Wine and steak promise a superior dining experience when done right. It’s one of the most tantalizing combinations for the taste buds, and you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t enjoy a good wine and steak dinner.
If you’ve always enjoyed steak with a wine chosen by the wine server at your favorite restaurant, you may have noticed that it’s typically a red wine always served with steaks. However, pairing wine and steak is much more than just choosing between red or white wine.
Why Red Wines Are the Superior Choice When It Comes to Steak
Most wine experts would tell you that a simple “red wine for red meat” formula is what you need to remember. For the most part, this is true, and it works. However, there are layers to the choice you’re making—after all; there’s a lot of steak at stake.
Red wines are the safer choice because the red wine tannins work well with the protein and fat content in red meats. The bolder and drier the red wine is, the better it pairs with the fattier cuts. The tannin content helps taper the rich flavors of the steak, creating a more balanced flavor overall.
Why You Can’t Completely Write Off White Wines Either
A lot of sommeliers also suggest trying a few white wines with steak. While they may not be the first pairing to come to mind, they’re not a complete no-go area either.
White wines are typically very acidic, and the acidity cuts through fatty beef cut to create a rich and delicious burst of flavor in the mouth. Also, since white wines are usually chilled, a few sips of chilled white wine between bites of a sizzling hot steak can be a refreshing experience.
Best Wine Pairings for Specific Cuts
One of the reasons steak and wine are such popular fine dining options is that there are plenty of variations for both. While there are countless wines to choose from, there are also plenty of steak cuts you can pick. This essentially means you can create endless combinations to enjoy.
Here are some of our favorite pairings.
Pinot Noir with Filet Mignon
Pinot Noir is a beautiful concoction with low alcohol and tannins but high acidity. This is why it works wonderfully with filet mignon; it complements and enhances the steak’s rich and distinct flavor but doesn’t overpower it entirely.
Zinfandel with Ribeye Steaks
A good ribeye steak is maybe the most popular cut you can get. Naturally, it pairs beautifully with full-bodied red wines that are equally rich and intense. One of the best choices here would be zinfandel, which has strong but fruity notes with a bold spiciness. The wine is a perfect match for the superior steak cut.
Cabernet Sauvignon with New York Strip
New York Strips are very popular in restaurants and have robust flavors with medium tenderness. The best wine to pair with a New York Strip would be one with balanced acidity and subtle fruitiness that can cut through the marbling and richness of the meat. Of course, a cabernet sauvignon would be an obvious first choice by most sommeliers.
If you’d like to buy wine for wine and steak dinner at home, feel free to explore our collection at Augusta Vin. As one of the best wineries in Texas, we offer a wide variety of red and white wines to choose from.