Perfect reds that add relish to a burger, make a steak sizzle and… Raise a toast to the roast

The Great British Beef Week starts tomorrow – St George’s Day – and I’m thrilled to shout about some mighty reds to pair with our home-raised haunches. While it is possible to find all-rounders, it does help to think about which bit of cut or style of beef you’re going to be serving when selecting the wine.

I’d love to be celebrating some British reds here, but they tend to lack the requisite welly to match up to our magnificent beasts.

You might think that Malbec from Argentina is a great all-rounder but, actually, when you take into consideration all the various beefy beauties, from burgers to cottage pie, fillet to beef Wellington, a lighter red tends to be a better bet. A red such as a Beaujolais Cru or a South African Cinsault is ideal. The time to break out the mighty Malbec is alongside the heartiest steak – preferably in a portion size fit for a T-Rex. But if you’re serving a juicy fillet, something more elegant like a Pinot Noir works surprisingly well – that softer texture of the meat calls for something more silky.

I’ve also enjoyed juicy Grenache as well as good old Aussie Shiraz with burgers, especially when they are laden with condiments and garnishes. But I do remember when the producer of my drinks podcast A Glass With… smuggled a bottle of Pontet-Canet 2010 into the In-N-Out Burger on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, which was, it has to be admitted, outrageously delicious. I’d just interviewed Pink, who gave us the bottle, but in truth these iconic Bordeaux reds are the absolute peak when it comes to roaring roast beef. The trouble is they cost plenty – in this case, a Pontet-Canet 2010 could set you back about £192 per bottle.

Happily, there are options from other countries whose prices trail below their quality – I’m thinking in particular here of Portuguese reds by producers such as Julia Kemper, Wine & Soul and Esporão. And if this year brings us a heatwave at home, we may yet be sipping those English reds in future Great British Beef Weeks.