Exceptional Wine

Matching Wine and Steak

Posted on July 12 2017

Warning: if you are reading this in the morning you may feel hunger pangs for the remainder of your day.

I really love a good steak. Perhaps it is because I spent over 10 years as a vegetarian, or perhaps just because I love matching wine and steak. Either way, there is little more satisfying to a red-wine loving steak chomper than steak night!

What type of wine can you match with steak? 

Despite the obvious fact that red wine and steak are a match made in heaven, there are some white wines that can cope with the fatty, salty nature of the beef. If you do fancy white with your fillet, sirloin or rib-eye I would recommend either Champagne (not generally the Grand Marques, but the slightly more vinous and tightly-etched grower Champagnes).


Something rich, textured and with broad flavours such as a Puligny-Montrachet or white Rioja, or something with high acidity such as a Riesling (well-aged Alsace examples are perfect). 

When it comes to red wines, however, perhaps we can be a little more specific. Let's match a few specific wines to a few specific cuts.

Fillet Steak and... red Burgundy. This lean, tender cut isn't as savoury or rich as some of the other cuts. The wonderful freshness and fine tannins of a Pinot Noir are perfect with this. That is unless you smother it in a rich, buttery sauce! You could also try a Zinfandel, Mencia or Valpolicella.

Sirloin Steak and... Malbec. We couldn't leave Malbec out of a steak-matching post. The Argentinians are masters of all things steak, and they wouldn't have it with anything but Malbec. The fruity perfume but earthy flavour of a good Malbec is perfect with this medium-fatty cut. Malbec can cope with a relatively herby or buttery sauce too. Alternatives are Chateauneuf du Pape, Cote-Rotie, Shiraz or New World Cabernet Sauvignon.

Rib-Eye Steak and... Bordeaux! This is the King and Queen of steak-wine matching. The Rib-Eye is the tastiest, richest cut of steak and Bordeaux the most structured and complex of wines. Its intensely tannic structure matches well with the fatty richness, whilst the savoury nature of an aged Bordeaux goes well with herb, butter and shallot sauces. Alternatives are Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino, Rioja Gran Reserva and a highly pedigreed New World Bordeaux style wine such as the Ridge Monte Bello.

Well, now that we are all probably feeling rather hungry (and thirsty), I will leave you to plan the perfect steak and wine night.

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