The joy of sinking your teeth into a juicy steak? Absolutely priceless! But you know what takes that joy to the next level? A beautiful glass of wine, dancing alongside your steak, complementing its flavors. Pairing wine with steak is more than just a culinary tradition, it’s an art that transforms your meal into an experience.

A perfect pairing can enhance the flavors of both the steak and the wine, bringing forth nuances you might have missed otherwise. But the question that often haunts many of us is “what wine goes with steak?

Factors Influencing the Pairing

It isn’t as simple as randomly picking a bottle from the cellar, though. There are factors you’ve gotta consider while choosing the right vino. These include the cut of the steak, its preparation, the sauce, and of course, your personal taste.

The steak cut decides the texture and the intensity of flavors in the meat, which significantly influence what kind of wine will go best with it. A hearty, marbled cut calls for a wine that can match its richness, while a lean cut may pair well with a more delicate wine.

Steak preparation and seasoning also play their parts in the drama. Are you grilling it, searing it, or perhaps sous-viding it? The cooking method can change the flavor profile of the meat. Plus, the seasoning – a subtle hint of rosemary or a bold punch of pepper – can add another dimension to consider while pairing.

And let’s not forget the sauces! They can change the game altogether.

Understanding Steak Cuts

Steak isn’t just steak. The beauty of it is in its variety. Depending on where it’s cut from on the cow, each steak offers a unique blend of flavor and texture.

Getting to know these cuts is the first step in mastering the art of steak and wine pairing.

Sirloin Steak

YouTube player

Lean, tender, and packed with flavor, sirloin steak is a classic. It comes from the back of the cow, just behind the ribs.

Ideal for grilling and broiling, it’s a cut that can hold its own.

Ribeye Steak

YouTube player

Marbling is the name of the game when it comes to a ribeye. The generous fat distribution makes this cut incredibly juicy and flavorful.

Whether it’s grilled or pan-seared, a ribeye is all about that rich, beefy taste.

Porterhouse Steak

YouTube player

If you’re looking for a heavyweight in the steak world, meet porterhouse. It’s essentially two steaks in one – tenderloin and strip steak, separated by a bone.

It’s big, it’s bold, and it’s bursting with flavor.

Filet Mignon

YouTube player

Elegance and tenderness define filet mignon. This cut is all about the texture. It’s incredibly soft, almost buttery, with a subtle beef flavor. Perfect for those who prefer a less fatty cut.

Strip Steak

YouTube player

Also known as New York strip, this cut strikes a balance between the tenderness of a sirloin and the rich flavor of a ribeye. It’s versatile, delicious, and always a crowd-pleaser.

Rump Steak

YouTube player

Rump steak might not be as tender as some other cuts, but what it lacks in tenderness, it makes up for in flavor. It’s lean, meaty, and full of beefy goodness.

Flank & Skirt Steak

Meet the underdogs of the steak world – flank and skirt steak. They might be tougher than their counterparts, but marinate them well and they’ll reward you with deep, robust flavors.


YouTube player

Last but not least, brisket. This cut comes from the breast or lower chest of the cow.

It’s tough and has a lot of connective tissue, but cook it slowly and it transforms into a mouth-watering, tender piece of meat with a rich, hearty flavor.

Understanding Wine Varieties

Just as the world of steaks is filled with variety, the universe of wines is vast and diverse.

There’s a wine for every occasion, every meal, every palate. Understanding the different varieties will help you pick the perfect companion for your steak.

Cabernet Sauvignon

King of the reds, Cabernet Sauvignon is all about depth and complexity. With bold tannins and flavors of dark fruits, it’s a wine that commands attention.

Syrah (Shiraz)

Syrah, or Shiraz as it’s known in Australia, is another full-bodied red. It’s a spicy little number with notes of dark berries and chocolate. An absolute treat for the senses.


Argentinian Malbec is known for its plush, velvety texture and juicy fruit flavors. A hint of spice and a lick of oak make it a delightfully balanced wine.

Pinot Noir

On the lighter side, we’ve got Pinot Noir. It’s a delicate, light-bodied red with bright acidity and notes of red fruits. A subtle wine with a lot to offer.


Zinfandel, a red grape with a big personality. This wine can range from medium to full-bodied and often packs a punch with its high alcohol content and jammy fruit flavors.

Spanish Tempranillo

Tempranillo is Spain’s answer to Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s a full-bodied red with flavors of plum and cherry, complemented by leather and tobacco notes. A wonderfully complex wine.


This Italian red is all about the balance. Montepulciano offers medium tannins and acidity, with flavors of ripe red and black fruits.


Austria’s Blaufränkisch is a vibrant red wine with high acidity and moderate tannins. Its flavors are a beautiful blend of dark fruits and spices.

GSM Blend

GSM stands for Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre – a classic blend from the Rhône region in France. This blend is all about harmony, bringing together the best of the three grapes.


This Italian grape produces wines that are light-bodied and fruit-forward, with low levels of acidity. Dolcetto is all about the easy drinking.


Spain’s Monastrell is known for its full body and high tannin level. It’s a powerful red with intense fruit flavors.

Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc is the lighter, softer cousin of Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s medium-bodied, with bright acidity and flavors of red fruits and herbs.

Spanish Red Garnacha

Garnacha, or Grenache as it’s known in France, is a light to medium-bodied red wine known for its high alcohol content and red fruit flavors.


Sagrantino is one of Italy’s most tannic grapes. This red wine is known for its bold flavors and high alcohol content.

Australian Shiraz

Australian Shiraz is typically full-bodied, with intense fruit flavors and spice notes. It’s a bold wine that stands up well to hearty dishes.

Pairing Wine with Steak Cuts

Finding the perfect wine to accompany your steak is a delicious journey of discovery. Each combination can result in a different taste sensation.

It’s all about balancing the flavors and textures. Let’s start exploring some fantastic pairings.

Sirloin Steak and Wine Pairing

With its lean, yet flavorful profile, Sirloin steak pairs beautifully with a medium-bodied red wine. A Spanish Tempranillo, with its balance of fruit and savory notes, can complement the meatiness of Sirloin wonderfully.

Ribeye Steak and Wine Pairing

For a rich, fatty cut like a Ribeye, you need a wine that can stand up to its bold flavors.

A full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon, with its high tannin level, can cut through the fat and balance the richness of the steak.

Porterhouse Steak and Wine Pairing

Porterhouse steak, being a combination of tenderloin and strip, calls for a wine that can match its complexity.

A GSM blend, bringing together the richness of Syrah, the fruitiness of Grenache, and the structure of Mourvèdre, can be a delightful partner.

Filet Mignon and Wine Pairing

For a tender, subtly flavored Filet Mignon, a wine that complements rather than overwhelms is needed.

A Pinot Noir, with its light body and bright acidity, can enhance the flavors without stealing the show.

Strip Steak and Wine Pairing

Strip steak offers a balance of tenderness and flavor. A medium to full-bodied Montepulciano, with its balanced acidity and fruity notes, can pair well with the meaty goodness of the strip steak.

Rump Steak and Wine Pairing

Rump steak, flavorful and lean, pairs nicely with a wine that can complement its robust flavor.

A Cabernet Franc, with its medium body and herbaceous notes, can add an extra dimension to the pairing.

Flank & Skirt Steak and Wine Pairing

The robust flavors of Flank and Skirt steak call for a wine that can match their intensity.

An Australian Shiraz, with its bold fruit flavors and spicy notes, can stand up to the strong flavors of these cuts.

Brisket and Wine Pairing

Slow-cooked Brisket, with its rich, hearty flavor, needs a wine that can hold its own.

A full-bodied Malbec, with its velvety texture and dark fruit flavors, can provide a delicious counterpoint to the beefy brisket.

Considerations for Pairing

Pairing wine with steak isn’t just about the cut and the variety of wine. Several other factors can influence your choice of wine. Let’s dive into these aspects.

Steak Preparation Methods

The way you cook your steak can significantly affect its flavor profile.

Grilling tends to highlight the beef’s natural flavors, searing can introduce a lovely caramelized note, and slow cooking can bring out a rich, deep flavor in the meat. All these factors can influence the type of wine you’d want to pair with your steak.

Steak Seasoning

The spices and herbs you use to season your steak can also impact the pairing.

A boldly spiced steak might pair well with a full-bodied, spicy wine, while a simply seasoned steak might go best with a more delicate, subtle wine.

Steak Sauces

Whether you prefer a classic red wine reduction, a creamy béarnaise, or a bold barbecue sauce can also influence the wine pairing.

The sauce can add a whole new layer of flavor to the steak, and finding a wine that complements this can make all the difference to your dining experience.

Personal Preferences

At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you enjoy the pairing.

Some people might prefer a full-bodied red with their steak, while others might enjoy a lighter, more delicate wine. Your personal preference plays a crucial role in deciding what wine goes with steak.

Choosing the right wine to go with your steak might seem a bit daunting at first, but remember, it’s all about enjoying the journey.

Exploring different combinations, discovering new favorites, and most importantly, savoring each bite and each sip.

FAQ about what wine goes with steak

What’s the best type of wine to pair with a steak?

Well, let’s dive right in! If I’m cooking up a juicy ribeye, I’m going to reach for a bold red, like a Cabernet Sauvignon. The rich flavors of the steak really sing when paired with a wine that can hold its own.

The Cabernet Sauvignon’s strong tannins help to balance out the fattiness of the steak, creating a harmony of flavors on your palate. It’s like a symphony of taste in every bite and sip!

Is white wine ever a good match for steak?

Interesting question! So, while reds are typically the go-to for steak, that doesn’t mean a white wine can’t join the party. A full-bodied Chardonnay or Viognier can work in certain scenarios.

These whites can stand up to a leaner cut of steak like a Filet Mignon. Remember, the key to pairing wine with steak is balance. You want to match the intensity of the flavors so that neither the wine nor the steak overpower each other.

Why do red wines typically pair better with steak?

Ah, a classic question! Reds often work well with steak because of their tannins. Tannins are what gives red wine that slightly dry, puckering sensation.

When you have a rich, fatty steak, those tannins help to cut through the fat, clearing your palate, and making each bite as exciting as the first. It’s a little like having a refresh button for your taste buds with every sip you take.

Can I pair rosé wine with steak?

Certainly, you can! Now, a rosé might not be your first thought, but it can work particularly well with a steak that’s been grilled or cooked with a fruity sauce.

For example, a juicy flank steak with a raspberry glaze would be an excellent match for a dry, robust rosé. It’s all about playing with complementary flavors, my friend. So, don’t be afraid to experiment a little!

What factors should I consider when pairing wine with steak?

When pairing wine with steak, there are a couple of things I’d keep in mind. First, the cut and preparation of the steak are crucial. A more robust wine can stand up to a richer, fattier cut like Ribeye, while a leaner cut like Sirloin might pair better with a lighter red or even a full-bodied white.

Second, consider the sauce or seasoning on the steak – spicy, sweet, or savory flavors can all impact the best wine choice.

Can I pair sparkling wine with steak?

Why not? A good bottle of sparkling wine or champagne can be surprisingly versatile. It could make for a delightful contrast with a salty, seared crust of a steak, thanks to its high acidity and effervescence.

Something like a quality Brut sparkling wine could be an unexpected but delightful companion to your steak. Life’s too short not to experiment with your food and wine, don’t you agree?

Do different types of steak require different wine pairings?

Absolutely! Different steaks call for different wines. For example, a robust, juicy Ribeye would pair fabulously with a bold red, like a Malbec or Cabernet Sauvignon.

In contrast, a lighter, leaner cut like a Sirloin might fare better with a medium-bodied red, such as a Pinot Noir. Similarly, a steak with a tangy chimichurri sauce might go well with a Zinfandel. Variety is the spice of life, after all!

Can I pair sweet wine with steak?

While it’s less common, sweet wine and steak can be a match made in heaven in the right circumstances. Think about a tangy BBQ glazed steak – a slightly sweet wine like a Zinfandel could be a terrific match, complimenting the sweetness in the sauce.

Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, a bold, sweet dessert wine with a blue cheese-topped steak can be a real taste sensation!

How does the way steak is cooked affect the wine pairing?

The cooking method of your steak can greatly impact the wine pairing. For example, a grilled steak, with its charred edges and smoky flavor, can stand up to a bold, tannic wine like a Cabernet Sauvignon.

On the other hand, a pan-seared steak cooked in a buttery sauce might be better suited to a smoother, less tannic wine like a Merlot. It’s all about balancing and complementing flavors.

What are some “rules” I should remember when pairing wine with steak?

Here’s what I’d say – first and foremost, match the intensity of your wine with your steak. Bold with bold, light with light. Second, consider the sauce or seasoning. Spicy, sweet, or umami flavors can influence your wine choice.

And lastly, don’t forget about tannins! Tannins in red wine can balance the fattiness in steak. But remember, rules are made to be broken! Enjoy experimenting and find what you love.

Conclusion on what wine goes with steak

Unraveling the art of pairing can feel a bit like putting together a puzzle. Each steak cut, with its unique characteristics, fitting with a type of wine that elevates its taste and respects its flavors. But remember, it’s not just about the cut and the wine, but how you prepare the steak, what you season it with, and even what sauce you choose to accompany it.

What wine goes with steak? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. It’s all about experimentation and finding what works best for you. Try different combinations, take note of what you liked about each one, and gradually, you’ll start to get a feel for what pairs well together.

Pairing wine with steak is as much a science as it is an art. Understanding the basics can give you a solid starting point, but don’t be afraid to trust your palate and break the rules sometimes. Remember, the goal isn’t to achieve some sort of perfect pairing, but to enhance your dining experience and make every meal an occasion to remember.

Categorized in: