The Art of Beef & Wine Pairings

Our northeast influencers are a key component in sharing the value of beef remaining part of a healthy diet. This week, the beef checkoff educated Registered Dietitians and Dietetic Interns at the Rhode Island Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics’ (RIAND) Spring Conference in Warwick, RI.

On Tuesday, May 22, the academy’s annual meeting drew nearly 100 attendees and enabled the beef checkoff to share the positive benefits of lean beef and the research behind beef’s role as a complementary food for infants and toddlers. Attendees enjoyed the Smart Start recipe collection, learning the vital nutrients beef contains to support brain development and their immune system. Sixty-seven percent of influencers polled at the booth, agreed to saying, “The positives of beef strongly outweigh the negatives.” While 33% of booth visitors polled said, “The positives of beef somewhat outweigh the negatives,” showing an overwhelmingly positive view of beef.

The afternoon sessions were kicked off with an intriguing beef cutting demonstration by Master Butcher, Kari Underly, of Range Inc., a meat marketing and education firm based in Chicago, IL. Kari is known for her significant contributions to the meat industry and was instrumental in developing and introducing important retail cuts like the Flat Iron steak and the Denver cut to market. Kari’s session, titled, Beef Value Cut Demonstration: Finding the Right Cut for Your Budget and Lifestyle, was a hit right from the, start showing the variety of economically, yet flavorful, beef cuts the RD crowd could recommend to their clients seeking a balanced diet. Ninety-five percent of session attendee’s scored Kari’s talk a 5 out 5.

Laurie Forster, a Certified Sommelier and creator of the mobile app, “The Wine Coach,” spoke on, Perfect Pairings: The Art & Science of Food & Wine Pairing. As more consumers make wine part of a healthy dinner they are also looking for advice on food and wine pairings. Laurie’s talk helped attendees interactively discover how wine reacts with common food components like salt, acids, and fats, to create perfect food pairings. Ninety-nine percent of those attending Laurie’s session felt it was informative to their work or practice.  

Following those sessions, the beef checkoff surveyed a nineteen percent change towards having a positive perception of beef. “It is exciting to see such a notable change to how beef is perceived with these influencer groups,” noted Jennifer Orr, Director of Nutrition Education with the Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative (NEBPI). “We feel when influencers learn to enjoy the art of beef, through educational culinary events such as this, they are more likely to recommend it to their clients,” Orr proceeds to note. Staff also noticed a nine percent increase in those who are more likely to recommend beef three or more times per week.

To accompany both the beef cutting demo and wine educational session, the beef checkoff sponsored a Beef & Wine Sampling Reception where attendees could put their new knowledge to work! Thanks to The Savory Grape, one of Rhode Island’s premier wine shops, attendees used Laurie’s wine tasting tips to enjoy the beverage and beef pairings we lined up for them that evening. Reception appetizers included Grilled Sirloin Crostini with Wasabi Sour Cream, Mini Beef Tacos with Citrus Salsa and Inside Out Grilled Steak Salad.

Colorado Beef Council Board of Director, Lily Edwards-Callaway, attended alongside staff at the event commenting, “It was a pretty unique opportunity to travel to Rhode Island (actually my home state) from Colorado to participate in the RIAND event, as a member of the Colorado Beef Council. I think the work that NEBPI is doing to engage these groups of influencers is critical and fun – getting to watch a Master Butcher work with cuts of beef is unique, exciting and helpful way to engage people about beef!” Sponsorship of this event was made possible by the South Dakota and Colorado Beef Councils.

For more information about this event, visit the NEBPI’s Facebook page. For more information about your beef checkoff investment, visit

Media Contact: Jennifer Orr;


The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States may retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.

Internal links within this document are funded and maintained by the Beef Checkoff.  All other outgoing links are to websites maintained by third parties

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The beef checkoff increases beef demand through promotion, research and new product development, and a variety of other marketing tools.