There’s nothing quite like the combination of a juicy steak and a nice glass of red wine. When pairing the best wine to go with steak, there are a few amazing options. Typically red wines goes better with red meat because of the tannins in the wine that soften fat in the meat to release its flavor. We know you have a lot of red wine choices, so we’re here to guide you and help you find the best red wine to go with steak.
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Why is wine good with steak?
A good glass of wine provides a delightful addition to your meal. When pairing wine with steak, you want to look for one that is slightly tangy and delicately sweet, so it can compliment the salty and fatty flavors in the meat.
Red wine is the perfect accompaniment to steak because red meat and red wine just go together. Sure, white wine is okay. A cocktail is okay. But when you’re aiming for perfection, red wine is your winning ticket.
Washing down a juicy steak with a sip of red wine causes an explosion of flavors in your mouth. It’s a great idea to experiment with different seasonings that you can add to the meat, and mix and match wine combinations.
The best red wines with steak
Instead of grabbing a random bottle off the shelf, learn about which red wines to pair with steak for the ultimate flavor combinations.
When choosing a zinfandel wine, make sure your steak is not seasoned with any sweetness, such as a brown sugar glaze. Because this type of wine is already slightly sweet, Zinfandels deserve a steak that has zesty and spicy flavors. Zinfandels lean less on the dry side and more on the sweet side, so pairing it with a steak that’s also sweet would ruin the flavors.
Our dear friend Malbec has bold, heavy flavor that goes great with a lean cut of meat such as a top sirloin or flank steak. A fatty cut of meat can easily overwhelm the richness of the wine.
Malbec wine that comes from Argentina has the main flavors of plum, chocolate, and blackberry. You'll also taste the underlying flavors of leather, cocoa powder, violet, and sometimes a sweet tobacco. Malbec wine that originated in France on the other hand, is lacking in fruity flavors and instead has a more leathery, bitter taste. Those who enjoy bitter flavors like currant and black plum will favor a French-grown Malbec wine.
So, what wine do you drink when you have a fatty cut of meat such as a ribeye? In this case, a Syrah is the perfect choice. You’ll need a very dark red wine to balance out the fatty meat, and a Syrah does just that.
Merlot and steak go together like two peas in a pod. Merlot has a soft tannin level and mildly fruity flavors that combine perfectly with the rich flavors of red meat. Merlot pairs well with any cut of meat, whether it is fatty or lean because it's milld flavors give the meat the chance to really shine.
Merlot, meaning 'The Little Blackbird' in French, is the second most popular wine in America, after Cabernet Sauvignon. The Merlot grapes arrived in the U.S. in the mid 19th century. Merlot has a low tannin level, which means it has a smooth, velvety constancy in the mouth and is very easy to drink. This type of wine has an ABV content of around 13% but can reach 14.5% when the grapes are grown in a warmer climate like Australia, California, or Chile. Merlot has flavors of plums, chocolate, and dark berries. It is on the more dry side and is not considered a sweet wine.
When in doubt, choose a Cabernet. This widely popular wine rarely lets us down. There’s a reason why it’s the most popular red wine in America, and that’s because it goes with basically any type of steak. Cabernets have a high acidity that cuts through red meat flawlessly to provide the perfect flavor combinations.
Cabernet Sauvignon has a beautiful dark red color, full bodied flavor, and an average alcohol content over 13.5%. This type of red wine is most commonly made in California, Australia, France, and Chile. Cabernet Sauvignon has dry flavors and a hearty level of tannins, which is the reason your mouth may feel dry when drinking it. Common flavors found in Cabernet Sauvignon are pepper, tobacco, dark fruit like cherries, and vanilla.
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