What Wine to Drink With Steak (Beginner’s Guide)


The smell of a sizzling grill on a sunny afternoon with the kids running around and a Filet Mignon getting ready is the prevailing vista when you think about American summers. The summer is a great time to have family around and have some quality time bathing in the glorious summer sun.

Your New York Strip Steak would wash down well with a bottle of wine, and sure enough, you must have one cooling and waiting to be served. If not, then you need not worry because we are here to help you to know what wine pairs the best with different variations of steak.

The Basic Rules To Eat Steak and Wine

The general rule of thumb when it comes to wine pairings has to do with the kind of meat you are preparingLean red meat goes well with a lighter variety of red wine. Prime rib and other rich cuts should ideally be paired with a red wine with high tannin.

Bold varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Petite Sirah, are some of the wine types to go for in this case. Lamb is loved for the delicate flavor and texture. That should not be spoiled by a wine that is too overpowering. For this meal, you are better off going for a bold wine, but with finer tannins such as Petit Verdot or Malbec. Remember this, and you should be fine, even if you are not so good with the brands and grape types. Your local liquor shop should help you get the best for your type of occasion. As long as you are able to describe the quality of wine you desire, that is.

Thinking of staying in instead and cooking with your wine? Check out “Best Wines to Use for Cooking”.

Wine with Veal Steak

There are very few red meats that can be paired with rosé or white wine, and veal happens to be one of them. One prime example of this exquisite pairing is wiener schnitzel, a Viennese dish. This perfectly matches a bottle of Grüner Veltliner, an Austrian white wine. One thing you need to note about this pairing, and this will apply for every wine pairing you make, is the kind of sauce used.

The preparation method succeeds in preserving the delicate flavors that can easily be stifled with the wrong cooking method. This is important for veal and lamb as well since both types of meat soak in the sauce and absorb the flavor.

Veal is well paired with light profile reds— such as Valpolicella, Rosé of Sangiovese or Pinot Noir. You can also pick Zinfandel, which pairs just as well.

Not too sure yet what kind of wines to pick out to pair with your meals? Give “Best Wine for Beginners” a look to see some wine options.

Wine with Lamb Steak

While beef is rarely overpowered by the spicing and accompaniments, lamb, on the other hand, has a much more delicate flavor. Generally, you want to pair this type of meat with a wine that has a lighter flavor profile.

As aforementioned, the meat takes on the flavor of your choice of sauce, so pay extra attention in this department! Some of the examples you can use for lamb include Petit VerdotSirah, MalbecPetite Sirah, and Touriga Nacional.

Pairing Wine with Beef Steak

There are two types of pairings when it comes to beef, and these have to do with the cut. There are wine pairings for lean cuts and those for fatty cuts. Let’s start with wine matches for lean cuts.

Lean Cuts

Pair light or medium-bodied red wines with the lean cuts. These are wines with a high acidity level that can cut through the lean meat. For lean cuts, follow the general rule that the strength of the wine is determined by the strength of the dish. For instance, if you are preparing the top sirloin type of beef stew, then pair it with a red such as Sangiovese, which is bolder, thus the perfect match.

Fatty Beef Cuts

Fatty meat is accompanied by a red wine that is bold with lots of tannins. The harsher the tannin, the better as it will work to scrape off the fat from the mouth. Have you ever wondered why filets just have to go with a wine like a Napa Cabernet or Barolo? Well, now you know why.

Wine to Pair with Venison Steak

Venison is a rich type of red meat that needs a wine pairing that will not clash with the rustic flavors. In this case, ask for a medium-bodied wine of the Chianti, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Valpolicella, Côtes du Rhône family. All these are medium-bodied wines that preserve the bucolic taste of the meat.

The perfect match depends on the type of sauce you are using. Mastering how to pair your wines according to the sauces you are using can let you get away with a wide variety of wine selections. An example is matching Lambrusco with Asian dishes, such as pork ribs done in the Korean BBQ style. Both have a sweet flavor that will match excellently. A Pinotage from South Africa or the Shiraz of South Australia also has the same kind of fruity taste you are looking for.

Green Sauces

Some sauces in this class include Chimichurri sauce, Mint sauce or a sauce of Garlic Rosemary. These go well with a bold red wine with a fruity flavor and high tannins such as Monastrell or Argentine Malbec. Dishes prepared using a lot of onion and raw garlic are best paired with medium reds that have high acidity.

Tangy Sauces

These are the most common types for backyard grills and include Pomegranate and Molasses, Sweet Tangy BBQ, Korean barbecue, Hoisin and Mongolian Beef. These can be paired with red wines with a fruity flavor the likes of California SyrahAustralian ShirazLambrusco Gamay, or Zinfadel.

Matching Your Wine to Your Meat

When it comes to wine, there is a lot to find out, and you are always discovering something new about your favorite one. Matching your wine to your meat is just as much of an adventure as anything else about the drink. Go ahead and find your matches; just remember not to pair bold wines with lean meat or vice versa, and you should be fine.

What wines do you drink with steak? Whats your favorite sauce and wine combination? Let us know in the comments below.

Thank you for reading! Be sure to check out our main page Wine On My Time and enhance your wine knowledge with additional Wine on My Time articles like “How to Make Wine Taste Better”“What is Cooking Wine?”, or even “What is the Best Wine for Weddings?”

Wine on My Time is a resource blog for wine lovers all across the world! We take pride in delivering the best quality wine material for our readers. Check us out on Instagram and Pinterest for daily wine content!

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