12 Jun Food & Wine Friday: Steak and Wine Pairing Guide Presented by THEGRAPE
Today In Food & Wine: THEGRAPE’s Steak and Wine Pairing Guide
Hello Friends! At your request we’ve put together this simple steak and wine pairing guide. At The Grape we’d hate for you to be confused about which wines to pair with the select, choice or prime steaks you’ve prepared in the moments prior to your guests arriving for your bbq. Well stress no more! We know how delicious a perfectly paired wine and cut of beef can be. No matter your budget or preferred cuts of beef, this steak and wine pairing guide will include the following:
1. The most popular types of steak,
2. The grape varietals to best pair with those steaks, and
3. The best wine deals for those grape varietals.
Our hope in all of this is to make it easier for you to choose that ideal bottle of wine, while making you look like a hero to your guests and checkbook. Here we go!
Select Cuts of Beef
Steak Burger – Usually prepared on the BBQ, this ground steaks flavors would pair best with a Zinfandel. Characteristically Zinfandel wines are red in color and can vary from a sweet, light-bodied wine to a much bolder, full-bodied wine. Overall, Zinfandel wines tend to have jam or berry flavors with complementary seasonings of cocoa, pepper, herbs and spice. Some Zinfandel wines are blended with Petit Sirah wines to create a different balance of flavor. Ideal sides for this dish might be a potato salad with bacon bits or homemade mac & cheese.
Tenderloin Steak Tips – Usually prepared on the barbecue, this cut of steak pairs well with Zinfandel. As explained above the flavor characteristics of Zinfandel wines tend to vary from light to bold bodies and lean towards jam or berry flavors with complementary seasonings of cocoa, pepper, herbs and spice. In addition, some Zinfandel wines can have Petit Sirah added to them for a more balanced flavor. Ideal sides for this dish include homemade baked beans with bacon pieces or maple corn bread.
Skirt Steak – Often prepared on the BBQ or Pan-frying, this cut of steak pairs best with Merlot wines, which tend to have similar fruit characteristics to Zinfandel wines but are medium bodied, less bold, and are smoother and more supple. One may taste more cherry and plum flavorings, along with a few additional spices such as coffee or ground black pepper. Ideal sides for skirt steak include homemade chili beans or Spanish rice with diced tomatoes.
Choice Cuts of Beef
Top Sirloin Steak – Often prepared either barbecued or using High Temp Grilling, this cut of steak pairs well best with a Syrah or Shiraz style wine because they tend to be medium to full-bodied and have bold flavor characteristics that are difficult to intrude upon. This means that a Syrah/Shiraz wine can complement almost any variation of Top Sirloin Steak you throw at it!
Flavors may include but are not limited to, black fruits, licorice, smoke, chocolate and spice. This combination of flavors makes for a finish that can linger, providing a more balanced taste to each bite of barbecued meat. Ideal sides for Top Sirloin Steak include a twice-baked potato or sautéed mushrooms.
T-bone Steaks – Often prepared on the BBQ or using High Temp Grilling, this cut of steak would pair best with a Cabernet Sauvignon. Because the T-bone steak is “bone-in” the bone provides added flavor that is complemented by a more robust wine such as a Cabernet Sauvignon.
Cabernet Sauvignon wines tend to be medium to full bodied, gravitating towards more robust, with more recognizable flavors like black berries, blue berries, cassis, smoke, oak, tar, menthol, sweet tobacco, licorice and chocolate. Ideal sides for your T-bone steak include scalloped mashed potatoes or a home made macaroni salad.
Porterhouse Steak – Often prepared on the bbq or using High Temp Grilling, this cut of steak is similar to the T-bone steak. However, we’d actually select a Merlot as the ideal food and wine pairing for this full-flavored cut of beef. Merlot wines will act as added seasoning for the Porterhouse steak, while complementing its natural flavor. Spice seasonings and the plummy fruit notes of the Merlot wine will be a welcome addition to your meal. Ideal sides for this dish include garlic mashed potatoes or sweet potato hash browns.
Prime Cuts of Beef
For the remaining premium cuts of beef The Grape will be suggesting Cabernet Sauvignon wines. Why? Each of the following prime cuts of steak has unique flavor characteristics and we want you to savor each and every bite with a complementary wine that will not only wow you but also take your meats deliciousness to a whole new level.
New York Steak – Often prepared on the BBQ or using High Temp Grilling, this cut of steak would pair best with either a Merlot or a Cabernet Sauvignon. New York steaks tend to be a leaner (less fat) and thicker cut of beef, with streaking or marbling throughout. When cooked properly this lighter marbling delivers a lean yet flavorful taste.
To complement this taste we here at The Grape would suggest a Cabernet Sauvignon that may have flavor notes of sweet tobacco, aged oak, chocolate, cassis, vanilla or cinnamon. Ideal sides for this dish include sautéed Portobello mushrooms or rice pilaf.
Ribeye Steak (Both Bone In and Boneless) – Often prepared either barbecued or using High Temp Grilling, this cut of steak would also pair best with either a Merlot or a Cabernet Sauvignon. At The Grape we’re sticking with Cabernet Sauvignon wines, as these Ribeye steaks could use a bigger, bolder flavored companion. Because Ribeye steaks tend to have even more marbling than the New York steak, they deliver a richer tasting experience.
To complement such richness we’d suggest pairing your Ribeye steaks with a Cabernet Sauvignon that may have flavors of ripe fruits, vanilla, black currant, spice, espresso, cocoa, leather, sweet tobacco or cassis. Ideal sides for this dish include grilled asparagus or herb roasted potatoes.
Filet Mignon Steak – These steaks are more often than not prepared using High Temp Grilling techniques but they can be cooked on the BBQ. The flavorings and the tenderness of this steak would make it ideal to pair with either a Pinot Noir or a Cabernet Sauvignon. Like the last two though, we will be sticking to our guns and going with the Cabernet Sauvignon wine for a most delicious wine and food pairing.
Packed with juicy steak flavor, Filet Mignon steaks are often served wrapped in bacon, so it’s important to complement this character with a red wine that will help deliver a long and savory food & wine tasting experience. We here at The Grape would suggest a Cabernet Sauvignon that may have flavors of ripe black fruits, smoke, cedar, chocolate, espresso, spice, sweet tobacco, cassis or black licorice. Ideal sides for this dish include grilled asparagus, sautéed mushrooms or lobster mashed potatoes.
Kobe Beef Steaks – These premium cuts of steak are prepared using High Temp Grilling techniques. While Kobe steaks can be barbecued, because of their price and there classification as a delicacy, cooking them on the barbecue is pretty rare. These richly flavored cuts of steak pair well with Syrah/Shiraz wines or a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. We’re choosing Cabernet Sauvignon!
Because these Kobe steaks unique marbling delivers a rich flavor experience once cooked, we here at The Grape would suggest a Cabernet Sauvignon that might include as many of the following flavors as possible. Ripe fruits, vanilla, cocoa, espresso, sweet tobacco, tar, leather, black pepper, cassis, roasted marshmallow, cedar, cigar and brown spice. Trust us when we say that this steak and wine pairing will knock your socks off and it will have you humming sweet delight! Ideal sides for this dish include sautéed brussel sprouts, a baked sweet potato or lobster mashed potatoes.
We here at The Grape hope this article was helpful and in keeping with your request we kept it simplified on the types of wine that would pair well with these steaks. If you have any more input or would like to see a follow up article to this or any others on www.thegrape.com, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org! Don’t forget to like this post above and share with your friends. Feel free to join the conversation below in the comments. We hope your steak BBQ goes grape and Cheers!