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What Wine Goes With Steak? Pairing Guide 

What Wine Goes With Steak? Pairing Guide 

If you truly want to enjoy steak, serve it with a glass of wine. The wine will enhance the steak-eating experience. However, some wines can ruin the steak-eating experience, so you have to choose your wine pairings carefully. 

Why is Red Wine Good With Steak?

Every wine lover knows red wine pairs well with steak. However, most people are unaware of why red wine pairs so well with steak. 

Red wine contains a lot of tannins. Tannins are derived from grape skins, grape seeds, and the oak barrels used to age the wine.

The steak’s protein interacts with the tannins creating the perfect flavor. In short, the tannins soften the fat within the steak, which helps make it more flavorful. 

Tips For Choosing Wine and Steak Pairings 

When it comes to wine pairings for steak, you must first consider the type of steak, seasoning, and cooking method. 

For example, grilled ribeye steak will have a smoky char flavor that is better paired with full-bodied wines, including Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. 

Some cuts of steak are leaner than others. For example, tenderloin contains little to no fat. It is usually served seared or roasted, so its delicate flavor can be easily overwhelmed. Therefore it is best paired with Sangiovese or Beaujolais. 

Fattier cuts like Tomahawk, porterhouse, and ribeye are better suited to bolder wines like Pinot Noir. 

What Wine Pairs With Steak?

Each cut of steak has a wine pairing. The important thing is to pair the steak with a wine that accentuates the meat. These wines will enhance the beef’s flavor without overpowering its robust beefy flavor. 

Cabernet

Cabernet is a crowd-pleasing pairing for steak. There are many types of Cabernets, but they all have balanced flavors that are perfect for new wine drinkers.

Cabernet wines have high levels of acidity to cut through fatty cuts of beef like ribeye. It provides a refreshing, tangy flavor that cleanses the palette. 

Even though Cabernet grapes are cultivated worldwide, imported wine doesn’t necessarily mean high-quality Cabernet. There may be local, high-quality Cabernet wines in your area.

Nevertheless, French, Napa Valley, and Chilean Cabernet are excellent choices for steak. 

Champagne

Champagne is best for leaner cuts of steak. Sirloin tip, top sirloin, eye of round, and chuck steak are perfect with Champagne. Choose a medium-bodied Champagne with high acidity. The acidity will cut through the meat’s chewy texture. 

Riesling

Dry German Riesling works well with fattier cuts of steak such as porterhouse, Tomahawk, New York Strip, ribeye, and T-bone steak. Dry Riesling has a nutty, complex flavor that can stand up to the robust texture of the steak. 

Bordeaux

Bordeaux is easily one of the world’s most famous red wines. It is a blended French red wine made from merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. 

Bordeaux is named after the French province it is produced in. It has a medium to full-bodied viscosity.

Bordeaux has a complex combination of flavors. The flavor profile includes cedar, violet, plum, and black currant. The dominant flavors are fruity, but the secondary flavors are licorice, spice, and chocolate. 

Leaner steaks, such as flank or sirloin steak, are better for light-bodied Bordeaux produced from Merlot grapes. 

In contrast, Bordeaux wines produced from larger percentages of Bordeaux wines are better with fatty cuts like ribeye. 

To have the best steak experience, decant the Bordeaux wine for 20-30 minutes. Serve the Bordeaux wine at a temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Zinfandel

Zinfandel is perfect if you enjoy sweeter wines instead of acidic ones. 

Acidic wines can be filled with bitter, dense tannins. However, Zinfandel grapes have a high sugar profile. 

The final Zinfandel wine will have a 15% or higher alcohol, yielding a wine with a sweeter wine. 

Nevertheless, if you choose Zinfandel wine, do not serve it with steak that has a sweet glaze. The sweetness of the Zinfandel will overpower the steak’s flavor. 

It’s best to pair the Zinfandel with steak that has a spicy citrus flavor like Carne Asada. The Zinfandel will balance out the spicy tart flavor and cleanse the palette after every bite. 

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a mild red wine with low tannic activity. However, it works perfectly with steak due to its high acidity. Pinot Noir is best for lean cuts like the beloved filet mignon. Malbec%

Malbec is a robust red wine with a rich color and flavor content. Although Malbec is a tannic wine, it does not have an oak aroma or flavor. Malbec has a fruity profile with subtle notes of citrus and cherry. 

Malbec is an excellent choice for leaner cuts of steak like flank steak. Technically, you can enjoy Malbec with fattier cuts like a Porterhouse steak. However, Malbec’s richness may overpower the steak’s flavor. 

French, Californian, and Argentinian Malbec are the best options for steak. 

Chardonnay 

If you do not like red wine, Chardonnay is one of the best red wine pairings for steak. Chardonnay has a bright acidity that cuts through the fattiness of rich cuts of steak. 

Chardonnay pairs well with most cuts of steak, but Chardonnay pairs particularly well with filet mignon. 

Syrah

Syrah is the perfect wine for fatty cuts of beef. Ribeye steaks and other fatty cuts need a fuller, more potent wine to balance out the rich flavor of the meat. 

Syrah’s flavor can be influenced by the region the grapes are grown in. For example, moderate climate regions like the Rhone Valley produce Syrah with spicy notes and high acidity and tannins. 

In contrast, hotter climates such as Australia produce full-bodied Syrah with a fruity flavor and soft tannins. 

Aged Syrah can also be paired with steak. Older Syrah wine has earthy flavors, which balance out the other fruity, spicy flavors in the wine. 

Overall. Syrah is an excellent wine for fatty cuts of beef. 

Final Thoughts

Steak and wine go hand in hand. So, fire up your grill, cook a steak, and enjoy it with a glass of wine.