Perfect steak

What Wine Goes With Steak: 7 Perfect Pairings

Sep 10, 2022 | Pairing Guides

Here, we explore the different kinds of wine that go well with steak, depending on the cut, the way it is cooked and the sauces and sides that go with it. It’s no secret that wine goes with steak. The best question to ask is what kind of wine goes with steak. There’s a certain affinity between these two that make a meal excellent.

It’s no surprise that a nice glass of red goes so perfectly well with red meat and a glass of crisp white wine goes perfectly with fish. But why is that?

Wine contains a certain amount of tanning. Tannin refers to a group of polyphenols that can bind with proteins and softens the meat. They are characterized by the presence of several phenyl groups such as acidity and astringency.

The more tannin wine has, the more it complements rich, red meat. The tanning softens the protein and it works to release more flavor making it a perfect marriage between the two. In return, the meat lessens the astringency of the wine. If a couple were to live happily ever after, it would be red wine and steak.

Now here’s a list of wines that go well with steak.

Cabernet Sauvignon

1. Cabernet

Cabernets have a bold and intense flavor that pairs very well with hearty and rich dishes. The wine cuts through the heartiness of the dish, making it a perfect pair. If Cabernet is paired with a lighter dish, it is most likely that the dish will get lost in the flavor of the wine and you don’t want that.

When pairing wine with food, you want a perfect relationship between the two. A give and take that allows for both flavors to flourish in the meal.

Cabernet Sauvignon goes perfectly well with beef ribeye and lamb because these two tend to be fattier, coating your mouth with fat. If you continue to do so without washing it down with red wine, it is likely that the flavor in the next bite won’t stand out as much. Truly enjoy your meal by having Cabernet with the fatty, rich meat.


2. Malbec

Malbec is also a wine with intense and bold flavors. However, it doesn’t have the woody or oak notes but a fruity one. It typically has citrus and other fruity notes and it is deep violet in color.

Because of Malbec’s fruity flavor profile, it is perfect to pair with leaner steaks flank steaks or sirloin.

Not only does Malbec go well with leaner cuts of steak but it also is the type of wine that goes well with roast pork and dark meat poultry.


3. Shiraz

Shiraz is a heavy and robust wine. If you’re looking for the best type of red wine to pair with fatty steak like ribeye, Shiraz is your best choice. Shiraz balances the perfectly marbled meat and the fat cuts through its astringency.

Shiraz is a good wine to age. It can pick up an earthy and leathery flavor, balancing the fruitiness of the grape. If you want to get yourself a vintage bottle of wine, Shiraz won’t disappoint.


4. Zinfandel

If you enjoy sweeter wines, Zinfandel is perfect for you. It’s not only perfect for you but it also perfectly goes well with steak.

The grapes that make up Zinfandel are a lot sweeter and are made with 15% higher alcohol levels.

If you do choose to drink Zinfandel with your steak, make sure your steak isn’t seasoned with sweet ingredients. Pair it with a steak that has been seasoned with zesty seasoning or spice to counter the sweetness.


5. Merlot

The traditional kind of Merlot is a medium-bodied wine that has notes of fresh red fruit such as raspberries or strawberries.

Merlot types tend to pair well with rich sauced dishes like steak and roasts. Merlot also makes a great wine for cooking. If you’re pairing red wine sauce with your steak, Merlot is the perfect option for making this red wine sauce.


6. Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir could be a hit or miss. It could be one of the best wines you’ll ever have or one of the most boring. If you get it right, you can pair it with the best steak cut you have available.

The best kind of Pinot Noir to have with steak is the full-bodied and rich pinots. Its tannin level will definitely match that of the steak’s richness. Pinot Noir is also great for making coq au vin to sauce up your steak.

7. Bordeaux

Bordeaux is an outstanding region in France for making some of the best wines in the world. Bordeaux produces red and white wine but it is most notable for its red wine blends. Wine aficionados from all over the world put Bordeaux wine in high regard.

Bordeaux wines are complex and rich in earthy tones and refined red and black fruits. Bordeaux wine is good to pair with rich, spicier, saltier and fattier steaks due to its full-bodied nature.


Hey there! I'm Isabel. I love cooking, dogs, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good flavorful food, to share with family and friends.



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