When it comes to pairing wine with steak, the possibilities are vast. This guide will help you navigate the world of wine and steak pairings, covering the best wine recommendations for various cuts of steak and answering common questions on the topic. With our steak and wine pairing guide, you'll be a master of the perfect wine for your steak dinner.
Key Factors for Steak and Wine Pairings
- Tannins: Tannins, the compounds found in grape skins, seeds, and stems, provide structure to red wines. They create a pleasant, puckering sensation in the mouth and can help balance the fattiness of prime rib. A wine with moderate to high tannins is ideal for cutting through the richness of the meat, cleansing the palate between bites.
- Acidity: Acidity is crucial for refreshing the palate and balancing the bold flavors of prime rib. A wine with moderate acidity can elevate the dish and prevent it from feeling too heavy.
- Body: The weight and texture of the wine should be able to match the meat's richness. A full-bodied wine can stand up to the intense flavors of prime rib without being overshadowed.
- Flavor profile: The wine's flavor profile should complement the prime rib's savory, meaty taste. Wines with dark fruit, spice, and earthy notes can enhance the overall dining experience.
Best Wine Pairings for Different Steak Cuts
What wine goes with filet mignon?
Filet mignon, known for its tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture and mild, delicate flavor, deserves a wine pairing that complements and enhances its unique characteristics. In this section, we will delve deeper into the ideal wine pairings for filet mignon, including our recommended Graham + Fisk's White Wine, and other options that suit this luxurious cut of beef.
Graham + Fisk's White Wine
Our California white wine blend of unoaked Chardonnay and Viognier offers a smooth, refined taste with white peach and vanilla accents. The subtle fruit flavors and aromatic qualities of this wine make it an excellent match for filet mignon. The wine's gentle, creamy notes harmonize with the steak's buttery texture, while its bright acidity adds a refreshing lift to each bite.
Pinot Noir is another popular choice for pairing with filet mignon. This lighter-bodied red wine, known for its flavors of red fruits, earthiness, and soft tannins, complements the steak's delicate taste without overpowering it. A well-crafted Pinot Noir from regions like Burgundy or Oregon can bring out the best in filet mignon, enhancing its natural flavors and adding depth to the dining experience.
Merlot, a medium-bodied red wine with flavors of black cherry, plum, and chocolate, can also work well with filet mignon. Its velvety texture and moderate tannins provide a gentle contrast to the tender steak, while its fruity and earthy notes can highlight the filet mignon's mild flavor. A Merlot from regions like Bordeaux or California's Napa Valley will be a versatile and enjoyable companion for this cut of beef.
While our unoaked Chardonnay and Viognier blend is a recommended pairing, a classic oaked Chardonnay can also be an excellent choice for filet mignon. A well-balanced Chardonnay, with flavors of green apple, citrus, and buttery notes from oak aging, complements the steak's subtle flavor and richness. The wine's bright acidity and creamy texture enhance the filet mignon's mouthfeel, creating a harmonious and indulgent pairing.
What wine goes with Prime Rib
Prime rib, also known as a standing rib roast, is a luxurious cut of beef that boasts succulent, rich flavors and a tender, juicy texture. Its marbling and generous fat content make it an excellent candidate for pairing with bold, full-bodied red wines. Let's take a closer look at the ideal wine pairings for prime rib.
Graham + Fisk’s Red Wine
The rich flavors and jammy notes of pomegranate in our California red wine blend of Merlot and Zinfandel complement the juicy, tender prime rib. The wine's round finish and mild tannin structure perfectly balance the savory, rich taste of this cut.
Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic choice for pairing with prime rib. Known for its full body, high tannin content, and dark fruit flavors, this wine stands up to the richness of the meat. The tannins in Cabernet Sauvignon help cut through the fat, while its robust flavor profile complements the beef's hearty taste. Look for Cabernets from regions like Napa Valley, Bordeaux, or Coonawarra for a particularly delightful pairing experience.
Another excellent option for prime rib is Malbec, a red wine primarily produced in Argentina, but also found in regions like France and Chile. Malbec offers a full body with moderate tannins and flavors of black fruits, plum, and often a hint of smokiness. Its rich and bold character balances the meat's fattiness and enhances the overall dining experience.
Petite Verdot, a red wine grape variety commonly used in Bordeaux blends, can also be found as a single-varietal wine. Its deep, inky color, firm tannins, and flavors of dark fruits and spice make it a suitable match for prime rib. The wine's tannic structure helps to cleanse the palate, while its intense flavors stand up to the rich taste of the meat.
What wine goes with Flank Steak
Flank steak, a relatively lean cut of beef from the abdominal muscles of the cow, is known for its robust flavor and slightly chewy texture. Due to its lower fat content compared to other cuts like prime rib or ribeye, it pairs best with medium-bodied red wines that have enough structure to complement the steak's flavor without overwhelming it. Let's delve deeper into the ideal wine pairings for flank steak.
Merlot is a versatile red wine that pairs beautifully with flank steak. Its medium body, smooth tannins, and flavors of black cherry, plum, and chocolate make it an excellent choice for balancing the meat's strong taste. Merlots from regions like Bordeaux, California, or Washington state can provide an enjoyable and harmonious pairing experience.
Zinfandel, a red wine primarily produced in California, offers a delightful combination of bold fruit flavors, moderate tannins, and a touch of spice. Its medium to full body and peppery notes make it an ideal companion for grilled or marinated flank steak. The wine's zesty character and fruity undertones help to enhance the beef's natural flavors.
Tempranillo, the signature red grape of Spain, is another suitable pairing for flank steak. This medium-bodied wine, known for its flavors of red fruits, leather, and tobacco, has enough structure and complexity to stand up to the meat's hearty taste. The wine's moderate tannins and earthy notes pair well with flank steak, particularly when prepared with savory or smoky seasonings.
Graham + Fisk’s Rosé with Bubbles
The carbonated California Rosé blend of Zinfandel and unoaked Chardonnay offers a slightly sweet, crisp taste with notes of strawberry. The refreshing bubbles and fruity flavors create a delightful contrast to the rich, meaty flavor of flank steak.
What wine goes with Ribeye
Ribeye, a highly sought-after cut of beef, is prized for its marbling, succulent flavor, and tender texture. The marbled fat within the ribeye adds richness to the meat, making it essential to select a wine that can stand up to the cut's bold flavors and juiciness. Here, we'll explore the ideal wine pairings for ribeye steak.
Syrah, also known as Shiraz, is a powerful red wine that pairs exceptionally well with ribeye. Its full body, firm tannins, and flavors of dark fruits, pepper, and spices create a harmonious balance with the steak's rich taste. Syrah's tannic structure and bold flavors are complementary to the meat, cutting through the fat and enhancing the overall dining experience. Look for Syrahs from regions like the Rhône Valley, Barossa Valley, or Walla Walla Valley for an outstanding pairing.
Cabernet Sauvignon, a classic choice for many steak pairings, is also an excellent option for ribeye. The wine's full body, high tannin content, and dark fruit flavors work well with the meat's fattiness and robust flavor profile. The tannins in Cabernet Sauvignon help to cleanse the palate, making each bite of the ribeye even more enjoyable. Consider Cabernets from Napa Valley, Bordeaux, or Maipo Valley to pair with your ribeye steak.
Graham + Fisk's Red Wine
The robust flavors of our California red wine blend of Merlot and Zinfandel, with its jammy notes of pomegranate and round finish, make it an ideal partner for the well-marbled, full-flavored ribeye. The wine's mild tannin structure cuts through the steak's fat, enhancing its taste.
Petite Sirah, a red wine grape variety primarily grown in California, is another suitable match for ribeye. Known for its deep, inky color, bold tannins, and flavors of black fruits, pepper, and licorice, Petite Sirah can stand up to the intense flavors of the steak. The wine's tannic structure and powerful flavors create a delightful contrast with the rich, marbled ribeye.
What wine goes with Tenderloin
Tenderloin, also known as filet mignon, is a highly-regarded cut of beef known for its buttery texture and mild flavor. Due to its tender nature and subtle taste, it pairs best with refined red wines that complement the steak's delicate flavors without overpowering them. Let's delve deeper into the ideal wine pairings for tenderloin steak.
Pinot Noir is an excellent choice for pairing with tenderloin, as its lighter body, silky tannins, and bright red fruit flavors complement the meat's tender texture and mild taste. Pinot Noir's subtle earthiness and soft structure make it an elegant partner for this delicate cut of beef. Look for Pinot Noirs from regions like Burgundy, Willamette Valley, or Central Otago for a particularly delightful pairing experience.
Graham + Fisk's White Wine with Bubbles
Our carbonated California white wine blend of unoaked Chardonnay and Viognier features a bright, well-balanced taste with notes of melon. The refreshing bubbles and fruity flavors accentuate the tenderloin's lean, buttery texture and subtle flavor, creating a harmonious pairing.
A Bordeaux blend, typically a combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot, and Malbec, can also create a harmonious match for tenderloin. The blend's complexity, medium to full body, and flavors of dark fruits, tobacco, and cedar offer a nice balance to the steak's subtle flavors. Bordeaux blends from France, Napa Valley, or other renowned wine regions can elevate the tenderloin pairing to new heights.
Chianti Classico, a red wine from Tuscany made primarily from the Sangiovese grape, is another suitable option for tenderloin. Its medium body, bright acidity, and flavors of red cherries, herbs, and earthiness make it a versatile and delicious companion to the steak. The wine's acidity and moderate tannins work well with the tenderloin's leaner profile, creating a refreshing and satisfying pairing.
What wine goes with T-bone Steak
The T-bone steak is a popular cut of beef that features two distinct sections of meat separated by a T-shaped bone: the tenderloin on one side and the strip steak on the other. This combination of tender and flavorful meat makes it essential to select a wine that can stand up to the steak's complexity and richness. Let's explore the ideal wine pairings for T-bone steak.
Graham + Fisk's Red Wine
Our California red wine blend of Merlot and Zinfandel, with its jammy pomegranate notes and round finish, complements the complex flavors and textures of a T-bone steak. The wine's mild tannin structure balances the richness of both the tenderloin and strip steak portions of the T-bone.
Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic choice for pairing with T-bone steak, as its full body, high tannin content, and dark fruit flavors provide a robust counterpoint to the meat's diverse flavors and textures. The tannins in Cabernet Sauvignon help to cut through the steak's fat, making each bite even more enjoyable. Choose Cabernets from regions like Napa Valley, Bordeaux, or Margaret River for a particularly delightful pairing.
Super Tuscan wines, which are typically blends of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and sometimes other grape varieties, make an excellent match for T-bone steak. These wines are characterized by their full body, firm tannins, and flavors of red and black fruits, spice, and earthiness. The complexity and boldness of Super Tuscan wines complement the steak's combination of tender and robust textures, creating a harmonious pairing.
Rioja, a red wine from Spain primarily made from the Tempranillo grape, is another suitable option for T-bone steak. Its medium to full body, well-integrated tannins, and flavors of red fruits, leather, and vanilla make it a versatile and delicious companion to the steak. Rioja's aging process often imparts additional layers of complexity, such as oak and spice notes, which work well with the T-bone's rich flavors.
What wine goes with Porterhouse Steak
The porterhouse steak, similar to the T-bone steak, features two distinct sections of meat separated by a T-shaped bone: a larger tenderloin section on one side and a strip steak on the other. This cut of beef is known for its generous size, rich flavor, and succulent texture. When selecting a wine to pair with a porterhouse, it's important to consider its complexity and marbling. Let's explore the ideal wine pairings for porterhouse steak.
Cabernet Sauvignon is a favorite choice for pairing with porterhouse steak, thanks to its full body, high tannin content, and dark fruit flavors. This wine's robust character and firm tannins can cut through the steak's fat, balancing the meat's richness and enhancing its flavor. To create an exceptional pairing, choose Cabernets from renowned regions like Napa Valley, Bordeaux, or Alexander Valley.
Malbec, a red wine primarily produced in Argentina, is another excellent option for porterhouse steak. With its full body, moderate tannins, and flavors of black fruits, plum, and sweet spices, Malbec provides a delicious counterpoint to the porterhouse's diverse flavors and textures. Malbec's velvety tannins and smoky undertones make it an ideal companion for grilled or charred porterhouse steaks, enhancing the meat's natural flavors.
Barolo, an Italian red wine made from the Nebbiolo grape, is a powerful and complex option for pairing with porterhouse steak. Its full body, high acidity, and firm tannins create a harmonious balance with the steak's rich taste. Barolo's flavors of red fruits, tar, roses, and truffles can complement the porterhouse's boldness, making for a sophisticated and satisfying pairing.
Graham + Fisk's White Wine
The smooth taste of our California white wine blend of unoaked Chardonnay and Viognier, with its white peach and vanilla accents, is a superb match for the succulent, rich flavors of the porterhouse steak. The wine's delicate and subtle character brings out the nuances of the steak's tenderloin and strip sections, resulting in a satisfying dining experience.
Does dry or sweet red wine go with steak?
When it comes to pairing wine with steak, the choice between dry or sweet red wine depends on various factors, including the cut of the steak, the preparation method, and personal taste preferences. In this section, we will explore the nuances of both dry and sweet red wines and provide guidance on how to select the best option for your steak dinner.
Dry Red Wines and Steak
Dry red wines are the most common choice for pairing with steak due to their natural affinity for the rich, savory flavors of beef. Dry red wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah, typically have robust, bold flavors, higher tannin content, and moderate to high acidity. These characteristics allow dry red wines to cut through the steak's fat, cleanse the palate, and balance the richness of the meat.
Tannins, naturally occurring compounds found in grape skins, seeds, and stems, provide structure and astringency to red wines. They interact with the proteins and fats in the steak, softening the wine's tannins while enhancing the meat's flavor. This is why full-bodied, tannic wines like Cabernet Sauvignon are classic choices for pairing with rich cuts of beef like ribeye or porterhouse.
Sweet Red Wines and Steak
Sweet red wines, such as some Zinfandels or dessert wines like Port, have a higher residual sugar content, which imparts a perceptible sweetness to their flavor profile. While sweet red wines are less traditional for pairing with steak, they can still complement certain cuts and preparations. For instance, a mildly sweet Zinfandel can work well with a spicy or smoky steak dish, such as a barbecued or blackened steak, as the sweetness helps to tame the heat and balance the flavors.
Additionally, sweet red wines can be an interesting choice for dishes that incorporate sweet sauces or glazes. For example, a steak with a red wine reduction or a fruity, sweet sauce might benefit from the complementary sweetness of a slightly sweet red wine. It's essential to strike the right balance in this type of pairing to avoid overwhelming the palate with sweetness.
Is Pinot Noir Good with Steak? Delving into an Elegant Pairing
Pinot Noir, a versatile and elegant red wine known for its red fruit, earthy, and floral notes, is an excellent choice for pairing with steak. Its lighter body, bright acidity, and moderate tannins make it a perfect companion for various cuts of beef, particularly those with a more delicate flavor profile. Pinot Noir's complex yet subtle characteristics highlight the steak's natural flavors without overwhelming the dish.
When pairing Pinot Noir with steak, the wine's origin and style can significantly impact the dining experience. Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France, is known for its earthy, mineral-driven flavors and refined structure, making it an ideal match for tender cuts like filet mignon or tenderloin. Meanwhile, New World Pinot Noirs, such as those from Oregon or California, often showcase more pronounced fruit flavors and a touch of spice, making them a delicious complement to cuts like ribeye or sirloin. The key to a successful Pinot Noir and steak pairing is finding the right balance between the wine's flavors and the cut and preparation of the steak, ensuring that both components enhance and elevate each other for a memorable culinary experience.
What Steak Goes Best with Red Wine? Discovering the Ultimate Pairings
Red wine has long been considered the perfect partner for steak, but some cuts of beef are more suited to red wine pairings than others. The ideal steak for red wine should have enough richness, flavor, and fat content to stand up to the wine's boldness and tannins while still allowing the wine to complement and enhance the dish. In this section, we will explore the types of steak that go best with red wine, considering factors such as the cut, marbling, and cooking method to help you create the ultimate pairing.
Ribeye, porterhouse, and T-bone steaks are all excellent choices for pairing with red wine, as they are rich, flavorful cuts with ample marbling. The fat content in these steaks helps to soften the tannins in the wine, creating a harmonious and satisfying combination. Full-bodied red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, or Syrah are well-suited to these hearty cuts, as their robust flavors and high tannin content can balance the steak's richness. On the other hand, more delicate cuts like filet mignon or tenderloin, which have a milder flavor and less fat, are best paired with lighter red wines like Pinot Noir or a fruity Merlot. These wines offer a gentle contrast to the steak's subtle taste and texture, complementing the dish without overpowering it. Ultimately, the best steak for red wine is one that strikes a balance between richness and subtlety, allowing both the wine and the meat to shine in the pairing.
Is Merlot or Cabernet better with steak?
Both Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon can be excellent choices for steak pairings. Merlot, with its medium body and soft tannins, is ideal for leaner cuts like flank steak. Cabernet Sauvignon, on the other hand, with its full body and firm tannins, pairs well with fattier, more flavorful cuts like ribeye or porterhouse.
Wine and Steak Pairing Tips
- When in doubt, choose a full-bodied red wine. They tend to complement most cuts of steak well, thanks to their tannin structure and bold flavors.
- Don't be afraid to experiment. While certain wines are considered classic pairings for specific cuts, exploring new combinations can lead to delightful discoveries.
- Consider the sauce or seasoning on your steak. Rich, bold sauces may call for a more powerful wine, while simpler seasonings may benefit from a more subtle wine choice.
- Pay attention to the cooking method. Grilled steaks with charred flavors might pair better with robust, smoky wines, while pan-seared or sous-vide steaks could benefit from more refined, elegant wines.
Conclusion: Elevating Your Steak and Wine Experience
The art of pairing steak with wine involves considering various factors, such as the cut of beef, the wine's characteristics, and the dish's overall flavor profile. By understanding the nuances of different steak cuts and wine styles, you can create a harmonious and satisfying dining experience that elevates both the food and the wine. Whether you prefer a bold Cabernet Sauvignon with a rich porterhouse or a delicate Pinot Noir with a tender filet mignon, finding the perfect steak and wine combination can transform a simple meal into a memorable culinary adventure.
Incorporating our canned wine options from Graham + Fisk into your steak pairings can also provide an exciting and convenient alternative to traditional bottled wines. With our diverse range of blends, you can find the ideal wine to complement any cut of steak, from a bubbly Moscato for a sweet and refreshing twist to a jammy red blend for a classic pairing. By experimenting with different wine and steak combinations and considering the various factors that contribute to successful pairings, you can confidently serve and enjoy steak and wine pairings that showcase the best of both worlds.