Nothing beats chilling on a summer afternoon, breathing in the sea breeze, soaking in the hot sun and grilling the barbecue for the family. Of course, cooking a big and juicy steak would be fine too, as long as you have the perfect wine to accompany you. There are tons of kinds of steaks out there, and you have been having a struggle which one is your favorite, and choosing your favorite wine too. With unlimited choices with both steaks and wines, the pairings between steaks and wines would be virtually limitless.
It is worth remembering that there is one universal rule in pairing wine with steak: red wine goes with red meat. No questions asked, no argument, final and irrevocable. That can be an exaggeration, but it is right to some extent. The rich textures of an excellent steak must be balanced out by the acidity and tannin of the wine. Red wines fit this criterion as the tannin, the bitter taste, and the characteristics of the wine matches with the protein and fat that is present in the steak.
On the other hand, light wines do not fit the bill for steak as the light characteristics of the white wine tends to get overshadowed by the richness of the flavor and taste of the steak. Still, there are more factors than what is said in finding the best wine that fits perfectly with your favorite steak.
While there are a lot of wines to choose from in wine ratings, there are certain factors that you have to consider in selecting the wine that will complement the steak’s fat content, cut, level of doneness, type of seasoning, acidity, and the flavor of the sauce. It should be these factors where you should base your choice of wine. The pairings are subjective because after all, your choice would be the best choice.
Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied wine full of tannins with high alcohol content. It pairs perfectly with your favorite marble steak. Its tannin and the high alcohol content is highly capable of withstanding the bold flavors of any red meat, not to mention it blends well with the natural flavors the steak gives when cooked. That said, it pairs perfectly to any red meat, not white meat like chicken, fish, and turkey as the full flavor of the wine overshadows the lightness of white meat.
Zinfandel’s spicy flavors blend in with the full-bodied characteristics of the steak. Not only that, but it also blends well with any seasoning that comes with the meat upon cooking. You should avoid marbled cuts since Zinfandel does not have a high content of tannin just like Cabernet Sauvignon. The high alcohol and medium to a high content of tannin of the wine make it suitable for a barbecue with a lot of spicy sauce. The wine has a concentrated cherry and berry flavors with a little bit of oak and a lot of spices on the side.
Hailing from the famous Bordeaux region of France, Merlot is known for its soft tannins. It may not have the similar content of tannins just like Cabernet Sauvignon, but it is still a perfect pair for your favorite steak. The fat and protein of the steak are lowered by the characteristics of the wine by the flavors the wine itself presents such as berries, plums, blue and blackberries, a little bit of cocoa and black pepper. These flavors allow you to taste the richness of the steak without letting it stay in your palate too much.
The light and medium-bodied characteristics of Pinot Noir, as well as its low content, does not make it an unbalanced pair for your steak. Its high acidity is a factor that could balance out the flavor of the wine and steak in your mouth. This wine is loved by wine enthusiasts and casual wine drinkers alike because of its versatility, food-friendly features, its subtleness and its color as it is not as deep in red unlike the other wines in this list. It has a fresh note of fruity goodness in its flavors, along with an undertone of spice with an earthy flavor in its aftertaste which pairs well with filet mignon, which has a low-fat content in the meat.
There are a ton of wines that you could choose from in the market, as well as there are a thousand kinds of steaks and meat. With that said, there will be a million pairings that you will encounter in your lifetime. In the end, your preferences will be based upon your choice of pairing, along with your favorite wine and steak. Choosing your favorite wine and steak will be both exciting and fulfilling as you find the pairing that will suit your tastes.