If steak is among your favorite foods, we’re right there with you. There’s truly nothing we love more than the delicious smell and juicy taste of a well-cooked steak. When thinking of this perfect dinner, what’s even more sensational is the idea of pairing it with a flavorful glass of wine. When it comes to finding the ideal wine to accompany the already-incredible steak, you might be surprised to find how the subtle nuances between the two can create a truly wonderful match. To start, don’t be afraid to seek out wines that have been stored in new oak. This is because the barrels give off a smoky-sweet note that perfectly brings out the taste of the char on the meat.
If you’re looking for advice on what exact wines work best for when you’re dining at home or visiting your local steakhouse, see below for a few suggestions of what to look for and what to buy:
Cabernet Blends. Cabernets from the Napa Valley have long been paired with a grilled steak, making it a classic staple that won’t let you down. We suggest looking for Cabernet blends from regions like Paso Robles or Walla Walla.
Malbec. In Argentina, steak is one of the most popular and desired meat dishes. With their steak dinners, you’ll usually find them also enjoying a glass of their local Malbec. It’s a rich, earthy earth that is also a great alternative to a Cabernet. The wine itself has even been known to carry a beefy scent.
Bordeaux. If wines in a European style are your favorite, try pouring a red Bordeaux to pair with your meal—it’s made using a blend of Cabernet and Merlot, along with various other grapes. It’s good to keep in mind that these wines usually contain extra acid and tannins than California wines, which go well with a rich, buttery sauce.
Zinfandel. Try a Zinfandel from California with berry flavors at the forefront to accompany any sweet spices you add to your steak. Zinfandels are known to have a low amount of tannins that pair nicely with a small amount of spice and are still rich enough to go with something like steak. Use when you’re serving your meat with ribs, because they work well with sweet barbecue-like sauces.
And when it comes to three specific variations of steak:
Among different types of steak, ribeye is without doubt the juiciest. The high tannins in a Cabernet Sauvignon cut through this juiciness and create a fine pairing. Another wine option that
pairs well with a ribeye is a spicy Zinfandel. This wine’s fruitiness goes well with the ribeye's robust flavor.
A tender Filet Mignon has a very delicate flavor from the fatty cut and is often served with sauces. The best pairing for a Filet Mignon that is served very simply with only salt and pepper is a light Pinot Noir with fruity notes and a slight oaky flavor. It complements the gentle flavors of the meat and never overpowers it.
New York Strip
A New York Strip has a rich, beefy flavor and is medium tender. The perfect pairing for this strip steak is a Cabernet Sauvignon, due to the black fruit notes which add a great contrast to a meaty cut. If you’re serving the steak with a fresh salad instead of mashed potatoes, then you’ll want to buy a Pinot Noir or Rose to go along with it.
If you’re looking for a delicious steak and wine pairing, we’d be more than happy to serve you at Atlas Steakhouse. With a list of fine wines and delicious meats, we’ll offer the perfect suggestions for a decadent dining experience that our customers say is truly unparalleled.