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The Best Wine With Steak & Red Meat

The Best Wine With Steak & Red Meat

Pairing Wines With Red Meat

Is there anything more delicious than a savory, juicy steak grilled to perfection? Just imagine that choice cut of meat, perfectly seasoned, impossibly tender, and ready to be devoured. What could possibly make this steak even better? That’s right, pairing it with the perfect glass of wine. We’ll give you a moment to take in the savory grandeur of such a moment. 

You may be familiar with the old saying that red wine pairs best with red meats. Well, that’s true, but there’s a bit more to it than that. Selecting the right wine to pair with your steak can enhance the complexities and flavors of the wine and the cut of meat. After reading this blog, you will feel like a bonafide connoisseur of wine and steak pairings, ready to grill, sip, and savor for yourself. 

Why Does Wine Pair Well With Steak?

Steak and wine, especially red wine, are popular food companions – and for good reason. The rich, smoky, savory flavors of red meat tend to overpower the more delicate essences of lighter wines like rosé or sauvignon blanc. In contrast, the bold notes of a red wine stand up to the equally bold flavors of a steak. The flavor harmony of this pairing works thanks to the balance of the tannin content in red wine with the rich, fatty flavor in red meat. 

Tannins and the richness of steak are a match made in foodie heaven. The tannins of a red wine cut through the fatty, buttery flavors of savory red meat. At the same time, the rich taste of steak balances the “dry” feeling of a high-tannin wine, giving it a smoother, more silky texture. They bring out the best qualities in each other, kind of like two friends who routinely finish each other’s sentences. Does a pair get much better than that? We think not.

Why Does Wine Pair Well with Steak?

Best Wine and Steak Pairings

A good rule of thumb for pairing steaks with wine is that lean cuts pair well with lighter reds, while fattier cuts pair well with more robust reds. That being said, we’ve created a helpful pairing list to refer to the next time you get a craving that only steak and wine can satisfy. 

Ribeye

Ribeye steaks are rich and tasty with a bold, savory flavor. This cut of meat is tender and has a lot of delicious marbling throughout. A steak this flavorful needs to be accompanied by a wine that is equally as flavorful. Reach for a bold California Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, or Zinfandel to round out this ribeye pairing. 

Filet Mignon

Lean, tender, and oh-so revered, filet mignon is the creme de la creme of steaks. The delicate taste of this cut demands a less intense red to accompany its light flavor profile. A Bordeaux or Washington Merlot are both exquisite companions for this posh steak selection. 

New York Strip

New York Strip (or Kansas City Strip) steaks are bold in flavor with a thicker grain than other cuts of meat. Pair this tasty choice with spicy, savory reds that offer more prominent notes of spice, such as an Argentinian Malbec or an Australian Shiraz

Brisket

Although brisket is not technically a steak and may be more at home on a BBQ restaurant menu, it is still a mouthwatering beef dish. We just couldn’t leave it out! Brisket is incredibly flavorful, so it needs a wine partner that can stand up to its savory profile. Petit Syrahs and mature Tempranillos are both dark and rich with a nice balance of tannins, making each of them a tasty pairing choice. 

Best Wine and Steak Pairings

Wine Pairings with other Red Meats

If a classic, hearty steak isn’t your preferred choice when choosing a protein-heavy dish, have no fear. Wine pairs well with red meat options beyond traditional steaks. Here are a few other selections to tempt your palate and build your pairing skills. 

Lamb

With its lighter, earthier flavor and tender texture, lamb pairs well with medium-bodied reds like an equally earthy Pinot Noir or a more delicate young Bordeaux blend.

Veal

Veal tends to take on the flavors of whatever sauce it is prepared with, so it can pair with a variety of wines – from bolder, tannin-heavy reds to lighter, more delicate blends. A delightful benefit of veal’s versatility is that it works well when paired with a nice rosé.

Venison

Venison is wild game meat with big, earthy, gamey flavors. As such, it pairs very well with earthy, savory wines such as a medium- to full-bodied Pinot Noir or a rich Syrah

BBQ 

Although beer may seem like the natural choice when opting for a plate of juicy barbeque, your palate will thank you for pairing that pulled pork with the right wine. When picking the right glass, it’s all about complementing the sauce. If you’ve chosen a vinegar-based North Carolina-style sauce, pair it with a Petit Syrah. For Memphis-style pulled pork, reach for a Pinot Noir. For a South Carolina mustard-based sauce, try a Sangiovese. Or, if you’re using a traditional, smoky-sweet Kansas City-style sauce, reach for a Cabernet Franc. 

Other Red Meats and Wine Pairings

Umami and Wine

We can’t talk about wine and steak pairings without explaining the effect of umami. Umami is a Japanese term that means “delicious,” and it’s the fifth taste that can be detected along with saltiness, sweetness, sourness, and bitterness. Umami was first isolated in 1907 by a Japanese scientist named Kikunae Ikeda and is generally described as what makes dishes taste “savory.” Foods high in umami include truffle oil, soy sauce, chicken and beef broth, parmesan cheese, olives, mushrooms, and red meat.

Many food and wine experts agree that foods high in umami (like the steak we’ve been focusing on) can increase the bitterness in wines with a high tannin content, which, for most, is an unpleasant taste that’s too pronounced. This is good to consider when choosing a wine to accompany your steak. Opt for a mature red with softened tannins and high umami to decrease any unwanted bitterness.

Umami and Wine
Pairing wine and food together can be a fun way to mix and match different flavors to bring out various components of their complexities. At the end of the day, if you enjoy the steak and the wine together, that means they pair well for you. And that’s ok — because everyone’s tastes are different. However, if you want to enhance your palate and open yourself to new flavor complexities, the pairings above can send your taste buds on a delicious journey of discovery. 

Rosé of Sangiovese

Andiamo

Sangiovese can be found in both the Chianti and Montalcino regions of Tuscany (it all sounds so romantic, right?) and is known for producing classic medium-bodied wines. Rosé wine is actually made from red grapes, and this is where the Rosé of Sangiovese comes to play. Crisp, fruit-forward, and easy-to-drink, it's everything you want in your bottle of Rosé and more.

$19.99

Montepulciano

Andiamo

Big, bold, and full of flavor—exactly what you’d expect an Italian wine to be! This classic Italian grape produces some of Italy’s most straightforward red wines and is often used as a blending grape. Not here, though. We let Montepulciano do the heavy lifting as a heavy red wine and shine on its own. If you enjoy the smell of leather bound books, nibbling on dried fruit, and complementary notes of bitter, dark chocolate and sweet plums, you will love this Italian wine. No need to pair it with any certain dish—Montepulciano tastes great with all the Italian classics.

$20.99

Pinot Grigio

La Pluma

If you’re looking for more zest in your life, a bottle of Pinot Grigio can provide that. We included a classic Pinot Grigio in the La Pluma collection because we’re all about light and easy here, which is exactly what this grape from Italy is. It has that dry sense of humor that seems so effortless with a punchy acidity to keep you on your toes, all while offering notes of lemon, limes, green apples, and honeysuckle. Long story short; when it’s been a heavy day and your soul is seeking light things only, you’ll be happy to have this bottle on hand.

$19.99

Pinot Noir

Unprecedented

We couldn’t create the In Good Taste Unprecedented collection without the Golden Retriever of wines: Pinot Noir. Pinot is likable, it’s easy, and its natural state of being is simply charming. It’s an incredibly easy red wine to love, which is why so many people do. The grape itself is from the Burgundy region of France, but has made its way to California, Oregon, Australia, Italy, Argentina, and Germany since. Our Pinot Noir has no surprise twists—it’s a classic light red with just the right amount of sweetness to keep you coming back for another glass (or two).

$25.99

Coteaux Bourguignons

Passport

The Burgundy region of France is home to their best Pinot Noirs, but we took the grapes into our own hands to create something extra special with our Coteaux Bourguignons. It’s a blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay, which results in a French red that’s light in body but full in flavor. The ripest blueberries and freshest herbs can be easily detected in this French burgundy blend. May we suggest pairing it with some creamy brie and freshly baked bread? It’s a oui-ning combo.

$25.99

Verdicchio

Andiamo

A little sweet. A little tart. A little salty? You truly get it all with this white Italian wine. If you're into that biting acidity, Verdicchio will probably be high on your list of most-loved wines from our Andiamo collection. Citrus fruits like mandarin, lemon, and grapefruit are at the forefront, but what really sets this Italian wine apart is its distinct notes of almond. While our Verdicchio can start out tasting a bit tart, the more you sip, the smoother it becomes. In fact, we suggest approaching it as an aperitif (Italian for an alcoholic drink sipped before a meal to stimulate the appetite) to experience its full effect.

$23.99

Côtes du Rhône White

Passport

This was one of our first French wines to join the Passport collection and one sip will explain why. Some background on the Rhône Valley in France: While this region is known for its dark, juicy reds, a very small amount of special white wines are made in the Rhône Valley. Our Côtes du Rhône is packed with French-perfected, floral flavor and Old-World charm. Its natural tang paired with the weighty Marsanne grape and aromatic Roussanne grape results in a crisp, savory sip that’ll transport you to a sunbathing chair by the Rhône itself.

$23.99

Bordeaux Rouge

Passport

When you picture medieval folk sitting around a feast with goblets of wine, chances are they were drinking Bordeaux. This wine has been made in France since forever and is arguably the most classic French wine out there. Bordeaux is known for its full body, smoky notes, and rich, oaky taste. If you love cabs, chances are you will adore Bordeaux. For our Passport wines, we had to include this classic French red for you to sip and enjoy to your heart’s content. Best savored over a rich meal like lamb ragu, ratatouille, or BBQ.

$21.99

Ventoux Rosé

Passport

You probably know that the Tour de France is held on Ventoux Mountain in France, but did you know that the same area is known for its high-altitude rosé? This is the kind of quintessential French rosé that you don’t need to spin your wheels over—it’s simply delicious, crisp, and perfect for warm weather. Despite its delicate, pale pink color, each sip is lush with flavor, from tropical passionfruit and zesty citrus to refreshing melon. This has the potential to be your new summer go-to, so we’d suggest stocking up.

$21.99

Grenache

La Pluma

We knew the only red in the La Pluma collection had to be exceptionally good and exceptionally light. That’s why including a Grenache was a no-brainer. If smooth, fruit-forward, light-bodied reds appeal to your tastebuds, this could be your new favorite. The grape itself is tricky; depending on the climate of where its grown, Grenache wines could be light, dense, or somewhere in the middle. La Pluma’s version has all the airiness and flavor notes we wanted in our Grenache, which is how we know you’ll love it. Get the most of this red by pairing it with roasted meats, spice-heavy vegetables, and Mexican-inspired dishes with lots of cumin.

$27.99

Barbera

Andiamo

We really try not to play favorites at In Good Taste, but there is just something about an Italian Barbera that hits different in the best way. Barberas are the perfect wine for pizza night; they're low in alcohol, and medium-bodied but taste super light, and their berry and plum flavors pair incredibly well with savory tomato sauce and cheese! Another fun thing about Barberas? They actually taste great when chilled, which is not something we're in the habit of suggesting for our red wines. Our Italian Barbera lies somewhere between the body of a cab and a pinot and is the ideal choice for a "ladies who lunch" kind of afternoon.

$21.99

Vermentino

Wild Child

We couldn't not have a weird white in the mix, right?! The Vermentino grape is native along the coast of Italy on the island of Sardinia (yeah, like the fish). Because of its origin, this grape offers a salty, crisp flavor that's incredibly easy to drink and enjoy. We say it's "weird" only because it's not widely known by name, but chances are you've probably had it before if you've ever ordered white wine in an Italian restaurant. If you love peaches and lemons and get a kick out of anything that reminds you of the sea, our Vermentino is the perfect Italian white to experience on a sunny day outside.

$23.99

Viognier

Unprecedented

For the Chardonnay lovers who are looking to dig a bit deeper in the world of bold whites, a Viognier (pronounced vee-own-yay) could be your next big adventure. Viogniers tend to have more range; while they can be creamy with hints of vanilla like their Chardonnay counterpart, they also offer lighter, fruitier flavors like tangerine, mango, and honeysuckle. It’s still a more full-bodied white wine, but unlike Chardonnay, it’s softer on acidity and more perfumed. Spend an afternoon with a glass of Viognier amongst the flowers and it’ll all make sense.

$24.99

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