- Pinot Noir
- Côtes du Rhône
- English Brown Ale
When we think of baked beans, we think of navy beans slow-cooked in a rich Tomato Sauce. The flavour is somewhat earthy but tangy, and a perfect match would be a Zinfandel. Zinfandel are a little tangy themselves, and the tanginess of the food and the wine cancels each other out, allowing the rich flavours of the beans and wine to shine. Primitivo, the Italian version of Zinfandel (same grape, different style), offers a more restrained pairing to baked beans.
The same ‘tangyness’ principle applies to a Cabernet Franc.
Now if the Baked Beans lean more towards a BBQ flavour than Tomato Sauce, Zinfandel is still your wine of choice. A Zinfandel is somewhat sweet and can handle the strong, yet sweet flavours of a BBQ sauce exceptionally well. If the sauce is exceptionally sweet, aim for an off-dry white Zinfandel instead.
Another lovely choice is a red Côtes du Rhône that is Grenache-based. Côtes du Rhône is a medium-bodied red that is not too high in tannin so it will not clash with any tomato sauce in the baked beans. On top of its lightly fruity body, It also has an earthy backdrop that complements the dense bean flavours in a baked bean dish.
Finally, if the Baked Beans are done ‘Boston Baked Bean’ style, (which means they were slow-cooked in Molasses) Our pick would be a bright but earthy Pinot Noir to bring out the best in both the Beans and the wine.
If this style of beans happen to have Bacon mixed in as well, you will have a heavenly match!
Beer & Baked Beans
With Baked Beans, most beers work, however English Brown Ales, and American Brown Ales highlight the molasses flavour you find in slow-cooked baked beans. A Doppelbock, which is essentially a strong and malty German Lager, will complement the richness of your baked beans quite nicely as well.