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Beef Wellington Wine Pairing: 15 Delectable Choices

A Beef Wellington wine pairing is a feast for the senses. You can’t help but imagine that with all of those layers, textures, and flavors one would need to give full consideration to wines that complement without overwhelming this delectable dish. 

Beef Wellington is a dish consisting of a fillet of beef spread with duxelles and pâté de foie gras, wrapped in layers of puff pastry and baked. The outside layer provides a crispy finish, while the inside remains tender because the layers keep it from cooking too quickly. 

Beef Wellington is a dish that was considered “the height of English cuisine” in the early 20th century. The origin stories for this iconic meal are diverse, and most likely myths as well.

Nevertheless, the legendary dish lives on as a quintessential British dish – despite the possible French origins!

Our guide to a Beef Wellington Wine pairing will prepare you for a special celebratory meal or a fabulous date night. This is a dish that is always sure to impress!

As any foodie knows, the wine you drink with your meal can have an impact on how it tastes. Join us as we explore wines that pair well with Beef Wellington!

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Where does Beef Wellington originate?

Even the academics can’t agree on this one. There are just too many stories out there and none with sufficient evidence of origin. What’s more, England isn’t the only country claiming this famous beef recipe. 

Let’s examine what we do know:

  • England, France, Poland, Scotland, and Ireland are among the countries who claim this classic beef dish.
  • Some historians say the most credible origin story points to an English general. Beef Wellington’s namesake, Arthur Wellesley, was the Duke of Wellington and General who defeated Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo in 1815.
  • In the USA, Beef Wellington was at a chic peak in the 1960s and ‘70s. You couldn’t have a proper dinner without serving guests Beef Wellington. 
  • The Kennedy’s White House French Chef prepared “Filet de Boeuf en Croûte.”
  • Julia Child featured the recipe on her show in the mid-1960s. 
  • Nixon required his chef to serve it at every state dinner and the recipe was included in the White House cookbook.
  • The first recipe for Beef Wellington in the US appeared in 1940 in the Palmer House Cookbook, according to the Food Timeline.

What is so special about Beef Wellington?

Beef Wellington is such an iconic dish for a reason. The perfect combination of spices and meat, delicate pastry dough that wraps around it like a blanket to ensure the beef stays juicy inside until cooked just right.

Beef Wellington has had people coming back again and again since its inception centuries ago! 

Perhaps what keeps us returning is how complex this recipe can be. Famous chefs have their own signature versions with different ingredient combinations, but they’re all fantastic in their own way; there’s no wrong answer when you order Beef Wellington at your favorite restaurant or prepare it yourself from scratch. 

After one bite or carefully crafted slice through succulent layers of savory flavors bursting forth on every side, I think we’ll understand why so many are drawn to this mouthwatering dish.

What cut of meat is Beef Wellington?

A traditional dish served often during the holidays, Beef Wellington is made from a center cut of meat that’s traditionally considered to be one of the most tender and juicy – usually beef (or veal) tenderloin or filet mignon.

What do you serve with Beef Wellington?

For a side dish to complement Beef Wellington, it is best to avoid recipes with a heavy sauce. That means no cheesy potatoes, pastas, or saucy vegetables. Wellington is center stage in this meal.

We recommend staying with traditionally served sides, such as:

  • Roasted vegetables – carrots, asparagus, Brussel sprouts, herbed potatoes 
  • Delicately seasoned green beans
beef wellington wine pairing

Top Selections for a Beef Wellington Wine Pairing

There are a few guidelines to follow when choosing the perfect wine pairing. 

  • Try matching the flavor intensity between what you’re eating and drinking; this will prevent any overpowering flavors from coming through too strongly in either direction.
  • With fatty foods, choose high tannin wines that help cut through content found in sauces, meats, and cheese.

“Tannins are able to clear the mouth of fattiness and refresh the palate in between bites that may be rich in fats,” according to the academic paper The Chemistry of Matching Italian Foods with Wines. “Because of this, highly tannic wines are usually paired well with fatty foods.”

For a Beef Wellington Wine Pairing, focus on the flavors of the dish as a whole rather than the beef alone.  The key consideration in choosing a wine for Beef Wellington is to consider the spices, mushrooms, and meat.

Although some experts may recommend a full-bodied red wine for Beef Wellington, at Explore with Tess we’re suggesting slightly lighter wines. Yes the dish features tenderloin or filet mignon; however, duxelles and other flavors lead us to scaling back on the body of the wine – using medium bodied reds instead of fuller bodied ones.

Related: Go Bold and Red for an Osso Buco Wine Pairing

Beef Wellington Recipes

The Beef Wellington recipe has many variations depending on the ingredients and instructions. But no matter what variation, it is a dish that will never go out of style among foodies or at dinner parties!

Traditional Beef Wellington Recipe

Gordon Ramsay’s Beef Wellington is top on the recipe board for this classic British holiday dish.

But America’s Julia Child helped make Beef Wellington so popular that even White House chefs made it a standard dish for state dinners. Her Filet of Beef Wellington was first presented on her TV show in 1965.

Easy Beef Wellington Recipes

I’m not the world’s most patient cook. I’m always looking for shortcuts that don’t sacrifice taste. 

In my family, we’ve been using Campbell’s soup in recipes ever since I can remember! Their recipes are always delicious and easy to make.

When I saw that Campbell’s had a Beef Wellington recipe, I was intrigued. I couldn’t imagine how they were going to use a can of soup to make this dish. Turns out, they don’t. But they do offer a simple process to making a Classic Beef Wellington.

To further demystify this intimidating dish, who better to turn to than a Certified Food and Culinary Scientist

“I enjoy developing & sharing recipes in my home test kitchen where I’m able to infuse food science knowledge in every recipe,” says Jessica Gavin. “I love the challenge of creating eye-catching dishes while maintaining the quality of the product and balancing flavors.”

Jessica leaves no morsel unturned in her step-by-step guide that includes photo illustrations. If you have never prepared Beef Wellington, her recipe is the best place to start

Learn more in her book: Easy Culinary Science for Better Cooking

Beef Wellington Recipes Without Mushrooms

When you love Tex-Mex and BBQ as much as my family, it’s no surprise that we’d stumble across the incredibly popular food blog Kevin is Cooking

What was a little surprising was to find a Beef Wellington recipe. But, then again, it is meat!
I was hooked on this recipe for individual Beef Wellingtons when I saw caramelized onions! Kevin says that these are a little labor intensive, but considering an individual serving can be made ahead and frozen AND gives you an extra helping of flaky crust and extra crust – I’m hooked!

Beef Wellington Recipes for Two

Zona is a home cook who loves to downsize recipes for easy dishes for two. She also posts some larger meals that she has made with her family so other people can try them out as well! 

Her blog Zona Cooks caters to anyone who enjoys cooking no matter what their skill level may be, which makes this the perfect place if you’re looking for new ideas in your own kitchen.

Zona created a recipe for mini Beef Wellingtons perfect for a special date night. She suggests serving it with steamed broccoli and mashed potatoes.

The most successful hosts are the ones who know how to take care of their guests. If you’re looking for a way to entertain that’s stress-free, Michele has got it all figured out with her cooking and lifestyle blog West Via Midwest. She shares recipes as well as tips on hosting your social event.

Along with her detailed step-by-step instructions for a Simple Beef Wellington for Two, she shares a few tips that are sure to make everything go to plan!

Top Selections for a Beef Wellington Wine Pairing

There are a few guidelines to follow when choosing the perfect wine pairing. 

  • Try matching the flavor intensity between what you’re eating and drinking; this will prevent any overpowering flavors from coming through too strongly in either direction.
  • With fatty foods, choose high tannin wines that help cut through content found in sauces, meats, and cheese.

“Tannins are able to clear the mouth of fattiness and refresh the palate in between bites that may be rich in fats,” according to the academic paper The Chemistry of Matching Italian Foods with Wines. “Because of this, highly tannic wines are usually paired well with fatty foods.”

For a Beef Wellington Wine Pairing, focus on the flavors of the dish as a whole rather than the beef alone.  The key consideration in choosing a wine for Beef Wellington is to consider the spices, mushrooms, and meat.

Although some experts may recommend a full-bodied red wine for the Beef Wellington, we’re suggesting slightly lighter wines. Yes, this dish features tenderloin or filet mignon, but at Explore with Tess, we prefer medium bodied reds that will go best with the overall flavor profile.

Our top picks for a Beef Wellington Wine Pairing consists of:

  • Côte-Rôtie from Rhone, France
  • French Pinot Noir from the Côte de Nuits and Oregon’s Willamette Valley
  • Barolo from Piedmont, Italy
  • Bordeaux red blends from St. Emilion and Pomerol, France
  • Garnacha red blends from Spain

Côte Rôtie: The Most Elegant Selection for a Beef Wellington Wine Pairing

Nestled at the northernmost point of France’s prestigious Rhône Valley wine region, Côte Rôtie is one of the oldest and most prestigious vineyards in all of France. The steep slopes facing the river and its stone walls create a beautifully rugged landscape with rich soil for producing warm, robust red wines that are dark when they’re young but become softer and develop an excellent bouquet as they age. Syrah and Viognier grape varieties make up most acres planted on these hills bathed in sun.

Top Picks from 2 of the World’s Exceptional Pinot Noir Producing Regions 

The Côte de Nuits is a French wine region located in the northern part of the Côte d’Or, which is at the heart of Burgundy. The wines grown along this narrow strip are most famous for reds made from the Pinot Noir grape and have been called “the Champs-Elysées” due to their exceptional character.

The Willamette Valley, Oregon’s leading wine region and popular tourist destination, has two-thirds of the state’s wineries and vineyards and is home to nearly 700 wineries. It is recognized as one of the premier Pinot Noir–producing areas in the world.

Sitting on a latitude that mirrors some great wine regions, Bordeaux and Burgundy (France), this valley stretches from north Portland all the way down south of Eugene—or roughly 100 miles long and 60 miles at its widest!

Enjoy these four selections of Pinot Noir for a classic Beef Wellington Wine Pairing.

Barolo – the King of Italian Red Wines

Known as the king of wines, Barolo is a red wine from Italy’s Piedmont region. 

Throughout its history, Barolo has gone through many changes to production methods. In the 1980s, there were fierce arguments between traditionalists and modernists over how wine should be made; these disagreements became known as ‘The Barolo Wars.’

Who wouldn’t stake their claim on one of the world’s most prized wines! Many experts consider Barolo wines as some sort of holy grail for those who enjoy fine reds, and you’ll know why after tasting it for yourself!

beef wellington wine pairing
Saint Émilion, Bordeaux, France. Image by Jordy Meow from Pixabay.

4 Exquisite Bordeaux Red Blends

The wines of Saint-Émilion are typically blended from different grape varieties, the three main ones being Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon. These grapes create complex yet heady wines that will please even the most sophisticated palates with their complexity.

The vines around Saint Émilion have been there since Roman times; today it is one of Bordeaux’s largest wine appellations for production as well as a producer of some of its finest long-lived and expensive blends.

Pomerol wine producers make some of the best blends in Bordeaux because it has a distinctive terroir. In 1923, French authorities recognized Pomerol as a region apart from Saint-Émilion and its greater Libournais region. AOC status was granted to this small but exquisite area in 1936.

Our recommended wines from these regions are: 

4 Options for a Versatile Spanish Grenache

For a medium-bodied wine with tremendous balance and versatility, the Spanish Grenache makes the perfect choice for a Beef Wellington wine pairing. 

Garnacha is a grape that has been around for centuries, and it’s the third most planted red variety in Spain. 

Spanish Grenache wines are typically characterized by their vibrant color, balanced acidity, and fruitiness in taste with typical notes of raspberry, strawberry, and cherry on the finish. 

These traits make them perfect for pairing with all kinds of foods from light dishes like roasted chicken to heartier meat-based entrees to cheeses like Manchego without being too sweet or overpowering!

We’ve chosen 4 bottles of Grenache at terrific price points:

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Final Thoughts on a Beef Wellington Wine Pairing

We hope you’ve found this information insightful and helpful in your search of what wine would be perfect with Beef Wellington.

What kind of wine do you usually drink? Let us know in the comments section below.

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