A SILKY, FRUITY REDThe soft, glossy texture from braising meat and vegetables for hours will be well matched by a smooth red with layers of dark, plummy fruit. Try a merlot from Washington; these tend to have great depth of fruit without sacrificing structure. Merlot's rich cassis and plum flavors are lovely companions for pot roast's beefy intensity. Bacchus Vineyard, House of Independent Producers (HIP) Merlot, 2012 ($15)

A LIGHT AND JUICY REDA vibrant red with good acidity brings delicious zip to the mellow, homey flavors and gentle texture of beef pot roast. Barbera from Italy's Piedmont region combines bright acidity with ripe berry fruit, a refreshing contrast to the beef's tenderness. Its heady perfume also connects with the savory aromas of thyme and bay leaf. Fontanafredda, Barbera "Briccotondo," 2012 ($12)

OOPS! Avoid white wines and rosés, which will be overpowered by pot roast's beefy richness.

--by Jordan Mackay