Enjoying a glass of vino with your steak is the ultimate way to enhance each dish and make it even more delectable.
Not sure how to distinguish between different types of steak or find the best wine pairings? Don’t fret! Although it may sound intimidating, food and wine pairing isn’t just a hobby for sommeliers. With some fundamental knowledge about beef and vino, you can conjure up an extraordinary flavor experience dining at Libertango. Keep reading!
What to know about Steaks
Selecting the ideal steak and wine pairing comes down to two key components, steak-wise:
Fattiness: Fat adds flavor and keeps the steak juicy, so it’s important to consider the degree of fat content when selecting your cut. Doneness:
- Rare (cool center; lightly seared outside)
- Medium rare (warm pink center; darkly seared outside)
- Well done (brown throughout)
Seasoning: You can also choose to season your steak with salt, pepper, and other spices. This will enhance the flavor of the steak and should be taken into account when selecting a wine pairing.
What to Know about Wine
Wine’s tannins and acidity balance out fatty steaks, so it’s important to consider the following when selecting a wine:
Body: Red wines generally have more body and can stand up to bold flavors.
Tannins: Wines with high tannin levels (dry reds) will pair well with richer, fattier steaks.
Acidity: Higher-acidity wines (like Cabernets) will stand out more against a steak’s natural flavor.
Grape Varieties with Steak
Cabernet Sauvignon: To minimize the bitterness of Cabernet Sauvignon, pair it with a juicy steak or savory dish rich in fats and proteins. For instance, dishes with heavy butter cream sauce help to neutralize the tannins allowing for more pronounced fruity flavors within the wine itself. Grilled steaks with Cab Sauv is a match made in heaven!
Merlot: Medium-bodied Merlots have flavors of plum and spice that work well with ribeye steaks. Merlot is a magnificent wine that harmonizes perfectly with all kinds of steaks, particularly ribeye. Pro Tip: A low-seasoning approach is typically recommended, however, an added pinch of paprika can really take your dish to the next level!
Pinot Noir: Most Pinot Noir wines are usually light to medium-bodied, making them a great match for milder meats. Yet with its natural acidity and sweet red berry flavors, it can surprisingly work well with steak dinners too – depending on the style and cut of course. For best results, pair this wine with leaner cuts like fillets that have been cooked rare to medium-rare.
Malbec: Bold, deeply hued, and pleasantly tannic – Malbec is the red wine of choice for many connoisseurs. It’s bursting with intense flavors, from smoky to spicy; some bottles even have subtle leather nuances! Not only does it carry the classic black & blue fruit notes but its complexity continues to surprise us with each sip. Malbecs are best suited for fatty cuts of beef like ribeye or strip steak.
Syrah/Shiraz: Searching for a red wine to pair exquisitely with fatty cuts of steak such as ribeye? Look no further than a Syrah varietal. Shiraz has a unique peppery profile that pairs nicely with beef dishes.
When selecting the perfect steak and wine pairing, it’s important to consider fat content, doneness, seasoning, and grape varieties. With these components in mind, you can create an extraordinary flavor experience with your next meal at Libertango. Whether you opt for a Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot with ribeye steaks, all of these wines will help enhance the flavors of each dish. So why not give one (or more) pairings a try? Let us know what combinations work best for you!