Farm To Fork

Do Certain Wines Pair With Certain Foods?

by Darius Campeau on May 09, 2023

Do Certain Wines Pair With Certain Foods?

Steak and wine are a classic culinary combination that brings out the best flavors in both. Whether you're grilling a juicy ribeye or searing a tender filet mignon, the right wine can elevate your steak experience to new heights. Here's a guide to help you pair wines with steaks and enhance your dining pleasure.

  1. Bold Red Wines: When it comes to pairing steak, bold red wines are often the go-to choice. The rich flavors and tannins in these wines complement the robust taste of steak. Some popular options include:

    • Cabernet Sauvignon: Known for its full-bodied nature and firm tannins, Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic pairing for steak. Its dark fruit flavors and hints of oak can enhance the meaty richness of your steak.
    • Malbec: With its lush blackberry and plum flavors, Malbec is another excellent choice. Its velvety texture and medium tannins work well with various cuts of steak, particularly those with a bit of marbling.
    • Syrah/Shiraz: Syrah, also known as Shiraz, offers bold flavors of blackberry, black pepper, and smoke. Its robust character can stand up to the intensity of a steak, especially when cooked with spices or a smoky barbecue sauce.
  2. Medium-Bodied Red Wines: If you prefer a wine that's slightly less bold but still full of flavor, medium-bodied red wines can be a fantastic choice. These wines offer a good balance between acidity and tannins. Consider the following options:

    • Merlot: Merlot is often characterized by its plush texture, approachable fruit flavors, and supple tannins. It pairs well with a range of steak cuts and can enhance the juiciness of the meat.
    • Tempranillo: This Spanish varietal showcases flavors of red fruit, leather, and tobacco. It has a moderate level of tannins and acidity, making it a versatile companion for different steak preparations.
    • Sangiovese: Sangiovese, the renowned Italian grape variety, boasts bright red fruit flavors, vibrant acidity, and savory notes. It can provide an excellent contrast to the richness of a steak, particularly when enjoyed with a tomato-based sauce.
  3. White Wines and Rosé: While red wines are the traditional choice for steak, it's worth considering certain white wines and rosés, especially if you're preparing a lighter or leaner steak dish. These options can offer a refreshing contrast:

    • Rosé: A dry, crisp, and fruity rosé can be a delightful pairing for a grilled or lightly seasoned steak. Its vibrant acidity and fruit-forward nature can provide a nice counterbalance to the meat's richness.
    • Chardonnay: Opt for a full-bodied, oaked Chardonnay with flavors of ripe apple, vanilla, and butter. This style of Chardonnay can work well with steak dishes that incorporate creamy or buttery elements.
    • Pinot Noir: Though primarily a red wine, Pinot Noir can exhibit bright red fruit flavors and gentle tannins. It can complement leaner cuts of steak, such as filet mignon or flank steak.

Remember, personal preference plays a significant role in wine pairing, so feel free to experiment and discover your own favorite combinations. Ultimately, the goal is to find a wine that enhances the flavors of your steak and brings joy to your dining experience. Cheers to savoring the perfect steak and wine duo!