There’s No Shortage of Pairing Partners for Prime Rib


The Lawry’s chain has built a restaurant empire based primarily on one succulent dish: prime rib.

As noted on the company’s website, “When Lawry’s The Prime Rib opened in Beverly Hills in 1938, no one had ever seen anything like it: a restaurant featuring a single entrée — perfectly roasted prime rib — carved tableside and served from magnificent Art Deco-style carts.”

Since then, the company has grown into an international dining powerhouse with multiple restaurant brands, including The Tam O’Shanter and Five Crowns.

As the story goes, the prime rib we enjoy today originated during an English Christmas holiday. Served for the family, and slow-cooked all day, it was the centerpiece of a family celebration.

Now, it’s a dish worthy of a special bottle of wine. Fortunately, there are several options — and that list expands when a popular topping for prime rib, horseradish, is added to the equation.

First, a few wines to try when the prime rib is served sans horseradish…

• Grenache-based blends from France’s southern Rhone — in particular, Gigondas.

• Syrah from the United States, especially Washington state, or any rendition made by one of America’s “Rhone Rangers.”

• Mourvedre, a variety without overbearing tannin and that typically is not heavily oaked.

• A Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, which often exhibits savory notes of dried herbs that complement the meat nicely.

• A well-aged California Zinfandel. The aging process helps tame the in-your-face fruitfulness typical of younger Zins, resulting in a more elegant, almost-Bordeaux-like drinking experience.

• Gamay from the Loire appellation of France — a wine with abundant acidity to help cut the fat of the meat.

If you prefer prime rib with creamy and spicy horseradish, opt for one of these wines:

• A full-bodied Riesling — not a bone-dry rendition, but one with some residual sugar. Look for designations such as “Spatlese” or “Auslese” on the label.

• Brunello di Montalcino, a fruit-forward wine from Italy that will help cut the heat of the horseradish.

As with all dishes, the wine should be matched to the dominant flavor of the food. When horseradish is added to prime rib, horseradish becomes the wine-pairing partner.

Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes
One comment on “There’s No Shortage of Pairing Partners for Prime Rib
  1. […] What wine to serve? That depends on the preparation. For a few suggestions, click here. […]

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