It may feel daunting at first, but being clueless about ordering the right bottle of wine shouldn’t excuse you from not getting one when you visit a steakhouse. It’s practically a faux pas, but you can always prepare yourself. Fortunately, you need not be a master sommelier to know the trick behind finding the perfect steak-wine combination.
Below, The Alliance Hotel shares some tried-and-true approaches from steakhouse regulars on how to match your grilled meat with the right wine:
- The more charred a steak is (which makes it bitter), the more sweetness and ripeness you would want in your wine. In this case, the best choice would be a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon or a Coonawarra.
- If you’re unsure, go for medium-bodied reds. There are many types of meats a restaurant guest can put on the grill, but choices such as Tempranillo, Rhône varietals and Bordeaux blends will go well with a lot of things. Unlike those wines from California, they’re not the very heavy, fat-wine type. Plus, they have a bit more of an elegant touch.
- Fatty meats and bold red wines with a high amount of tannin are the perfect match. The tannin is an astringent which acts as a palate cleanser to get rid of any fattiness from the inside the mouth. If you’ve ever tasted a Napa Cabernet or Barolo with a fillet, this is why the combination tastes great.
- If you want to go for lamb meat, choose lighter, more delicately flavoured wine. This is because compared to other types of beef, lamb has a more delicate flavour. Also, because lamb takes on the flavour of the sauce, you also need to consider this when making your pairing. Go for bold reds with smoother tannin or medium-bodied wines such as Petit Verdot, Touriga Nacional and Malbec.
Think you’re ready to be a bit fancy? Keep all these pointers in mind and enjoy a different kind of dining experience.