Best Wine With Steak: Our 8 Favorite Wines To Pair With & Why!

best wine with steak

Quick Answer: One of the most classic wine pairings for steak is red wine. Because, red wines have a high tannin content, which can help bring out the juiciness of the red meat. Also it will cut through the richness and provide a balance of flavors. So my favorites would be Cabernet Sauvignon, Super Tuscan, and Châteauneuf du Pape.

Wine with steak is probably the most classic food and wine pairing. Because the rich and complex flavors of a steak dinner work perfectly with a variety of different wines. But some wines are better suited to the task than others. 

So in this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best wine and steak pairings.

Table of Contents

What is the Best Wine With Steak?

1) Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most popular wine pairings with steak, and for good reason.

It’s a full-bodied red wine that is high in tannins. Tannins are natural compounds found in grape skins, seeds, and stems of the Cabernet grapes. And this is what gives red wines their structure and texture. Tannins can also help to cut through the fat and richness of steak, making it a great pairing for a juicy, flavorful cut of red meat.

Plus, Cabernet is a wine that can age well, developing even more complex flavors over time. A well-aged Cab can have notes of leather, tobacco, and earthy flavors that can complement the savory flavors of a steak.

2) Merlot

merlot descriptions medium bodied red wines

Merlot is a softer, more medium-bodied red wine than Cabernet Sauvignon. This can make it a great pairing wine for leaner cuts of steak, like a filet mignon. Or for those who prefer a more subtle wine flavor. The softness of the Merlot can help to complement the flavors of the steak without overpowering it.

In addition, Merlot has fruit forward flavors of black cherry, plum, and currant. And these flavors can help to bring out the natural sweetness in the meat and provide a nice balance of flavors.

3) Super Tuscan

Italy Map Super Tuscans

One of my favorite red wines on this list! Super Tuscan wine is produced in Italy’s Tuscany region. While its not a traditional wine from the area, it has become popular due to its unique blend of grapes and high quality. Super Tuscans are one of the most delicious steak pairings.

Because, Super Tuscan wines are typically made with a blend of grape varieties, which can include Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah. This blend can give the wine a complex flavor profile with notes of dark fruit, spice, and tobacco. The combination of flavors can help to enhance the natural flavors of the steak and provide a balanced pairing.

Plus, Super Tuscans are full-bodied red wines that are high in velvety tannins. So again, making it a great wine pairing with steak.

Lastly, Super Tuscan wines are produced in the Tuscany region of Italy, which has a rich culinary tradition that includes steak (i.e. Bistecca alla Florentina). And matching food and wine from the same region is always an excellent option!

4) Châteauneuf du Pape

Chateauneuf du Pape map

Another one of my favorite old world red wines! Châteauneuf du Pape is a red wine that originates from the southern Rhône region of France. While it may not be as well-known as some other wines, it can be an excellent pairing for steak.

Châteauneuf du Pape is typically made with a blend of grape varieties, including Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre. It’s another full-bodied red wine that is high in tannins, making it a great pairing for a juicy, flavorful cut of meat.

And like all the other red wines on this list, Châteauneuf du Pape is a wine that can age well. Therefore, developing even more complex flavors with notes of leather, tobacco, and earthy flavors that can complement a steak perfectly.

5) Malbec

malbec vs merlot comparison

Argentina is has a unique style for cooking and serving steak. Many restaurants in Argentina serve steak with chimichurri sauce, which is a flavorful combination of herbs, garlic, vinegar, and oil. And Malbec is typically the best wine pairing with these dishes.

Because its a full-bodied wine with moderate to high levels of tannins. And this bold and fruity wine has a flavor profile that can include notes of blackberry, plum, and chocolate, can add to the flavors of the steak.

Lastly, Malbec can pair well with a variety of different types of steak, including leaner cuts like filet mignon and fattier cuts like ribeye steak. The wine’s versatility can make it a good choice for pairing with a range of different steak dishes.

6) Shiraz

shiraz wine taste

Steak is very popular in Australia. In fact, beef is one of Australia’s largest agricultural industries, and the country produces very high-quality beef. Overall, steak is a beloved dish in Australia and is a staple of the country’s culinary culture.

Therefore Shiraz, the national red wine of Australia, would also pair well with steak. This region has its own unique terroir that can give the wine a distinct character that can stand up to the bold flavors of a steak.

In addition, if you prefer spicy flavors, you may appreciate the pepper and spice notes present in Shiraz that would pair well with the steak.

7) Chardonnay

While steak and red wine is the classic pairing, there are some white wines that can work well with certain types of steak. If you’re looking for a white wine with steak, Chardonnay is a good option to consider. Chardonnay is a full-bodied rich white wine with flavors of butter, oak, and vanilla.

Typically, steak is cooked using butter and sometimes even topped with it. The richness of the butter helps to bring out the juicy and flavorful notes of the steak, making it a perfect complement. And therefore, Chardonnay with its similar creamy texture and buttery flavors, also pairs well with steak. 

8) Viognier

Viognier vs Chardonnay

Another white wine to consider is Viognier. Viognier is a full-bodied white wine with a rich, aromatic flavor profile that can complement the bold flavors of a steak dinner.

Also, it has flavors of apricot, peach, and honeysuckle, as well as a slightly spicy finish that can complement the seasonings on the steak. So it can work particularly well with spicy or smoky steaks, such as those seasoned with chili powder or smoked paprika.

Finally, Viognier also has a rich, oily texture that pairs well with steak in a similar way as Chardonnay.

Best Tips on How to Pair Wine With Steak

best wine pairings with steak filet mignon
  1. Consider the cut of the steak: Different cuts of steak have different levels of fat and tenderness, which can affect the wine pairing. For example, a leaner cut like filet mignon may pair well with a lighter-bodied red wine like Pinot Noir. While a fattier cut like ribeye steak may pair better with a full-bodied red like Cabernet Sauvignon.
  2. Think about the seasoning: The seasoning on the steak can also affect wine pairings. For example, if the steak is seasoned with herbs, a red wine with earthy or spicy notes like Syrah or Tempranillo could be a good pairing.
  3. Consider the cooking method: The cooking method can also affect the wine pairing. For example, grilled steak may pair well with a wine that has a bit of smokiness. While pan-seared steak may pair better with a wine with bright acidity to cut through the richness.
  4. Match the intensity: Generally, it’s a good idea to match the intensity of the wine with the intensity of the steak. For example, a bold, full-bodied steak like a T-bone would pair well with a bold, full-bodied wine like Cabernet Sauvignon.
  5. Experiment: Don’t be afraid to try different wine pairings with steak to find what works best for you. Some unconventional wine pairings, like a white wine or a sparkling wine, may surprise you with how well they complement the flavors of the steak.

Different Types of Steaks

best wine with steak pairing wine with red meat fruity wine

There are many different types of steak, each with its own unique flavor, texture, and appearance. Here are some of the most popular types of steak:

  1. Ribeye: A cut from the rib section of the cow. It’s a well-marbled, juicy cut with great tenderness. And can be grilled or cooked on a cast-iron skillet.
  2. Sirloin: A cut from the upper back of the cow, sirloin is a leaner cut of steak. And it’s known for its firm texture and bold, beefy flavor. It can be grilled, broiled, or pan-seared and is often served with sauces like chimichurri or bearnaise.
  3. Filet Mignon: A cut from the tenderloin, filet mignon is known for its tenderness and mild flavor. It’s a leaner cut of steak that is often served with a rich sauce, such as a red wine reduction or a mushroom sauce.
  4. T-Bone: A cut from the short loin, the T-bone steak includes a T-shaped bone with meat on both sides. Another tender cut with a mild flavor and can be grilled, broiled, or pan-seared.
  5. Porterhouse: A cut from the rear end of the short loin, the porterhouse steak is similar to the T-bone steak. But it includes a larger portion of the tenderloin. And its typically the most popular cut at a steakhouse.
  6. Flank: A cut from the abdominal muscles of the cow, flank steak is a leaner cut with a bold, beefy flavor. It’s often used in fajitas, but can also be grilled or broiled and sliced thinly against the grain.
  7. Hanger: A cut from the diaphragm of the cow, the hanger steak is a flavorful cut with a coarse texture. It’s often used in European-style steak dinner dishes, such as steak frites.
  8. Prime rib: A cut from the standing rib roast, which is a large, bone-in cut. Prime rib is known for its marbling and rich, beefy flavor. Finally, its often served as a special steak dinner or as a centerpiece for a holiday feast.

Does Pinot Noir Pair Well With Steak?

Pinot Noir is a red wine that is typically lighter in body than other red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. While it may not be the first wine that comes to mind when thinking about pairing wine with steak. Pinot Noir can still be a good option for certain types of steak.

When considering whether Pinot Noir pairs well with steak, it’s important to take into account the cut of the steak. As well as the method of preparation and seasoning. For example, a lighter cut of steak, such as a filet mignon or flank steak, can pair well with Pinot Noir because the wine won’t overpower the delicate flavors of the meat.

Additionally, Pinot Noir works well with steak dinner that’s been prepared with herbs or spices. Because the earthy and spicy notes in the wine can complement the seasonings on the steak and provide a harmonious pairing.

However, for heavier cuts of steak, such as a ribeye steak or sirloin, Pinot Noir may not be the best choice. The wine’s lighter body and lower tannin content won’t be able to stand up to the richness and fat content of the meat.

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