What Wines Pair With Steak? High-end Steakhouse Sommelier Explains The Best Pairings

Last Updated: May 22, 2018
Wine Pairing With Steak Guide | Pairing Red Wine With Steak | Winetraveler.com

Some of the most coveted wines on our list at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse New York are, of course, the great first growths of Bordeaux and California’s own version of the same — the “Cult Cabernet’s.” Let’s start with Bordeaux — we are talking about Chateau Lafite, Mouton, Haut-Brion, Latour, and Margaux — the big five. They have been heralded throughout history even prior to the 1855 classification that gave them their “First Growth” standing (Except for Mouton which was grandfathered in).

These Cabernet based wines have massive structure from tannin and oak aging as well as high acidity which makes them an easy pairing with a steak. I recommend going to the Old World heavy hitters especially when enjoying one of Del Frisco’s heritage, heavily-marbled steaks.

Wine and Steak Pairing Rules of Thumb

The fattier the steak the more you really need the acidity to cut through the fattiness and clean up the palate to savor the next bite. At Del Frisco’s we have a hard to find bone-in ribeye that is simply perfect in this instance.  However, the deep marbling of the steak is not the only thing adding flavor to this cut, it is also cooked on the bone which imparts even more to the richness of the steak. This kind of cut needs a wine of sheer substance, but it also has to do its job of enhancing the experience.

RELALTED: Discover Some of the Best Red Bordeaux Food and Wine Pairings

Classed Bordeaux wines can get into the ring with this steak any day of the week. Of course, you don’t have to dig deep into your pockets to find some fabulous Bordeaux that are second labels of first growths and also second, third, fourth, and fifth growth Bordeaux. In this day and age there has been so much innovation in wine making and viticulture that vignerons are producing beautiful and approachable wines at all price points!

A new addition to the steak menu here at Del Frisco’s is our selection of Dry Aged steaks. These massively flavorful cuts with notes of hazelnut and blue cheese also lend themselves to pairing with beautiful Bordeaux’s as well as dense rich Super Tuscan blends like Guado Al Tasso, Tignanello, Sassicaia and Solaia.

What Are the Best Steak and Wine Pairings? | Winetraveler.com


Pairing Steak with Californian Wines

The Cult California Cabernet’s are always a hit here at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, an ultra-premium steakhouse in Midtown Manhattan. These producers consider themselves to be the First Growths of California and they are not wrong. These are some of the most sought after wines in the world and most of them are tiny, small-lot production wines. I am, of course, talking about Screaming Eagle, Harlan, Bryant Family, Colgin, Araujo, Abreu, Dalla Valle Maya… The list goes on and on, and new comers show up all the time… such as Hundred Acre, Dana Estate, Scarecrow, Ovid, and Checkerboard.

These big bold lush cabs are equally delicious when paired with steaks but here I find it better to back off of the superbly dense steaks and settle on something with a leaner edge.  Again, it’s all about balance.  Our rare bone-in Filet with added flavor from the bone but not the marbling is absolutely perfect. As is the classic Strip steak which has a firm bold texture. These steaks are enhanced by the chewy black fruit and warm round tannins you find in classic California Cult Cab. These big names also have their “second wines” (less premium versions) as well, and if you are looking for that same bold style without the hearty price tag, I highly recommend looking into the second labels or sister wineries of the previously mentioned California giants!

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