Beef Jerky Wine Pairing: An Expert Guide

  • by T.O. Trapper
  • 3 min read

Beef jerky was born on the frontier. The snack we all love was first invented by people surviving in tough situations where food was limited and difficult to store. As a result, beef jerky has a reputation for being unsophisticated food. However, I’m here to tell you that nothing is further from the truth. 

In reality, beef jerky can be incredibly sophisticated, especially when combined with a glass of fine wine. Fortunately, this Old Trapper was born and bred in the Pacific Northwest, making me both a jerky and a wine expert. With that in mind, I’m sharing my customized beef jerky wine pairing guide for each of my signature beef jerky flavors.  

Old Fashioned Beef Jerky

I made my reputation thanks to the success of my flagship flavor. Pick myOld Fashioned Beef Jerky when you want an uncompromising and reliable snack. 

Flavor Profile

Old Trapper Old Fashioned beef jerky features complex flavor notes, including savory spices, natural wood smoke, and just a hint of sweetness. 

Ideal Wine Pairing

I recommend choosing a pinot noir for this beef jerky wine pairing, which will complement the jerky’s smokiness with a rich fruit flavor. 

Teriyaki Beef Jerky

This fan-favorite comes in a yellow bag and puts the sweetness on full display. Grab myTeriyaki Beef Jerky when you want a sweet snack that won’t come back to haunt you. 

Flavor Profile

My Teriyaki jerky features the same smoky flavor as my Old Fashioned Beef Jerky while adding the intense sweetness of traditional teriyaki sauce.  

Ideal Wine Pairing

Because my Teriyaki Beef Jerky is primarily sweet, I picked a beef jerky wine pairing that’s strong enough to stand up to such a bold profile. Grab a bottle of malbec, which features plenty of body and a robust flavor that’s more than capable of handling what the teriyaki throws at it.  

Peppered Beef Jerky

If you enjoy snacks that bite back, you won’t go wrong with myPeppered Beef Jerky. This snack isn’t spicy, but it does feature the smoky heat of black pepper that builds and builds until you’re experiencing an enjoyable kick of heat. 

Flavor Profile

Old Trapper Peppered Beef Jerky hits you hard with a black pepper kick that doesn’t let up. However, that heat does get cut by a subtle sweetness of brown sugar.

Ideal Wine Pairing

Here, I chose a medium-bodied syrah as the perfect beef jerky wine pairing. With notes of fruit, licorice, and leather, this varietal will ideally complement the added smokiness of my black pepper beef jerky.  

Hot & Spicy Beef Jerky

The sharp spice of red pepper flakes makes myHot & Spicy Beef Jerky a favorite for people who like food that makes them perspire. 

Flavor Profile

Hot & Spicy beef jerky features the sharp acidity of red peppers alongside the subtle sweetness of brown sugar, making it one of the most complex beef jerky varieties. 

Ideal Wine Pairing

For my final beef jerky wine pairing, I’m choosing a cabernet sauvignon. This full-bodied wine is a classic which will stand up well to the intense flavor of the hot and spicy. If you’re looking for a change of pace from the reds, you could also reach for a pinot grigio that will reverse the beef jerky’s heat with its cool crispness.

A Beef Jerky Wine Pairing Guide to Elevate Your Snack Expectations

Just because a snack has a humble history doesn’t mean it can’t be sophisticated. My beef jerky is proof of that. So the next time you get hungry and reach for a bag, don’t forget to grab a wine glass. You’ll be amazed at how much more delicious your beef jerky becomes.