity.

There are lots of choices and options to experiment with different pairings.
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I am a Northern Irishman based in Valencia. My career in wine began more than three decades ago, in London. I am the founder of TheWinePlace.es, an online store, where wine enthusiasts can enjoy a selection of international wines and Verde Marte, a company dedicated to exporting Spanish wines. Also, Thewineplace.courses, an "approved program provider" of the courses of the prestigious WSET. I share my passion for wines through my media work writing weekly columns for the Spanish newspaper El Mundo and 5 Barricas, an online wine magazine.

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