Prime Rib is a tender cut of beef from the area behind the shoulder known as the primal rib. It was also called Standing Rib and became famous as Sunday roast during the industrial revolution in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, USA, Australia, and New Zealand.
Prime Rib is roasted tender and juicy and served with Yorkshire pudding in England and elsewhere now but also because there is usually gravy to go on the slices of Prime Rib. You can also serve mashed potatoes and the Yorkshire pudding itself. It’s a delicious meal that brought many families together after church for Sunday roast.
Many red wines will pair well with prime rib because it is beef a dense animal protein which needs tannins to break down the proteins, but prime rib is tender so it can marry nicely with a range of red wines.
A Bordeaux blend with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet France, Petit Verdot and Malbec will be a beautiful accompaniment, and any on their own will pair nicely too. There is some savoury notes in the wine and roasts typically have some savoury herbs in the roasting pan with it. Also pan drippings are often turned into gravy and they have beautiful savoury flavours.
I would also say that a nice Pinot Noir could pair nicely as well since prime rib is a tender cut.
A GSM blend which is the Chateauneuf du Pape grapes, Grenache, Syrah and Mouvedre would all go well too. If you serve with mashed potatoes and roast vegetables it just rounds out the dish even more with colour and excitement for the palate. The showstopper, however, is the roast beef and gravy. The peppery notes in a Syrah would highlight any pepper or peppercorn seasoning. Spanish Tempranillo and Italian Sangiovese will also work here.
My conclusion is that a classic deserves a classic and therefore a Bordeaux Blend is the best match and just remember the English loved the Claret wines from France which were probably a regular addition to family Sunday roasts. Have fun experimenting. Enjoy!
Katherine McEachnie, DipWSET