Oh, where do we begin?
The simple rule is the fattier the steak, the more of a robust in your face wine you want to drink with it.
For the best wine pairings for steak you want to bust out your most prominent red wines with lots of barrel aging, some smokiness, and tannins.
The Best Wine Pairings For Steak:
Bordeaux blends. Cabernet and Merlot blends are juicy thanks to the Merlot grape and the Cabernet Sauvignon grape gives it a full body and robust structure. Pan-seared steaks are delightful with Cabernet blends. Try:
- Finca Decero The Owl and The Dust Devil 2015 (from Argentina)
- Chateau Greysac 2015, Bordeaux, France
- Clarendelle Inspired by Haut-Brion Medoc 2014
- Chateau Gillet 2016, Bordeaux, France
Meritage blends. A Meritage is a blend of two or more of the “Noble” Bordeaux grape varieties made in the United States. It must consist of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, St. Macaire, Gros Verdot, or Carmenère, and no single grape variety can make up 90% of the blend. Since it’s made in the US, it’s a big no-no to call it a Bordeaux. I adore a good Meritage.
I adore a good Meritage. The word Meritage (rhymes with “heritage” but is also pronounced “mehr-it-taj”)​. It’s just pinkies up for the sake of being fancy. But it does get applied to better blends. Try:
- Jebediah Drinkwell’s Meritage NV, Trader Joe’s – One of my favorites!
- Outlander Meritage Red Blend, Paso Robles, Aldi’s
- Rodney Strong Symmetry Meritage 2015
- Lyeth Sonoma Meritage 2017
- Spoken Barrel Meritage Red Blend 2016, Columbia Valley, Washington
Tannat. Tannat is an undervalued wine. I happen to love it. It’s dark on the palate with lots of blackberries, vanilla, espresso, mocha, and whiffs of cigar smoke. There are hints of licorice and raspberries in there too. You’ll find French Tannat from Madiran strikingly chewy and full of red fruits. Tannat from Uruguay is a little juicier with blackberry, plum, and black cherry rounding it out. Try:
- Chateau Peyros Madiran Tannat-Cabernet Franc 2006
- Bodega Garzon Uruguay Reserve Tannat 2018
Malbec. It’s inky, juicy, and the often smoky finish makes it perfect for steak. In Argentina, the land of the gauchos, they take their steak very seriously. Forget any steak sauce, how dare you. The only condiment you need is chimichurri. It’s why pairing Argentine Malbec with steak is a match made in heaven.
- Layer Cake Malbec
- Tapiz Black Tears Malbec 2014
- LaPosta Fazzio Malbec
- Zuccardi Serie A Malbec
Shiraz / Syrah. You say Shiraz, I say Syrah, let’s drink the whole bottle down. I personally love Shiraz with steak. It’s packed with chocolate, plum, and herbaceous notes with firm tannins and bracing acidity. It’s the perfect foil for a juicy steak. Try:
- Mollydooker Shiraz Blue Eyed Boy, Australia
- Charles Smith Syrah Boom Boom, Washington
- D’Arenberg Shiraz Dead Arm, Australia
Zinfandel. Zin. Zin. Zin. This garnet-hued easy drinker is fruity and a little tart. It’s full of blackberries and strawberries with a bit of funk, thyme, and some baking spice. These are supremely sippable and will go with any cut of steak you choose.
- Michael David Freakshow Zinfandel
- The Prisoner, Saldo Zinfandel
- Seghesio Zinfandel Sonoma, 2018
- Bogle Old Vines Zinfandel 2017
- 1000 Stories Bourbon Barrel Aged Zinfandel
Wildcards. I call my nephew a wildcard because you never know if he’s going to rip off his diaper full of crap or kiss you. These wines are wildcard pairings in a kissing kind of way. They are positively perfect for steak or any other type of beef you choose to serve for dinner. Try:
- Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, Maison Noir Wines – A walloping blend of Oregon Syrah, Washington Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. Yes, yes, yes. It’s our “house” wine.
- 19 Crimes Red Blend – My sister-in-law first brought me a bottle of this Cabernet inspired blend when she was figuring me out. We drank it together and became BFF’s over our love of wine, Gin, and drunk shopping on Amazon.
- Bogle Phantom Red Blend – I feel that this wine gets ignored, and it’s so sippable! Aged in American Oak for two years and a blend of Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Merlot with a little Cabernet Sauvignon from California. It’s worth twice the price that it’s sold for (under $20). You can find this at big box stores too.
- Rosé – Rosé wines are more similar to reds than whites anyways, and are the perfect overlooked pairing for a delicious fatty steak. Try Tempranillo Rosé from Spain, Muses Estate 9 Rosé 2019 from Greece, a blend of Syrah and Muchtaro grapes. It’s juicy watermelon, a little spice, with cranberry, and raspberry on the finish.
- Tavel Rosé – the structured combination of Grenache/Cinsault/Syrah/Mourvèdre from the Rhone Valley makes it perfect for the rich fattiness of ribeyes, drink it icy cold. The Tavel region in the Rhone Valley takes it wine production very seriously. The 2017 Reserve des Chastelles Tavel Rosé from Vignobles & Compagnie from Trader Joe’s at $9 a bottle is fabulous. It’s full body juicy cherry, watermelon, a bit of salt, with strawberry on the finish makes it perfect for steak. This wine could easily sell for $20. Stock up!
- Ruinart Brut Rosé Champagne is the oldest Champagne house (since 1729 before it, there was none) is luxurious with all cuts of steak.
By the way if you haven’t read how to make the best steak goddammit, click here now >>