Nothing defines summertime in the US more than the tantalizing aroma of a steak sizzling on the grill. From a thick Filet Mignon to a juicy, well-marbled Porterhouse or New York Strip Steak, American beef is at its best when cooked on your own backyard grill. Here are a few surefire wine pairings to serve with your favorite steak at barbecues and cookouts this summer.
The king of red wines, Cabernet Sauvignon is often the number one choice for steak and wine pairings. Beef steak has lots of strong flavor from the meat itself and from smoke, marinade, sauce, or pepper, so it calls for choosing a wine that is also full-bodied. Cabernet Sauvignon’s robust fruit tastes and powerful flavors can stand up to most any steak. The tannins in Cabernet Sauvignon (coming mainly from the red skin of the grape) and relatively high alcohol levels also help cut through the fat of the steak, making the wine taste smoother and less bitter… and the steak more flavorful.
Zinfandel has moderate tannins and high acidity, making it a fitting match with steaks that contain relatively good amounts of fat. Rib Eye, T-Bone or Porterhouse steaks are ideal partners for Zinfandel. A little less refined than Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel has a characteristically bold grapey spiciness and thick richness on the pallet. Zinfandel also makes an interesting marinade for some of the tougher ( and less expensive) cuts of beef for the backyard grill like Tri-Tip or London Broil.
Malbec is an up and coming red wine that is definitely steak friendly. In fact, Malbec is the number one consumed red wine in Argentina where it’s considered the ideal wine to pair with beef. Malbec is a versatile, rich and food-friendly red wine that may break with tradition but won’t break the bank. Check out Malbec wines from Argentina or Chile. You won’t be disappointed.