Grilled steak is a classic summertime favorite, but finding the perfect wine to pair with it can be tricky. While a bold red wine might seem like the obvious choice, there are actually a variety of options that can enhance the flavors of your grilled meat. Here are our top picks for the best wines to pair with grilled steak:
For Red Meat
- Cabernet Sauvignon: This full-bodied red wine has bold flavors of dark fruit, such as black currants and blackberries, which complement the richness of grilled steak.
- Zinfandel: Another full-bodied red, Zinfandel has spicy and fruity notes that pair well with the smoky flavors of grilled steak.
- Malbec: This Argentine red wine has a juicy, fruity flavor that pairs well with grilled steak’s char and fat.
For White Meat
- Sauvignon Blanc: This crisp white wine has citrus and herbaceous notes that can cut through the richness of grilled chicken or pork.
- Pinot Grigio: Another light white wine, Pinot Grigio has a refreshing, citrusy flavor that pairs well with grilled chicken or pork.
- Riesling: This aromatic white wine has a touch of sweetness that can balance out the flavors of grilled chicken or pork.
For a Sparkling Option
- Champagne: The bubbles in champagne can help to cleanse the palate between bites of grilled meat, making it a great pairing option.
- Cava: This Spanish sparkling wine has a crisp, dry flavor that pairs well with grilled steak’s char and fat.
No matter which wine you choose, be sure to serve it at the proper temperature. Red wines are best served at room temperature (around 68°F), while white and sparkling wines should be chilled (around 45°F). With these wine pairing recommendations, you’ll be sure to impress your guests at your next BBQ.
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In addition to the wine recommendations above, here are a few other factors to consider when pairing wine with grilled steak:
- Fat content: The fat content of your steak can impact the wine pairing. For example, a ribeye steak with a higher fat content might pair better with a bold red wine, while a leaner cut of steak like a sirloin might pair better with a lighter red or white wine.
- Rubs and marinades: The seasonings and marinades that you use on your grilled steak can also affect the wine pairing. If you’re using a spicy rub or marinade, you might want to consider a wine with a bit of sweetness to balance out the heat. On the other hand, a steak with a more subtle flavor profile might pair better with a wine that has similar understated flavors.
- Grilling method: The way that you grill your steak can also impact the wine pairing. For example, a steak that has been grilled over a wood fire might pair well with a wine that has a hint of smokiness, such as a Syrah or a Cabernet Franc.
- Personal preference: Ultimately, the best wine pairing for grilled steak is a matter of personal preference. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different wines and see what you like best. You might find that you prefer a bold red wine with your steak, or you might discover that you prefer a crisp white wine or a sparkling wine. The key is to have fun and find what works best for you.
Remember to serve your wine at the proper temperature and to let your steak rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving to allow the juices to redistribute. With these tips and wine pairing recommendations, you’ll be able to enjoy the perfect glass of wine with your grilled steak.