Wine & Asian Food

Beef Bulgogi with Cabernet Merlot

Beef bulgogi is a fiery Asian dish that packs quite a punch in its layers. Its authentic Korean flavour is unparalleled and it is definite must-eat when you’re dining in an Asian restaurant.

Something that’s important while feasting on a plate of beef bulgogi is the drink that’s placed on its side. It cannot be just any wine. Asian Inspirations helps you out with the pairing.

Here is a simple recipe for Beef Bulgogi, and the perfect wine to go with it.

Beef Bulgogi with Cabernet Merlot


1 packet Obap Korean BBQ Marinade
500g Sliced beef steak
150g Sliced onion
1-2 tbsp Vegetable oil


1. Marinte beef and onions with 1 packet Obap Korean BBQ Marinade, for at least 20 minutes.
2. Pre-heat a BBQ griller and grill the marinated ingredients until cooked.
3. Serve hot with rice, lettuce or salad.

Cabernet Merlot

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of Australia’s great red wine varieties and is widely grown all over the country. A truly flexible variety, it flourishes in a variety of climates such as the maritime climate of Margaret River or the warm soils of Coonawarra. They are typically rich reds with intense black fruit flavours and oak to match, plus firm tannins that help with ageing. Merlot’s popularity has risen drastically over the past few years, largely due to its easy drinking nature; its soft structure and fruit filled palate have given the variety a reputation for being a great red for white drinkers. A good Merlot will have an abundance of juicy red fruit and plum flavours, a smooth texture and soft, silky tannins. The blending of Merlot with Cabernet helps to give the wine a softer, fleshier character, which you’ll experience in the Zema Estate example from Coonawarra, a delicious bulgogi partner.

Beef bulgogi: Zema Estate Cluny Cabernet Merlot 2009

Still youthful, this wine is elegant and has intense aromas of red berries, cassis, tomato leaf and earth. The palate is seamless and has tight layers of blue and black currants with some dried and savoury fruit lines that lead to soft tannins and a smooth finish. This wine is a perfect match for the sweet, smoky and charry beef flavours in this recipe. The savoury and dried fruit flavours in the wine will accompany the sweet bulgogi marinade and the sweeter fruit elements will lift and enhance the natural beef flavours. The mouthfeel is smooth and will not overshadow any of the finer elements in the dish.

To download and read the article with Mandarin translations, please click here.


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