North Coast Wine Co. Outerbound Pinot Noir – WineO Mark Review Wine Stats Grape Variety: 100% Pinot Noir Vintage: 2019 ABV: 14% Wine Region: North Coast,
7 Best Wines with Filet Mignon & Why it Pairs So Well!
Filet mignon is a type of steak that is cut from the beef tenderloin. It is a very tender and lean cut of meat with subtle flavors, making it a popular choice for steak lovers and steak pairings. This dish is commonly served with sauces, but can also be enjoyed with a simple seasoning of salt and pepper.
In this blog post, we will discuss the best wine with filet mignon and why. We will also provide tips on how to best pair these two indulgences together.
Table of Contents
What is Filet Mignon?
As we mentioned, filet mignon is a type of steak that is cut from the beef tenderloin. The tenderloin is a long, cylindrical muscle that runs along the spine of the cow. This muscle is not used very often, so it is very tender. In fact, the name “filet mignon” is French for “cute filet.”
This cut of meat is very lean, which means it doesn’t have a lot of fat. This makes it a healthier option than other types of steak. However, it also means that filet mignon can be less flavorful than other cuts of steak (like a ribeye steak or new york strip). This is why it is often served with sauces or other seasonings.
While filet mignon is a very popular choice for steak, it can be quite expensive. This is because it is a leaner cut of meat and there is less of it on the cow.
Because of the higher cost and less fat, some chefs may label it an overrated cut of beef. Its thickness also makes it somewhat more challenging to cook properly. However, if prepared properly (sous vide), I love the meat’s tenderness and it definitely becomes one of my favorite cuts of meat.
What are the Best Wine Pairing with Filet Mignon?
1) Pinot Noir (Best for Simple Seasoning)
As we mentioned, Pinot Noir is a great wine to pair with filet mignon that has been seasoned with just salt and pepper. This is because it is typically a lighter red wine that is higher in acidity that will help add to the flavor of the filet mignon without overpowering the delicate flavor of the meat.
Pinot Noir originates from the Burgundy region of France. Pinot Noir is typically lighter wine with red fruit flavors. They can also have hints of spice, earthiness, and even floral notes.
When pairing Pinot Noir wine with filet mignon, we recommend choosing a wine from Burgundy, Oregon, or Sonoma. These regions produce some of the best Pinot Noirs in the world.
With this pairing, look for the meat to soften the tannins in the Pinot Noir so that it may become smoother and fruitier, while the wine softens the fat in the filet and becomes more flavorful.
2) Merlot (Best Overall)
Merlot is another great wine to pair with filet mignon. It is a medium-bodied red wine that has more darker fruit flavors to Pinot Noir. However, Merlot wines are typically more fruit-forward than Pinot Noir and have softer tannins. This makes them a bit more approachable and easier to drink.
Merlot wines are produced all over the world, but some of the best come from Bordeaux, France (Right Bank). When pairing Merlot with filet mignon, we recommend choosing a wine from Bordeaux or Napa Valley. Typically these Merlots will have a bit higher tannins than other Merlots from other regions.
With this pairing, you can expect the Merlot to round out the flavors of the filet mignon and make it more juicy and flavorful. The wine will become velvety smooth and take on more earthy notes from the meat.
3) Cabernet Sauvignon (Best for Rich Sauces)
Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied red wine that has bold flavors of dark fruits, oak, and spice. It is probably the most classic pairing for wine and a steak dinner. And these high tannins are why Cabernet Sauvignon wine pairs with filet mignon that has a rich sauce.
Cabernet Sauvignon wines are produced all over the world, but some of the best come from Bordeaux, France (Left Bank) and Napa Valley in California. When pairing Cabernet Sauvignon with filet mignon, we recommend choosing a wine from Bordeaux or Napa Valley.
With this pairing, the tannins in the Cabernet Sauvignon will help cut through the richness of the sauce and make it more balanced. While the flavors of the dark fruits, oak, and spice in the wine will just add to the flavors of the meat.
4) Super Tuscan (My Favorite)
Super Tuscan is a style of red wine that is made in Tuscany, Italy. These red wines are typically a blend of one or more international grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or Syrah, And Sangiovese is sometimes added to the mix.
The best Super Tuscan wines have the body and structure of a Cabernet Sauvignon, with the fruit flavors of a Merlot, and the acidity and minerality of a Sangiovese. This makes them an incredibly versatile wine that can pair well with a wide variety of foods.
I personally love Super Tuscan wines and think they are some of the best in the world. And my favorite wine to pair with filet mignon is Ornellaia Bolgheri Superiore. This wine is from the Bolgheri region of Tuscany and is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. By the way I just visited this winery recently, and I highly recommend the next time you are in Tuscany.
With this pairing, you can expect the Ornellaia to add a ton of flavor to the filet mignon. The steak will become more juicy and flavorful, while the filet mignon will help soften the tannins in the wine so that it may become smoother and fruitier.
Any Super Tuscan wine will work with this pairing, especially if you can get your hands on a Sassicaia.
5) Zinfandel (Best for Spices)
Zinfandel is a wine that is made from the Zinfandel grape. It is a very versatile grape that can be used to make everything from a light, refreshing rosé, to a full-bodied red wine. And it is the later that we are interested in for this pairing.
Zinfandel wines tend to be very fruit-forward with flavors of dark fruits, spice, and pepper. This makes them a great wine to pair with filet mignon that has been seasoned with spices.
Zinfandel red wines are produced all over California, but some of the best come from Sonoma, Napa, Lodi, and Paso Robles. When pairing Zinfandel with filet mignon, we recommend choosing a wine from one of these regions.
With this pairing, you can expect the flavors of the dark fruits and spice in the Zinfandel to accent the flavors of spice on the filet mignon. While the acidity in the wine will help cut through any fat in the steak.
6) Malbec (Best for Grilled Filet)
Another excellent compliment to the filet mignon’s texture is a hearty red wine such as Malbec. It is a medium to full-bodied red wine with medium to high tannins. And this makes them a great wine to pair with filet mignon that has been grilled.
Malbec wines are produced all over the world, but some of the best come from Argentina. When pairing Malbec with filet mignon, we recommend choosing a wine from Argentina. This will be a little more fruit forward than a French Malbec.
With this pairing, you can expect the flavors of the dark fruits and earthier flavors in the Malbec to complement the flavors of the filet mignon. While the medium to high acidity in the wine will help cut through any fat in the steak.
Shiraz is a red wine that is made in Australia from the Syrah (Shiraz) grape. It is a very versatile grape that is more full-bodied, with softer tannins, a more fruity flavor, and hint of spice than the Syrah version of this wine from France or US.
With this pairing, you can expect the flavors of the dark fruits and spice in the full-bodied Shiraz to cut through the fat and protein, which in turn smooths out the tannins.
Best Tips to Pair Wine with Filet Mignon
Filet mignon is a luxurious and succulent cut of meat that deserves to be paired with an equally luxurious wine.
But there are no hard, definitive rules about matching wine and meat. The best pairings are always wines that you like and foods that you like. If you pair the filet mignon with your favorite red wine, I’m almost 100% certain you will enjoy the pairing!
Instead of matching not just the meat texture to the wine, you should match it to the sauce being used. If the filet mignon is cooked in a peppercorn sauce or other complex rich flavor combinations, go for a bigger and bolder wine.
Does white wine go with filet mignon?
Generally steak is paired with red wine. However if you prefer white wines, it is best to pair it with a white wine that has some body to it such as a Chardonnay or Viognier.
What is the best wine to drink with steak?
An easy answer is your personal favorite red wine. Otherwise we have many recommendations above.
Does Cabernet Sauvignon go with filet mignon?
Yes it is probably the most classic pairing for wine and steak.
Is Pinot Noir or Cabernet better with steak?
It depends on your personal preference but they are both excellent choices. The answer to this question relies on another question: “which wine do you like better?”
Typically filet mignons with simple seasoning, just salt and pepper, usually go best with Pinot Noir. On the other hand, Cabernets are a better option for filet mignons drenched in richer gravy/sauces.
Is Merlot or Cabernet better for steak?
Again, it depends on your personal preference but they are both excellent choices. The answer to this question relies on another question: “which wine do you like better?”
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