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What Wine to Drink with Chili?

Updated: May 19, 2020

Bowl of Chili

As the weather cools down we start shifting to hearty, tummy-warming meals like Chili. What wine is best to drink with Chili that’s spicy, tomato-y, meat-filled, and bean-filled? Well, we have some great pairing options that you can try this season.

Spicy Chili

The first thing to think about is the level of spicy heat in the chili. If you like super spicy chili, then wine with some residual sugar will tame the spice and tame the sweetness in the wine. They balance each other out nicely. Try a Riesling Spatlese.

Stay away from wine with high alcohol because the alcohol makes spice feel even hotter. That is unless you want a boost to your already spicy chili.

Tomato-y Chili

Next, consider the acidity from the stewed tomatoes. This high-acidity actually makes a wine seem less acidic and bitter. This means that wine with high acidity like Pinot Noir will balance the acidity in the chili.

Meat-filled Chili

Another consideration is the wonderful, fatty meat in chili. A fruity, dry Shiraz is just the answer. This is because the juicy meat coats your mouth and tannins will wash it away without drying your mouth too much (like it does when you drink a high tannin wine without food).

Champagne & Chili

The last consideration is a fun, unlikely option of Extra Dry Champagne. Extra Dry is slightly sweeter than Brut and gives that bit of residual sugar that helps to tame the spice.

Best Wine to Drink with Chili

Ultimately, the best all-around pairing for chili is a wine with high acidity, low tannin, and slight sweetness (off-dry). This will balance the spicy heat and acidic tomato base that are the hallmarks of chili.

Try any of these wines with Chili:

  • Riesling (Spatlese)

  • Pinot Noir

  • Shiraz

  • Extra Dry Champagne (slightly sweeter than Brut)

Chili Recipes

And for some chili recipe options try some of these gathered from around the web.

1) Classic Texas Chili Con Carne from Serious Eats No beans are allowed in this chili. It’s all about the chili peppers and fall apart chunks of beef.

2) Sunday Chili from Pinch of Yum This has the perfect balance of all the ingredients that make chili delicious.

3) Easy Slow Cooker Chili from Damn Delicious Classic chili aromas filling your home all day long! My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

4) Vegetarian Butternut Squash Chipotle Chili from Cookie + Kate For the vegetarians and those wanting vegetarian options, this one is for you!


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