What Red Wine Goes Best with Prime Rib?

Tender, juicy meat demands an indulgent glass of wine to pair with at dinner, but which red wine goes best with Prime Rib?  It’s the age-old question of which wine is best for which meat type, and the truth is it’s all down to the drinker and their individual preferences.

However, a few wines, like full-bodied reds, pair beautifully with your prime rib roast and elevate your entire dining experience.

We’ve created this in-depth guide to help you pair the best red wine that will transform your prime beef cut. We explain which full-bodied wine is a match made in heaven with prime rib and why.

Why is Red Wine the Best Beverage for Prime Rib?

Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or just a casual drinker, you’ll likely already know that red wine is one of the best things you can pair with dark red meat. With high tannin and acidity content, red wine pairs beautifully with rich and fatty meat, with acids cutting through the fat and helping to cleanse your palate, ready for the next bite.

The fruity, bold flavours of red wine provide the perfect balance to very rich meat like prime rib, and the dark fruit bursts in a bottle of Châteauneuf du Pape or a Rioja Gran Reserva bring out the tender flavours in your prime rib to elevate your culinary adventure.

You’ll usually find that red wine has hints of plum, cherry, or blackberry with some notes of spice. Paired with the dried herbs and spices in your roasted prime rib, the wine perfectly complements the savoury flavours and can add a delicate tang to your beef.

Wine should be your drink of choice over cocktails or beer when it comes to dark meat like prime rib, as other options may be a little too thin and lack the depth needed to bring out the flavour of the meat. Thanks to a low tannin and alcohol content, white wine might not be the ideal wine to pair with rib, so consider finding a delicate, medium-bodied red wine to start your red wine-drinking journey at dinnertime.

Source: Wine Online

What is Prime Rib?

Before we get into the specifics of wine, we should briefly define what prime rib is. Prime rib, also known as standing rib roast, is an increasingly popular cut of beef due to the rich and tender meat it provides.

This cut is from the cow’s back rib cage and can be anywhere between the 6th and 12th ribs. What makes this cut unique is the amount of fat content that offers a ton of flavour and moisture.

Prime-cut rib is typically butchered from a younger cow, around nine months to two years old. This produces more tender meat with lots of fat marbling, offering a more enjoyable dining experience. Marbling is what makes prime rib so compatible with red wine, as the high acidity contrasts beautifully with the heavier fat content.

The Best Wines to Pair with Prime Rib

At Wine Online, you’ll find an array of the best wines to pair with prime rib, from budget-friendly to luxurious options. Here are some of the most compatible red wines for a prime rib that you can find on our site:

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is a very popular wine to pair with prime rib, steak and other dark meat like lamb. Complex and fruity flavours in this full-bodied wine cut through high-fat content, bringing out delicate flavours.

Cabernet Sauvignon offers hints of blackberry and vanilla, which contrast effortlessly with such a savoury dish. You can rely on this stunning wine to provide the perfect palate cleanser, thanks to high acidity, alcohol and tannin levels.


Merlot is a medium-bodied wine with fewer tannins, so it may be beneficial for novice red wine drinkers looking for a good pairing with prime rib. This lighter option offers delicate spicy notes that compliment your prime rib marinate, with fruity punches of cherry and plum to bring out the flavour from the marbling.

If you struggle to drink a full glass of red wine, then a Merlot wine is a good option that provides a softer drinking experience for all parts of your meal, not just the main course.


Shiraz wine is well-known for being an accessible full-bodied wine, even for those not fans of red wine. Shiraz has a very high tannin content and offers a much more acidic taste for drinkers, meaning this is the perfect wine for cutting through any harsh marbling in your prime-cut rib.

One of the best parts about shiraz is that it’s a good sipping wine, so if you’re about to embark on a particularly long dining experience with your prime rib, this is the red wine for you.

Pinot Noir

Another light but excellent option for anyone dipping their toe into red wine drinking is a classic Pinot Noir. This popular drink offers a much more delicate tasting experience with unusual hints of raspberry that offer a welcome sharpness to pair with your savoury dish.

Much like an indulgent cut of prime rib, Pinot Noir offers a very silky experience with little in the way of acidic punches, so if you enjoy the smooth, fatty flavours of prime rib and don’t want a significant contrast taste-wise, then you’ll be sure to enjoy a glass of classic Pinot Noir!


Malbec wine is perfect for red wine drinkers looking for an indulgent yet budget-friendly bottle of wine. This wine offers a very deep flavour that’s the perfect complement for a rich dish like roasted prime rib.

Deep notes of chocolate, blackberry and plum extract the succulent meat’s flavours and let you bask in the taste rather than cleanse it. It’s the perfect middle ground between medium and full-bodied wine and pairs amazingly all elements of your dish, not just the meat.

Find Stunning Red Wines for Your Prime Rib Roast

If you’re serving prime rib at your next dinner party, you can find a stunning red wine from Wine Online to pair with your prime cut rib. We offer an incredible range of red wines, from budget-friendly house wines to indulgent and luxurious cellar-worthy red wines.

We believe in making quality red wine even more accessible for everyone in Canada. You can select a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir or Rioja with our easy-to-use selection tool. Start elevating your culinary experiences with a stunning bottle of red wine from Wine Online today.

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