The Best Wine Pairings With Steak

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For the foodies and budding wine connoisseurs, having eaten a steak recently, you may have found that the wine pairing you opted for, whether red or white, didn’t compliment your steak as well as you’d hoped. To get the best out of your meal and enjoy your wine, it’s essential to brush up on the ins and out of what wine works best with steak. Making an effort to learn about the best pairings for wine from experts like Vino Del Vida and meat is a sophisticated charm you can use at the dinner parties you throw or on a romantic date that you want to impress. There are a couple of areas to look at when considering which wine shall work best with your steak, so let’s start with the cut of the meat, followed by how you like your steak cooked and then, of course, the sauce you tend to choose with your meat.

The Cut Of The Meat  

To create an almost perfect match of wine and steak, you need to look at the color of the meat. So, for instance, if the meat is leaner, the red wine you choose can be lighter in color than your chosen meat. However, for a rich cut of steak, a coupling with a wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon may be a good option. Here are some of the best wine recommendations for different cuts of meat:

Prime Rib – Merlot, Red Burgundy, Pinot Noir

Sirloin- Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Red Bordeaux, Chianti

Tbone – Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Bordeaux, Chianti Classico, Merlot

Picture by Viktor Nikolaienko

In light of the above, there are other areas you need to consider also. Such as how well you like your red meat cooked, if at all.

The Cook Of The Meat 

For a delicious steak dish, the cook of the meat plays a role in what wine will work best. If for instance, you like to order your steak rare, this is thought to reduce the tannin (the part that makes wine taste dry) in the wine. So if you pair your meal with a Malbec or Saiughvion Blanc, a rare steak will make it your wine taste less dry than it really is. If however, steak well done is better suited to your taste buds, it would be wise to pair your dish with a wine that has a sweet, fruity taste. The Stellenbosch cabernet sauvignon or Napa Valley Cabernet or similar are recommended options for you to consider for a well-cooked steak.

Your Chosen Sauce

Chances are you are one for coupling your meat with sauce to add that extra flavor and texture you crave. However, the sauce does, in fact, play a role in consideration of what wine you should choose also.

If you make red wine sauce yourself from scratch to pair up with your steak, consider sourcing a wine that is of better quality than the one you are cooking with to drink with your meal. The wine for drinking should be able to stand up to the flavors of the cooked wine sauce and not be drowned out by its flavor. However, if your go-to sauce is peppercorn, search for a wine to couple with your dish that isn’t too high in alcohol or oaky in taste. The reason being, oaky and alcoholic wines shall make each bite of your steak and sauce a bit too spicy (unless you like that of course, then go ahead!). A good wine suggestion for peppercorn sauce is a bottle from Rhone Valley or a Languedoc red so that you can reap the flavors without any unpleasant surprises while eating.

The cut, color, preparation, the degree your meat is cooked to and the sauce it is served with are all parts you should consider when deciding what wine is the best companion to your steak. Overall, a bottle of full-bodied red wine with tannins that savor the succulent, delicious taste of steak is usually the typical go-to wine, but as you can see from above, there are a lot more components to consider to get the taste just right. However, you might like to know that white wine can also be coupled with steak too! Providing it competes with the robust characteristics of red. In most scenarios with dining out or cooking in, it is a case of trial and error to see what works for your tastebuds and that of your guests. The guidance above gives an indication at least of what you need to look out for in your wine and steak to lead you in the right direction.

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