Guest Post: 3 Wine Choices to Pair with Your Next Steak Dinner

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3 Wine choices to pair with your next steak dinner

Red meat pairs best with a fine red wine, whether you’re enjoy steak that’s been marinated in fresh herbs, barbecued or braised. When pairing wine with steak, it’s important to consider the cut — whether it’s a rib-eye or New York strip — as well as the level of doneness and any sauce served with the steak. Here are three excellent wine choices to pair with your next steak, along with some recommendations for cooking.

Adelsheim 2010 Ribbon Springs Pinot Noir for prime rib

This light, fragrant and earthy red wine is produced in Ribbon Ridge, Oregon’s smallest American Viticultural Area (AVA) and established only eight years ago. This 2010 Pinot Noir is one of Adelsheim’s popular single vineyard bottlings with very soft tannins that pair beautifully with prime rib. While Cabernet Sauvignon may seem like the perfect choice for this dish, prime rib is slow roasted and very flavorful with the tenderness that comes with slow roasting. Cabernet is usually too acidic to complement a fine prime rib while Pinot Noir has a rich taste of spices that pair wonderfully with this meal.

Steak Dinner with Rioja2009 Beckmen Cabernet Sauvignon for rib eye

Rib eye is a very tender cut with a bold flavor and pairs well with any wine that’s mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, whether it’s been grilled, fried or broiled. While the prime rib can’t stand up to the tannins of the Cabernet, rib eye has enough marbling to hold up well with a powerful wine. This Cabernet from Beckmen is 100% estate grown with flavors of spice, earth and blackberry. It’s grown in the Santa Ynez Valley of California and sells for around $25.

2006 Castello di Brolio by Ricasoli for a T-bone steak

T-bone steak is known for its quality and this cut tends to be very flavorful and tender. A T-Bone steak is actually cut from both the tenderloin and short loin so one side will be tender while the other is heavy on the flavor. Because this steak has two cuts, you’ll want a red wine that’s gentle enough to pair with the tenderloin yet has enough tannins to not be overpowered by the other half. This full-bodied and spicy wine made the top 100 wine list from the Wine Spectator. The Ricasoli family behind this wine has been making wine in the region for centuries and continues the fine tradition with some of the best wines of the Chianti Classico region. This wine is made from Sangiovese with some Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon with 2/3 of the wine aged for a year and a half in new oak barrels.

General tips for choosing a wine with steak

If you’re not having one of these cuts for dinner, remember to select a red wine that complements the cut and level of doneness. Lean steaks like filet mignon need a wine with less tannins as the meat will not have enough fat to soften the acidity. For cuts with more marbling, like skirt steak or New York strip, select a brawny wine with full tannins. Well-done and medium rare steaks pair well with earthy or aged old-world wines.

Photo credits: Don LaVange with CC 2.0 license

About the author: Christine is a food writer for She enjoys visiting wineries and trying new dishes.

10 comments on “Guest Post: 3 Wine Choices to Pair with Your Next Steak Dinner”

  1. Suzanne Reply

    Fascinating and I never thought to pair wine by cut and level of doneness. So interesting and Christine is so knowledgeable. Thanks for posting.

    • vino in love Reply

      I haven’t paired wine by cut and level of doneness myself yet but I’m looking forward to try it. I’m glad you enjoyed this guest post.

  2. foodwine88 Reply

    So interesting! I used pick my wine depending on what type of meet it is (like pork, chicken, turkey and so on). It’s a gret idea to pair them by cut!
    Thanks Christine for this great article 🙂

  3. drinkforlife Reply

    I think these wine suggestions are alright. Not so sure about the 2009 Beckmen Cabernet Sauvignon. I think aged Rioja Reserva or an aged Montepulciano d’Abruzzo will work better with rib eye.

    • vino in love Reply

      Thanks for your input on this. I agree that a Montepulciano might be the better pairing but we all have different tastes and I can see a Cabernet Sauvignon working well with rib eye, too.

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