Pacific Rim
September 22, 2021 | wine | Pacific Rim

What is The Best Wine to Pair with Steak?

If there is one iconic food that is usually served with wine, it has to be steak. The right wine will allow you to taste all the flavors of the steak and enhance the dining experience. However, for the steak to be enjoyed thoroughly, one must pair it with the right wine. What wine goes with steak? It depends on the cut of meat and how it is prepared. Here are some basic rules about steak and wine pairing.

grilled rib eye steak with red wine

  1. In general, when eating meat products, select a dry red wine. If you are consuming a steak, go with red wine. 
  2. If the steak is lean, it goes best with a light wine.
  3. If the steak has a lot of fat to it, you will want to pair it with a less robust, lighter wine to keep the richness of the flavor in check. If the wine is full-bodied, you will never get to experience the flavor of the steak. Or you may want to select a red wine with high acidity to amplify the spices and aroma of the steak.
  4. If the steak is mildly flavored and somewhat sweet, you should avoid a sweet wine and select one rich in tannins.
  5. If you like things simple and have cooked a steak with just salt and pepper, you are virtually free to select any light red or white wine. Steaks marinated with just salt and pepper tend to generate a variety of aromas, all of which can be accentuated by light wines.
  6. If you are consuming a heavily seasoned steak with aromatic spices and herbs, then go with a light, fruity, and sweet wine, as this will augment the taste of the meat.
  7. Steak sauces can make a difference in the best wine to pair with steak.  If the sauce is red and rich, it will need a Malbec or good red Bordeaux to accompany it.  If the steak has a sauce with peppercorns, choose the Rhône that is ripe or a Languedoc.  For lighter sauces, a Pinot Noir would be a good choice.

So Which Wines Should You Select?

  1. Cabernet Sauvignon is the most popular red wine globally. Even though it originated in France, it is produced in many other nations, including Washington, Australia, China, South Africa, and Chile. Cabernet is a very versatile wine, and it can be paired with many foods. It is the ideal wine for novices. The high acidity of the wine will slice through a fatty and spicy steak, generating a soft, tangy taste.
  2. Zinfandel is another excellent wine that is more sweet than acidic. However, do not choose Zinfandel if your steak has been marinated with sweet seasoning. It goes best with steaks with a spicy and exotic taste. The sweetness of the wine will balance the spice and make each bite delicious.
  3. Malbec is a medium-body red wine that is rich in tannins. It tends to have a fruity aftertaste and scent. Malbec is ideal for lean steaks, such as flank or sirloin. 
  4. Syrah (Shiraz) is a superb red wine that pairs best with ribeye steak, which tends to be heavier. Syrah is a robust wine that balances the richness of the fat and soothes the palate.
  5. Pinot Noir is a light to medium red wine with natural acidity and the scent of berries. It pairs well with lean steak that is cooked rare or medium-rare. The natural acidity will balance out any sweetness and bring out the juices in the steak with each bite.

What wine goes with steak?  Listed above are just some basic guidelines, and you are free to experiment and determine for yourself which you like best. There is no penalty for breaking the rules, and the more you mix and match, the more you will get to enjoy your food.  Discover what flavors you like best together, and if you have any questions, just ask a representative from Pacific Rim and Company. They are experts!


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