Thankfully food and wine matching is no longer the reserve of stuffy restaurants. Steak & Malbec is now the stuff of date nights & pay day weekends right across Northern Ireland. But let’s not stop at Malbec, let’s start to impress with a few tips on the perfect wine for your favourite Cut, Cook and Serve.
When choosing a wine, the Cut of your steak choice is important, simply put – some wines love a bit of fat, others don’t.
The ever popular Ribeye cut certainly has a higher fat content than others, and while this fat ensures it stays juicy during cooking, it also pairs better with bigger, more powerful red wines (tannins found in these bigger reds combine with the fat to soften both the wine and the steak – proving wine really is magic!). Try your Ribeye with Tombacco Anglianco from the Campania region of Italy, Only £8.
At the other end of the scale is the leaner Fillet cut which needs to be respected with a softer, modern Italian red from Tuscany like Castellani Arbos Sangiovese, Only £7.
Much has been made of a certain American President’s preference for a Well Done Steak with Ketchup – but who are we to judge such a terrible decision! Each to their own but it’s your cooking preference which could further help determine your wine choice.
A juicy wine like Casillero Del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon @ £6 could help boost the flavour of a well-done steak. While a Rare steak will shine when served with an aged, earthy wine like La Finca Rioja Reserva @ £9.
Unless you were born in a cave, you’ll likely enjoy a steak with a few accompaniments. This month our “Let’s Cook recipe” – Noel’s Ultimate Steak Sandwich – is a perfect example of the rich flavours we enjoy with steaks…. e.g. hot horseradish sauce and cooked onions etc…. these big flavours work brilliantly with New World Shiraz like our current ‘Wine of the Month’ from South Africa – Eden Lodge Shiraz which is packed with dark fruits and spice. For those who love their steak but prefer white wine, there are some great white options, especially if you love Garlic Butter on your steak! A creamy Aussie Chardonnay like Wolf Blass Yellow Label @ £8 will actually pair better than a number of reds.
So Cut, Cook & Serve…. but most importantly enjoy! Open yourself up to trying new wines, and let the wines improve the steak and the steaks improve the wine ?