Baco Noir and Food Pairings

Baco Noir is a wine that is pretty much exclusive to the soils of North America. It is not a popular wine, as it is a bit of a conundrum. If you look at it, it’s extremely aromatic, and dark, thus you’d expect something rich and complex. Instead, it’s a fruity mid-bodied wine that’s highly acidic and low in tannin. It also has a bit of smoke to it, and some find it a bit sour, but it depends on the style. Due to its uniqueness, people often compare it with a rustic Italian wine or an earthy Pinot Noir. Heck, as a wine sommelier, I often did blind pairings with meals, and many a wine enthusiast was convinced the Baco Noir was a Burgundy!


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Baco Noir does barbecued meats very well. However, you don’t want to pair it with expensive cuts of meat, like steak or anything you’d cook rare or medium. Instead you want foods that are cooked all the way through, and almost charred, like burgers, or ribs. Due to the low tannin in the wine, the less fat that is cooked out of the meat, the more this fruity wine is going to complement it. The fruitiness of the wine would also go well with grilled lamb kebabs.

Because of its high acidity, Baco Noir wine does tomato sauce based dishes well too. Any sort of rich meaty tomato-based sauce spread upon grilled meats, or part of a hearty pasta dish. For a true Baco Noir treat, serve it with homemade pizzas that are heavy on the tomato sauce and pepperoni.

Venison Burgers and Baco Noir

Our top choice with Baco Noir is a Venison Burger. Venison is a earthy and smokey meat and the earthy and smokey nature of Baco Noir complements it perfectly. Why we recommend it with a burger is due to the variety of toppings you can add. The acidity in Baco Noir can cut through rich toppings like cheese, fried egg, or bacon, as well as hold up to acidic toppings like freshly cut tomato.

Pepperoni Pizza and Baco Noir

Baco Noir is an acidic read wine that loves tomato sauce. The acidity is also perfect for cutting through the fatty texture of Pepperoni, as well as the gooey cheese.

Personally, I love Baco Noir with a homemade pepperoni, where I cook the pepperoni so they get nice and crispy and curl up, cupping the rendered pepperoni fat. The smoky flavour of the Baco Noir complements the crispy and spicy pepperoni, while the bold fruity flavour is refreshing against the texture of the fat.

Poutine & Baco Noir

With Baco Noir being such a fruity and acidic red you’ll find the acidity your best friend as it wipes all the delicious, but tastebud-clogging, fat clear from your mouth. The smokey and earthy spice flavours complement the rich gravy, as well as the earthy components of the potato.

Baco Noir Tasting Notes

There are a lot of great Baco Noirs out there, however two consistent ones are Henry of Pelham Baco Noir and Sanbanks, both of which you’ll find in any LCBO.

Henry of Pelham Baco Noir Tasting Notes

Tasting notes will vary from year to year, but typically you’ll find this red wine has a full-bodied black cherry flavour and a long smokey finish. The winery suggests pairing this delightful red with aged cheddar, beef with horseradish, and perhaps most interesting, strawberries with black pepper.

Sandbanks Baco Noir Tasting Notes

This full-bodied wine has intense plum & wild cherry flavours with notes of toasted oak. Read our review of Sandbanks Pinot Noir and what foods to pair it with.
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