There are some iconic pairings that have become ingrained in our culture: peanut butter and jelly, grilled cheese and tomato soup; milk and cookies; burger and fries; you get the idea! However, there are few culinary pairings that can compete with the classic combinations of a glass of fine wine with steak; it is pure culinary heaven. Because there are so many ways to prepare and enjoy a steak, pairing wine with the sauce or spices, we wanted to do something different and delve deeply into the subtleties of pairing different cuts Everyone has their preferred cut of steak, and we have the wines to go with it. Grab a knife, tuck your napkin into your collar, and discover which wines go best with the steaks at The Million Dollar Cowboy Steakhouse.
The Rule of Thumb
When it comes to steak, the rule of thumb is to choose dry red wines; leaner cuts of meat pair well with lighter wines, while richer, fattier cuts of meat pair well with high-tannin wines that can cut through the fat. Overall, dry red wines are the best choice, however we are not here to try to change a Pinot Grigio lover into a Brunello fan people enjoy what they enjoy) The depth and sophistication of your dining experience are more refined depending on how well your pairing suits the steak you select.
But there’s a reason why steak and wine go together so well. Red wine and steak cause something extraordinary to happen. Red wine’s tannin molecules combine with and soften the proteins in the meat, . The wine’s astringent characteristics are subsequently mellowed by the fat, making the drink taste juicier and fruitier. The result is an endless cycle of food and wine symbiosis that will surely melt even the dullest palate.
There is no one-size-fits-all method for pairing wine and steak. Many people prefer various wines with their steak. A true buttery chardonnay with oak tannin will pair with steak, contrary to the thought that only red wine goes with red meat. Certain wines pair with your favorite cuts’ flavor better than others and a great glass or bottle of wine can enhance your dining experience. But remember, food can enhance and change the flavor of your wine, but wine will not change the flavor of your food. Let’s have some fun diving deeper into wine pairings with steak.
Wine Pairings with Filet Mignon
Filet mignon is widely considered to be among the best steaks you can eat, but its flavor is among the most delicate of any cut. Because of this, it is essential to select a wine that will complement the filet mignon without competing with it.
An aged wine from the Old World, such as pinot noir (port is not light or dry-it is a sweet, fortified wine that goes best with desserts or an after-dinner drink paired with cheese) or French Burgundy, is the wine that goes best with a filet mignon. These wines tend to have a higher acidity level, and due to their growing climate tend to lower alcohol content than that of wines from the New World. The end product has a more delicate flavor reminiscent of filet mignon but isn’t overpowering to the point where you cannot distinguish the beefy flavors in your steak. Suggested pairing: Bouchard Pere & Fils 1’er Cru Beaune Clos de Mousse Burgundy France $125 or A to Z Essence of Oregon $57
Wine Pairings with Porterhouse, Ribeye, and T-Bone Steaks
The porterhouse, ribeye, and T-bone steaks are all comparable in that they share a high-fat content due to the excellent marbling throughout the meat. Considering that red wine is the ideal complement to high-fat content steaks, your Sauvignon Blanc might not be the best choice for your ribeye meal if you want to get the most out of it but if you are determined to drink a white wine with a Ribeye select one with oak, Hartford Court Russian River Chardonnay $58
But a true match in heaven for the ribeye, or T-bone, is a pairing with either cabernet sauvignon or an Italian or Spanish Red. How robust you like the flavors in your wine will determine which option you choose. Both wines have a score right in the middle of the scale that measures the sweetness of the wine; however, the zinfandel has some spiciness woven into its fruity flavor, giving your steak an interesting new dimension. Cabernet Sauvignon is typically bigger and more fruit forward, Orin Swift Papillion $121 is a great choice. Italian wines tend to have more leather tannin and a dry mouth feel which mellows when paired with steak. A perfect Million Dollar Steakhouse Ribeye pairing is Bodegas Riojanas Monte Real Gran Reserva $68
Wine Pairings with New York Strip
Because it is so rich in flavor and marbled throughout, the New York Strip is consistently ranked as one of the most popular cuts of beef. You will want to choose a wine with a robust flavor that can match up and doesn’t get lost in the steak’s fat.
M&S Merlot would be my first choice and is often an overlooked selection. It possesses robust flavors similar in complexity to Cabernet Sauvignon. The Moone Tsai Howell Mountain Reserve is a stunning choice and one that will make any Cabernet drinker sing the praises of Merlot. Champagne is an option if you prefer white wine over any other type of wine. Because champagne shares many acidic and flavor characteristics with red wine, it can withstand the assertiveness of the New York Strip. Pierre Joulet $119 or Terres Secretes Brut Rose Cremant $55
Perfect Wine Pairings with The Million Dollar Cowboy Steakhouse
When dining at a cowboy restaurant, drinking wine with your steak only makes sense. These combinations are sure to be delicious, but, of course, everyone has their own unique preferences. There are so many wine options, so finding the one best suited to your steak can feel like an impossible task but one, our servers are happy to help you make.
Feel free to use our suggestions as a starting point to find wine pairings that are unique to you and your personal preference. Keep this handy guide when ordering your next steak dinner from The Million Dollar Cowboy Steakhouse. Contact us for questions or reservations.