Pairing Steak and Wine

Preparation of the meat affects pairing wine with steak; Grilling vs. Broiling, using Sauces and Spices will all affect your food and wine pairing in general. If you have a lot of seasoning, you obviously need an intense wine, and vice versa. If you’re going to grill or broil the meat you want to pair a wine that has characteristics of oak aging.

While most Red Wine is aged in oak, some are aged in neutral oak and gives no real oak characteristics to the wine. Wines ages in non-neutral oak will mimic the characteristics of grilling, broiling or roasting which makes them better for meats prepared that way. If you’re braising, boiling or making some kind of stew, you want softer wines because the meat is softer, gentler and and not as intense in flavor.

Fattier Steak – medium to full bodied wine with noticeable tannin(the drying affect).
Leaner Meat – medium to lighter bodied wine with soft tannins.

Wine and Steak Pairing by Cut (General Rule)

Filet Mignon –Grilled or Broiled with light seasoning
Merlot with around five year of age (Ideally St. Emilion or Pomerol)
Cotes Du Rhone
Cru Beajolais (not to be confused with regular Beajolais)
Burgundy(Cote De Nuits)

NY Strip/Kansas City Cut – Grilled or Broiled with light seasoning
Cabernet Sauvignon (California, Washington, Australia, Bordeaux)
Syrah – (California, Washington, Rhone, St. Joseph, Cornas)

Ribeye & Skirt Steak (a.k.a. Romanian Steak)
Cabernet Sauvignon (Big and Bold – California, Washington, Margaux, Pauillac)
Hermitage(Rhone Syrah)

Steak and Wine Pairing Exceptions to the Rules

***If you cook the meat well-done, stay away from the big robust wines as they will overpower the meat***

***If the steak or meat is cooked in or topped with a red wine sauce, try and stick toward whatever wine is used in the sauce***

Earthy wine over Fruity wine. Think about it logically, meat and fruitiness?
-Exception to the exception: If the meat is heavily spiced or has a kick, go with fruit forward wines.

Wine and BBQ
You’re pairing with the sauce more than the meat: Zinfandel(red, not white), Malbec, Primitivo, Shiraz and Gewurztraminer. BBQ sauces are generally heavily spiced, smokey and sweet. The wines I mentioned here are robust, fruit-forward with plenty of spice, aromatic.

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