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Favorite drink with a steak

I'm a burgeoning eater, and as I've found new tastes I've changed (in good ways, I promise). Recently I've been exploring liquor, and I've found many drinks and wines and beers that are so good.

As I find quality wines and sort out my favorite drinks (I'm on a Sidecar kick at the moment), I keep finding different things that I like to cut the fat of a nice steak. I'm trying sous vide steak tonight, and can't decide on what to drink.

Made me wonder, what do you all like to drink with a steak?

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  1. A nice ah red ah wine. Cab, pinot, etc. Even a good chianti.

    13 Replies
      1. re: Chinon00

        Well, given that the poster said "I'm trying sous vide steak tonight", I'm guessing s/he means to include an awful lot of beef preparations as "steak". In that case, sure, why not? Red burgundies go nicely with stewed beef, which is what sous vide steak sounds like to me.

        1. re: tmso

          "Red burgundies go nicely with stewed beef, which is what sous vide steak sounds like to me."


          1. re: Chinon00

            Looks like a lot of work for an overcooked steak, but presumably you could hold it closer to 50 C than 60 C [is that safe?]. Okay, I'm with you then: Pinot [noir]? What's that doing in that list?

            1. re: Chinon00

              Then with respect I suggest you do a little research on the subject. More and more of the finest restaurants in the world are 'SVing' steak.....and basically everything else as far as proteins and veg. There simply isn't better way of cooking a steak IF it's done properly.

        2. re: Passadumkeg

          Chinster,Yes, a pinot noir (not a pinot griggio). Why not? I do agree with your later postings about wine, not cocktalis w/ steak.

          1. re: Passadumkeg

            When you have a piece of charred flesh of beef in your mouth the wine that your palate screams for is Pinot Noir?

            1. re: Chinon00

              Sure beats a Schmidt's of PHILADELPHIA!

                  1. re: Chinon00

                    Sorry, nothing specific in mind. But more the barnyard than the fruity-floral, if you know what I mean, not that I don't like the latter. Unfortunately the budget lately has run to inexpensive malbec (yay!), and beer.

                    1. re: Chinon00

                      I enjoyed the $11 bottle of Blackstone Pinot just the other night (from Amity Wine and Spirits. It had a slight smoky note. I had one or two other $10-12 bottles that I bought just for comparison. The McManis was not as good (at $11.00). The nicest was the $10 bottle of Pinot Noir from Italy. This is from Monte Degli Angeli, and from the Monferrato region of Piedmont. It is darker and bigger than the others and I'm not sure I would call it "classic Pinot" but it sure was excellent for the money. Good enough to stand up to some beef.

            2. You might want to pose this question on the wine, beer or spirits board, depending upon your preference.

              1. sort of depends on the cut & fat content of the meat, and the degree of doneness. but if you're looking for a wine to cut the fattiness of something like a ribeye [with a nice char on it], go for a tannic wine like a young Cab or Shiraz, a heartier Merlot, or even a Malbec.

                5 Replies
                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  I like a malbec, too, with a fattier cut of meat. I know people prefer heavier, like a bordeaux, but personally, I think it overwhelms it (and me). And, some cabernets are too light. I'm like goldilocks. I just had a rib eye at Rays the Steak and it was perfect with the malbec.

                  1. re: chowser

                    chowser, my birthday is coming up, and i think you just told me what to have: ray's ribeye with a bottle of malbec. do you get "extra char" like i've heard some order?

                    ps, isn't it against the law to do a "sous vide" steak?

                    1. re: alkapal

                      Happy Birthday, in case I forget!

                      I think you and Eat Nopal are my favorite posters on CH.

                      1. re: Soop

                        why thank you very much, mr. soop! i love my pals across the pond! ;-).

                      2. re: alkapal

                        I probably should have gotten the extra char. I'll bet it would have been even better but there is still a nice char to parts of it. Or, order it just because it's fun to say maillard. LOL, true about sous vide with a steak, like steaming crusty bread. And, it's not nearly as fun to say as maillard. Definitely get the malbec with it--it's a great pairing. Happy birthday, btw!

                  2. My choice with steak these days is Italian red wine specifically wine made from the Nebbiolo grape. Due to the higher acidity the wine virtually chews the steak for you. Just great eating.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Chinon00

                      Yes, but generations of Florentines will tell you that the best wine for steak, and they should know since it's their national dish, is Chianti classico. Nebbiolo may chew, but Sangiovese starts digesting the meat in your mouth.

                      1. re: mbfant

                        Now that's just a disturbing image!

                        I do love a good Chianti, though.

                      1. i love a glass of peppery, fruity, chewy shiraz with steak. really makes my tastebuds tingle.

                        that's with a nicely crusted steak, though. don't think i've ever had steak sous vide. perhaps a more muted wine with that?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: cimui

                          Made me think of mulled wine. I like mulled wine :3

                        2. I used to go to this fab little resto in Chicago which has since closed. They had Steak and Manhattan Thursdays. A Makers Mark Manhattan and a streak with a melting lump of blue cheese butter on it.


                          3 Replies
                          1. re: lulubelle

                            I'm with lulubelle. I think a Manhattan and a steak are wonderful together.

                            1. re: lulubelle

                              Wowwwww, sounds perfect.

                              Did you allow the diner to put ketchup on their steak?

                              1. re: lulubelle

                                I like the Manhattan as a pre-meal cocktail, and a nice mouthy cab or pinot with my actual steak.

                              2. ROOTBEER!!! (see my profile)

                                Or perhaps a trapist ale like duval or chimay. But realistically, I want to just taste the steak. The best thing ever is just steak and potatoes, maybe spinach.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: Soop

                                  Manhattan. Up. Very cold. Light on the vermouth. Perfect for steak. Or fish. Or pasta. Or Monday.

                                  1. re: dolores

                                    I am totally with you on the Manhattan. YUM.

                                    1. re: dolores

                                      I would never have thought to pair a Manhattan with steak until this past weekend, when I was at a wedding and dinner was served just as my Manhattan (which I had been drinking as a pre-dinner cocktail) was refreshed. It went surprisingly well with DH's steak. Then again, I had already had a couple of Manhattans, so it's entirely possible that my taste buds were somewhat compromised. I liked it enough that I'd do it again sober, though!

                                    2. re: Soop

                                      Duval doesn't intuitively make sense to me, but I had one last night with beer braised brisket and you're right -- it was delicious. The citrusy notes contrasted enough with the rich fattiness of the meat that it sort of cleared / reset your tastebuds for the next bite. I like your suggestion!

                                      1. re: Soop

                                        My love for steak (New York) goes back to my childhood--9th birthday dinner. My favorite drink then with steak was Coca Cola. I still like it best!

                                      2. A good Argentinian malbec.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: BobB

                                          mmm. classic and classy. i love this combo.

                                        2. I’m becoming perplexed by this string now. Are we trying to provide ideas for beverages that make culinary sense paired with steak or are we merely naming preferences with no other constraints? The Makers Mark suggestion seems to make little sense other than personal preference.


                                          34 Replies
                                          1. re: Chinon00

                                            Clearly lulubelle very much enjoys the combination of a Maker's Mark Manhattan and a steak.

                                            And the OP noted liking a Sidecar with his or her steak. And the question was "what do you all like to drink with a steak?" with a heading of "Favorite drink with a steak"

                                            What culinary sense is something supposed to make in order to be worth suggesting?

                                            Personally, I like a glass of wine with a steak. Lately, we've been exploring the Gigondas region and Cru Beaujolais. Good stuff.

                                            1. re: ccbweb

                                              I think he means regarding something like choosing a wine that would compliment a certain meal. I guess though, it would be quite specific in that regard, changing with any sides/sauces involved, and being selected by bottle. I think that would probably be too specific for a thread like this.

                                              1. re: ccbweb

                                                The OP did mention finding beverages to "cut the fat of a nice steak" and refered to him/herself as a "burgeoning eater". So upon that basis I'd suggest that we save the cocktails for before or preferably after the meal.


                                                  1. re: dolores

                                                    According to Letitia Baldridge, drinking liquor during dinner is "the sign of a real drunk. It is very frowned upon. Cocktails kill the taste of the food. You cannot enjoy the subtleties of good food if you are deadening your tongue while eating it."

                                                    I agree. It's uncivilized.

                                                    1. re: dolores

                                                      I presume Chinon's questions are as sincere as my contempt. If you like chocolate milkshakes and you like steak, no problem. But one does not enhance the flavor of other. It's that simple.

                                                      1. re: alanbarnes

                                                        Not to mention the tongue deadening, how about the clashing of poorly paired food and drink? How many people drink fruit juices with dinner?
                                                        I recently passed up on an invite to a private scotch tasting dinner. I said, "Whaaa?"

                                                        1. re: Scargod

                                                          Was recently treated to a 7 course dinner featuring :lobster/oysters/clams
                                                          other fish & shellfish and cheese.A sandwich,grilled stilton with pears on
                                                          raisin brioche.AND STEAK,three cuts,rare
                                                          Hosted by Malt Whisky and Champagne trade.7 whiskys 3 bubblies all very well thought out and MATCHED.The judicious use of ice and mineral water on the tongue between various malts does keep you fresh enough to move from lobster to sashimi to ??
                                                          Maybe you missed something tasty and good,who knows without at least
                                                          a try.
                                                          Some of the set the woods on fire HOT food common to Southern India is quite relieved by fruit juice/sparkling water cocktails.

                                                          1. re: lcool

                                                            Were your taste buds paralyzed by the malt whiskey?

                                                            No, of course they weren't. Funny thread, isn't it?

                                                            Sounds like a delish dinner.

                                                            1. re: dolores

                                                              It was tasty and generous,at the Palm.The malts poured were chosen with care,not over poured.All of us were invited to stay on "after" for more tastes of not "paired" selections of Scotch and Champagne.
                                                              Have an invite to a similar event tomorrow evening.5 Champagnes (3 vintage)and 5 Whiskys(over 15 years).I am looking forward to it;too say the least.
                                                              Again at a red meat and shellfish house.

                                                            2. re: lcool

                                                              lcool....and those south indian dishes are even served sometimes alongside a drink of dairy with fruit, e.g, mango lassi! yum! but those are complex dishes, spice-wise. i love cold taj mahal beer with those dishes, too.

                                                              but i wouldn't want a mango lassi with a big ol' american steak.

                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                If the yogurt drink was thin enough with the right note of acid I might.Unlike Scargod simply dismissing out of hand entire catagories as beverage with
                                                                dinner,not just steak.Best friends hubby does not drink period,diabetes.So
                                                                I try to arrive at beverages that menu well compatable with his restrictions.
                                                                It would not be as a red wine is to me,but a gesture a step up from water
                                                                I like a challenge if it's a good worthy one.

                                                                1. re: lcool

                                                                  the plain lassi -- with salt - might be an option for mr. lcool. that is thin, and refreshing, too. hey, lcool, check out the sri lankan curry recipe i just posted.

                                                                  edit: lassi tip is for lcool's friend. sorry for mis-reading your post. the salty lassi is really good in summer, when salt depletion is possible.

                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                    sad it's best friends hubby,gratefully not mine....In recipes??for curry
                                                                    Thanks for the salt tip.I have so many salts and peppers of various colours and origins.Nice, new to me way to showcase and utilise.

                                                                  2. re: lcool

                                                                    WITH A STEAK. That was the question. Am I am dismissing entire categories? Not exactly. I would at least not drink milk or fruit juices or any mixed drink except perhaps a margarita, with a steak.
                                                                    There are many beverages I haven't tried so I'm not dismissing entire categories. I'm not completely closed-minded! I have tried scotch with meals and much prefer wine. Scotch is my favorite drink before dinner.

                                                                2. re: lcool

                                                                  What made the steak and whisky pairing work in your opinion?


                                                              2. re: alanbarnes

                                                                Omg that sounds pretentious, alan. "The sign of a real drunk'?
                                                                I watched an entire table at Cut not too long ago drink dry martinis with their Kobe. I don't think these people were drunks but I could look up their profiles online and perhaps see if rehab is in their history.
                                                                Drinks with food is purely subjective and everyone's palate is different....correct?

                                                            3. re: Chinon00

                                                              I think something like scotch or gin can, in fact, "cut the fat" of a piece of steak and work well in other respects. The sharpness and dryness of the liquor can play very nicely against the silky, slippery feel of the fat from the meat. The peaty flavor of some scotch can also work nicely with some of the earthy tastes of a steak. The herbal notes of gin can work in some ways like, say, a Sauce Bearnaise with its anise/tarragon flavors.

                                                              A brandy sauce on a steak is a classic pairing and a brandy cocktail might also be quite good with some steak preparations.

                                                              Lots of possibilities out there.

                                                              1. re: Chinon00

                                                                I would too. A peppery Zin would be good. I'm big on Malbec and Shiraz lately.
                                                                A cold, sweet drink? Let's see....you could drink a Riesling with steak. Just kidding

                                                              2. re: ccbweb

                                                                re the Gigondas, I've you've not tried any yet, look for Les Pallieres, it is imported by Kermit Lynch

                                                                1. re: ibstatguy

                                                                  Thanks for the tip. You're right, I haven't had that one, though Kermit Lynch is a trusted name in our house (not that that makes us unique at all!). Any particular vintage that stands out?

                                                                  1. re: ccbweb

                                                                    well, let me put it this way, there haven't been any that we didn't enjoy. one btl of the '99 left...

                                                              3. re: Chinon00

                                                                >>what do you all like to drink with a steak?

                                                                Seems a simple enough question to me.

                                                                Makers Mark? Makes an even better Manhattan, I second the Makers Mark.

                                                                1. re: dolores

                                                                  What specifically does a Manhattan do for a steak and vice versa in your opinion? What is their relationship as you see it? Why not something else? Just curious. Now, responses to my questions such as "because I think it's good" are accpetable but pretty boring and would be disappointing on a food oriented website.


                                                                  1. re: Chinon00

                                                                    This isn't the answer you're looking for, but I'd suggest steak being somewhat of a luxury treat. So you can imagine if someone is cooking themself a delicious steak, they'll think 'what the hell. I'm gonna have some (deep fried) fries too, and a goddamn manhatten while I'm at it'.

                                                                    I however eat steak pretty regularly. It was last years new years resolution, and it was so successful, I carried it into this year too. (if you're wondering, the year before that was 'eat more hot dogs' and that went spectacularly well - I must have eaten nearly 200. Can't understand why people have trouble sticking to them).

                                                                    Personally, a sweet/sharp coctail would not go well for me, as the fruit/savoury combination is my achilles heel.

                                                                    Scientifically, beef is a robust solid flavour that can withstand a strong pairing, but I'm concious of the red wine combo and beef being over done. I'm not a fan of adding red wine to a ragu, prefering a little less depth, and letting the beef and tomatoes do the talking. Lets face it, red meat can go great with beer, and more importantly a steak (particularly something a little more flavoursome like ribeye) can go with something deeper like an ale without being drowned out. And I happen to only really like the trappist ales. (by the way, I'd say wild boar sausages are the other great pairing for ales).

                                                                    Thus ends my filibuster

                                                                    1. re: Soop

                                                                      I love your takes on new years' resolutions, Soop. I think mine, for 2009, will be to drink more Manhattans. With steak, fish, pasta, Mondays and anything else I can think of.
                                                                      I think of both Manhattans and steak as special treats (I don't usually drink cocktails), and in my mind, that's reason enough to enjoy them in close proximity to one another.

                                                                    2. re: Chinon00

                                                                      Well, it is personal preference of course, but eating in a top notch restaurant, especially a steak house, is an 'event' for me. Since I prefer cocktails to wine, and have winnowed down my cocktails of choice to just a few (I used to drink Rusty Nails can you imagine), I prefer that first sip of a perfectly made Manhattan. It sets the tone for the evening and cheers me all kinds of up.

                                                                      A perfectly made martini will do the same for other cuisines, and the sake at Sushi Nanase, hoo boy.

                                                                      So, what does it 'do' for a steak? Intangibly, it makes my meal soar. Realistically, I can't answer that. I also make it last all the way through to coffee, so I can't ponder on the mixing of a cocktail and wine.

                                                                      Perhaps not the answer you were seeking, but it's the best I can do.

                                                                      Oh, and as for the steak 'doing' something for the Manhattan, I can't say. Pigs in a blanket also go good with my Manhattan, so there you go.

                                                                    3. re: dolores

                                                                      Or do it up right w/ rye and it's even better ;)

                                                                    4. re: Chinon00

                                                                      I don't think a manhattan cocktail would be a particularly great pairing with a steak ... but bourbon with that fatty aged style of US steaks ? Oh yes. The strong alcohol gives a counterpoint to the fat; the slight sourness helps matching food in general, grilled meat in particular; and the flavors of corn and oak are classic pairings to roast meat. For leaner steaks, bourbon and branch would be a nice pairing.

                                                                      Mind you, I'd prefer a bordeaux with my steak and a champagne with my caviar -- but I certainly won't turn my nose up to a bourbon and branch, nor an iced potato wodka.

                                                                      1. re: tmso

                                                                        Thank you for such a reasonable response, tmso. Exactly my point.

                                                                        1. re: tmso

                                                                          I've had some good success with oak aged beers (ie they have whiskey notes to them). Plus, you have the advantage of having a lower proof beverage while you're eating, which is good for me as I tend to drink beverages faster & more often than I should.

                                                                          1. re: tmso

                                                                            "I don't think a manhattan cocktail would be a particularly great pairing with a steak ... "

                                                                            I completely agree and could you please explain why you think this way?

                                                                            As for the bourbon suggestion I do appreciate your pairing comments. I will often have a glass of scotch with a splash of water with my sushi/ sashimi. Something about the salinity in the scotch that matches the salinity of the fish (and the soy sauce and the wasabi). I'd think though that the more delicate flavors of bourbon would be more covered up by something like a steak which might subsequently highlight the alcohol flavor only.


                                                                            1. re: Chinon00

                                                                              « "I don't think a manhattan cocktail would be a particularly great pairing with a steak ... "

                                                                              I completely agree and could you please explain why you think this way? »

                                                                              Sweet and cold added to the combination? Ick. I can think of worse things to go with a grilled steak (hellllllllo, Muscadet !) but a manhattan cocktail wouldn't do anything to the whiskey to help it match, rather the opposite.

                                                                              Regarding bourbon, I do agree that you'll lose a lot of the delicate flavors to a steak, but ... well, so? I was thinking of the more overt flavors that you get in drinks like Makers Mark or Wild Turkey. The subtleties in Woodbridge or better whiskeys would threaten to be lost on a steak, especially an American one with that forceful something that's so typical of them -- but they'd still be a nice pairing for the steak, if not necessarily the other way around, you feel me?

                                                                              On the other hand, it's been so long since I've had an American steak that I'll take your word for it if you say, "no, really...". The mind's eye might have transformed the memories a bit. Bourbon plus a steak from organic norman beef, though, sounds great. The next time I cook up some steaks, I might break out a bit of that good bourbon and check.

                                                                              Also, just to be clear to any onlookers thinking "what?!?! but I love my muscadet and steak " -- yes, you can pair almost anything with anything else; a bite of bread, a sip of sparkling water, twice over, between the food and the drink and YES, most anything works. If you want to drink something that doesn't match your food (pasta et fagioli and St-Emilion, I'm looking at you!), this is good to know. Just be aware of it -- ignore it and you risk detracting from both the food and the drink.

                                                                        2. RED WINE & STEAK
                                                                          RIB EYE usually something from the Rhone or a new world wine of Rhone varieties
                                                                          SIRLOIN STRIP (New York Strip) Bordeaux Blend or single varietal (Bordeaux) France or new world
                                                                          FILET Pinot Noir almost always new world
                                                                          This is only a first step guide.Don't forget pairing includes the sides.We often mini-flight
                                                                          3 bottles of the same or similar wine with a steak or roast beef dinner.Finding your favorite red wines,steaks and pairings of is a noble pursuit.

                                                                          1. I don't care and I know it's not a proper pairing but give me a cold bottle of Veuve Cliqout and a good steak and i'm there!

                                                                            1. I really don't drink red wine as I'm sensitive to sulfites, but I do love a good French burgundy with steak. I rarely do it, but will suffer through some breathing issues once in a while.

                                                                              1. A good Bloody Mary makes the perfect accompaniment to a steak. The acidity from the tomato juice and lemon, the savoriness of the Worcestershire and the kick from the pepper sauce all compliment and enhance the flavors of prime beef. Adulterating the classic cocktail with horseradish, celery salt or beef bouillon only works to your advantage in this case.

                                                                                Of course you must have your steak and Bloody before 11am lest you offend the Intellectual Culinary Elite.

                                                                                Failing the above, a Rogue Imperial IPA does the trick any time of day or night.


                                                                                16 Replies
                                                                                1. re: CDouglas

                                                                                  Bloody Mary and steak is a wonderful pairing...one place we go puts steak sauce in their Bloody Mary's, hate the stuff on my meat but in the drink...just works. The only problem I have with this pairing is that it makes you too full.

                                                                                  Pinot Noir is great with steak, it's subtle, (the one's that I drink anyway) and the lighter body along with the high acidity, (acid not tannin) bring a freshness that something like Cabernet Sauvignon cannot...Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley is another winner with steak. For MY palate pairing a rich wine with a rich food is just too damn rich. Something like Shiraz with its sappy richness and gooey texture is akin to dumping pudding on my meat....but that is just me.

                                                                                  Food for thought, howz about something really zippy....really refreshing, something like say, Sauvignon Blanc?! Stay with me here, this is something I do all the time and have recommended it to customers who now do it all the time too. Being born and raised here in Southern California Mexican food is in my blood so a squeeze of lime or lemon on my steak is very natural...and refreshing, brings a lightness and lift so having my wine act as my squeeze of citrus is perfect! Not to mention it is less filling....so I can eat and drink more!

                                                                                  1. re: bubbles4me

                                                                                    I just don't understand how or why you'd pair "subtle" wine with "rich food". It would appear to me that the subtleness of the wine would get lost in the process.


                                                                                    1. re: Chinon00

                                                                                      Depends how sensitive your palette is, and how much of it you're drinking I suppose. I never ever pair anything together. In fact, I rarely drink while I'm eating.

                                                                                      1. re: Chinon00

                                                                                        i think a more subtle wine might work well with a sous vide steak, actually. not that i've ever had steak sous vide, but in my imagination, it's not much stronger tasting than salmon.

                                                                                        in any case, i often go through phases when i fall so madly in love with a particular wine that i'll drink it with almost anything -- so to each her own.

                                                                                        1. re: cimui

                                                                                          "not that i've ever had steak sous vide, but in my imagination, it's not much stronger tasting than salmon."

                                                                                          Why would you imagine that? What logic leads you down that particular path?


                                                                                          1. re: Chinon00

                                                                                            sous vide anything is a more muted tasting, i find.

                                                                                            my bigger point is that rather than get all self righteous about what everyone should be drinking with their food, why don't you just let everyone choose and report for themselves? the subject of this thread asks what each of us likes to drink with our steak. there is no need for you to demand that everyone else justify their taste preferences to you.


                                                                                            1. re: cimui

                                                                                              You may have a point. I just find it amazingly and painfully boring to simply name beverages and when asked why to have absolutely no reasoning behind your choice. Just me.
                                                                                              As for sous vide "muting" the flavor of food, why on earth would anyone want to do that? Why would anyone order a steak that has had its flavor reduced to something on the order of salmon? Why not just order salmon or something similar? This is what this cutting edge technique does for food? I really don't get that. From what I've read the process allows for the very slow influx of heat so that it renders the meat evenly cooked throughout. I'm not sure how that would result in muted flavor.


                                                                                              1. re: Chinon00

                                                                                                You are obvious an avid wine (and beer) enthusiast. Some times I also wonder, in you quest for truth and purity, that if you are also a prof at the Mt Airy Lutheran seminary! I can imagine you arguing the number of angels that would fit on the head of a pin. Please remember, however, some of us live in very rural areas and do not have access or means to buy very fine wines.
                                                                                                Keep up the battle.
                                                                                                ps winepro.org does suggest beef w/ a pinot.

                                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                  "ps winepro.org does suggest beef w/ a pinot."

                                                                                                  What about for what the OP was asking about; steak?

                                                                                                  1. re: Chinon00

                                                                                                    I'll say 10 Hail Marys and 5 Our Fathers.

                                                                                                      1. re: dolores

                                                                                                        Well dolores a lot depends on how the beef is prepared. Since a steak tartare for example has no caramelization it pairs better with a less assertive wine (like Pinot) than a steak would. With Burgundy Beef on the other hand the beef isn’t really the star as it is typically composed of lesser cuts like round. So you are looking for the cooking process to tenderize it so it can be enjoyed as a stew. The logical pairing choice has always been the wine that the meat was cooked in (a Burgundy); although I don’t know how it might taste substituting it for a bigger wine in the recipe and subsequently pairing the dish with it.

                                                                                                        But a steak is a choice piece of beef containing significant marbleized fat that has had its outer surface caramelized. Those are big flavors that are very different from Steak Tartare or Burgundy Beef yet they are all beef.


                                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                      Wow do I agree with you, Passadumkeg, on so many levels :).
                                                                                                      A friend of mine and I, unknowingly, drank a bottle of Syrah bottled in Napa in 2000. I wanted a case of it, because it was quite nice, and called only to have them tell me it was a reserve wine and if I could find it the price would be well over $500 dollars a bottle. We were floored as it was a bottle given to her and she brought it over because we didn't feel like going to the market for a bottle of wine to eat with our dinner.
                                                                                                      I've also eaten, camping, inexpensive bottles of wine with incredible steaks grilled over the fire and they taste like the same bottle of wine my friend and I consumed. I'm certainly not a wine enthusiast, by any stretch of the imagination, but doesn't good friends, atmosphere and great food play a part in how wine presents itself?

                                                                                                    2. re: Chinon00

                                                                                                      hi chinon, i love hearing people's reasons for their wine/food matchmaking preferences, too, but honestly, sometimes i can't justify a choice beyond "it just tastes really good to me that way", either. and sometimes some pairings taste wonderful to me for a period of my life, but terrible just a few months later. (i remember liking dark chocolate with red wine in college, but find the pairing really unpleasant, now, though I know plenty of other people like it.) the explanation why sometimes can't be reduced to words. thankfully, we're able to experience the world through all the great complexities of taste and not just through our (or at least my) bumbling attempts at language.

                                                                                                      i'm sorry my earlier post came out more strongly than i intended it. i do quite enjoy reading about your preferred wine pairings on the wine board. you are far more articulate than i am on that front, for sure.

                                                                                            2. re: bubbles4me

                                                                                              bubbles4me, i really will have to try the sauvignon blanc thing. it's such an unusual combo, it might just work -- sort of like soop's duval effect. at the very least, it will be interesting! =)

                                                                                              1. re: cimui

                                                                                                Give it a try....I was just reading a poster above that would not drink a mixed drink with a steak except for maybe a Margarita...see, lemony!! It really is a great lift to a rich cut of meat.

                                                                                          2. I am not really a big meat eater but being Argentinian, I am afraid that I cannot touch a steak if it's not up to Argy standards which are, as you will know, pretty hard to beat! Saying that, nothing seems to go better with a good, juicy, Argy bife de chorizo or bife de lomo than a full-bodied red like Malbec or Cabernet Sauvignon, especially from the wine region of Cafayate, Salta which produces stunning reds so that would be my ideal choice everytime.

                                                                                            1. Diet Coke on ice with a squirt of fresh lime

                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: laliz

                                                                                                There you go, laliz!

                                                                                                I think I'll try a Pepsi next time I have me a great big rare hunk of beef.

                                                                                                1. re: dolores

                                                                                                  If an acceptable answer to the OP is "anything you like" I fail to see what insights are to be had here. What have we learned?


                                                                                                  1. re: Chinon00

                                                                                                    Aw, c'mon Chinon, as one pedant to another I've got to say you're pushing this too hard. What have we learned? We've learned that different people like different drinks with their steak. No one should have to explain WHY they like what they like, though they're free to do so if they wish. As the (very) old saying goes, "de gustibus non disputandum" (there's no disputing matters of taste).

                                                                                                    1. re: BobB

                                                                                                      >No one should have to explain WHY they like what they like, though they're free to do so if they wish.

                                                                                                      Imagine having to write that? You'd think it would be a given. Simply amazing.

                                                                                                    2. re: Chinon00

                                                                                                      Chinon00, sometimes, the point is that there doesn't have to be a point. What do I learn from watching cartoons? Not much. But do I still watch them? Hell yeah.

                                                                                                      Sometimes, the sky is blue, and you just want to share that with someone.

                                                                                                2. I've always advocated a brisk white wine like a Willakenzie Pinot Gris, a Pieropan Soave or an Ossian Verdejo. I like the acidity vs. the fat.

                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: almansa

                                                                                                    Soave with steak? I know that this is 2008 and that there are no rules anymore more but come on. Soave is a delicate white wine with mild lemon and almond flavors some minerality and solid acidity which you mentioned. I’m afraid that most of what makes it “Soave” would be lost if paired with a steak don’t you?

                                                                                                    1. re: Chinon00

                                                                                                      It can't be just any Soave. Really only Vignetta la Rocca has the cojones. But I'm nuts and generally don't pair red wine with food other than bread and really young and fresh chevre. And don't tell the pairing police, but I used to be the chef at a WS Grand Award winning restaurant. I've done so many wine pairing dinners that maybe I'm just sick of all the stereotypes.

                                                                                                      Actually I am very keen on pairing whites with most foods, although I think the best foil for foie gras is Cherry or Peach Lambic, and certainly not a sweet white if it has been seared.

                                                                                                      1. re: almansa

                                                                                                        Well tell me more about this Soave with "cojones" and what else it brings to a steak meal besides acidity. As I mentioned earlier I haven't been budged yet from my obsession with pairing Nebbiolo with steak. To me right now there is no substitute. A Nebbiolo screams for steak or roasted pork and potatoes with rosemary. Just screams. The size of the wine works so the steak's flavor doesn't make it disappear, the acidity works against the fat and to cleanse the palate, the earthy sinewiness of it works by harmonizing in a way with the meat. Anyway tell me about this Soave.


                                                                                                  2. Manischevitz Concord Grape. The sweetness goes great with steak.

                                                                                                    1. LOL

                                                                                                      Believe it or not, there are people who do not consume alcohol and do not enjoy it at all in any form. However, THEY do like steak and (here's the bulletin) they are not inferior. Really. It just is not necessary to consume alcohol to savor a steak.

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: laliz

                                                                                                        " It just is not necessary to consume alcohol to savor a steak."

                                                                                                        Who said that it was?

                                                                                                        1. re: laliz

                                                                                                          and others of us use steak as an excuse to drink some nice wine. ;)

                                                                                                          totally agree about alcohol not being necessary to any meal or any life, though. i wish i could cure myself of my own fixation with wine, bourbon, etc... but ultimately, it ups my happiness quotient so much that i haven't the resolve.

                                                                                                          i really do admire your teetotalling ways.

                                                                                                          1. I would say Two Hearted Ale (IPA) from Bell's in Kalamazoo, MI

                                                                                                            If I am drinking Wine... a full body red Cotes du Rhone

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: JanPrimus

                                                                                                              Agreed! That Bell's Two Hearted is great, although I tend to enjoy IPA's with burgers more than steak...

                                                                                                              1. re: BaltoPhilFood

                                                                                                                I tend to like IPA's with any of the following things....

                                                                                                            2. Scotch is fantastic with a steak with a heavier char. Obviously the alcohol cuts the fat, but the wet/dry smokiness of each complements the other in a way wine never could (for me). Everyone has (vastly) different tastes, and it's interesting to see people's preferences in this thread.

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. This is the funniest thread I've read in a loooong time. Every response has me ROFLMBO. And, I don't even eat steak - anymore. Thanks for the laughs!!

                                                                                                                  I do have a question though. Why would anyone want to sous vide a steak, anyway? Carry on.

                                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                    I hope the OP is doing more than just sous vide. Mmmm, mushy gray meat.

                                                                                                                    I have played around with sous vide a little, and found something that works pretty well with bottom sirloin (either cut into steaks or as a whole tri-tip). Vacuum-pack the meat with some marinade and put it into a 120F bath for 10 or 12 hours. A quick sear in a cast-iron pan that's been heated until it glows red, and you've got perfectly rare to mid-rare beef that comes right out to the crust. Plus it's a little less chewy than bottom sirloin otherwise tends to be while still retaining a good beefy texture.

                                                                                                                    Sure we can't tempt you back into the carnivorous fold?

                                                                                                                    1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                      alan, does the vacuum-packed meat better absorb the marinade? what does the heat of the sous vide bring to the table, since you will sear the meat anyway -- does it just function to do a little slow pre-cook? rare to med-rare right to the crust: is that the sous vide advantage?

                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                        I don't know whether it's the vacuum-packing, the duration, the temperature, or some combination, but the flavor of the marinade definitely penetrates the meat better when I do my pseudo sous vide than when I simply marinate.

                                                                                                                        As to what the heat of the sous vide brings to the table, you're right that it's essentially a slow pre-cook. The sear is quick enough and hot enough that it doesn't penetrate more than a millimeter or two into the steak, so the meat is done perfectly clear out to the edge.

                                                                                                                        1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                          I'm guessing you don't have an immersion circulator so how do you keep your water bath at a consistent temperature?

                                                                                                                          1. re: KTinNYC

                                                                                                                            I use an oval crock pot, and adjust the lid to manage the temperature by trial and error. But I'm hoping Santa puts a PID in my stocking:


                                                                                                                            1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                              That is very cool. It didn't say in the FAQ but I'm guessing that was originally a piece of lab equipment that was repurposed?

                                                                                                                      2. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                        Thanks Alan! I do know that a quick sear after the requisite time in sous vide its the usual finish and produces a pretty good result. But when I was eating the beast I liked it best grilled and rare. I've said good-bye to red meat for health reasons... thanks for the invitation tho.

                                                                                                                    2. as he has written often, jfood does not drink. So pelligrino is his choice for beef, poultry and fish.

                                                                                                                      Many years ago a French colleague forced a glass of sauterne in front of jfood as his favorite foie gras arrived. The first sip , and the enormous smile followed by "What the heck was that?" So he understands the pairings and the equation 1 protein + 1 wine = 3 flavors

                                                                                                                      So on occasion when friends order a great bottle, jfood will have a sip in a glass just to see the tongue twizzle in the wind. But what he is also doing is trying to decide on the type of wine works for his next braise. His theory is that if it goes well on the fly imagine what the flavors will be if they play with each other for a few hours in the sauna.

                                                                                                                      Jfood is just a huge data collector. And even though he is not a big fan of sous vide. The idea of bring a steak to 135 straight through then get a pan sizzling with a little butter and a quick sear is extremely interesting. He may have to give it a try.

                                                                                                                      9 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                        JF: You might be interested to know that sometimes a blowtorch is used for that final sear on the sous vide steak.....or maybe not.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                          Jfood gets the picture. :-)

                                                                                                                          But after his little "wax paper on fire" incident two weeks ago he may have a hard time convincing mrs jfood to let him hold a blow torch on some steak. Plus, the butter would add such a nice fat-less addition.

                                                                                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                            Ah.... the "little wax paper on fire incident." Mr. G knows that scenario only too well so I can understand Mrs. JFood's hesitation. Butter in a skillet can only lead to tastiness beyond imagination. Especially when it comes to steak. I do remember.....

                                                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                              I'd save that torch for creme brulee or the bong.
                                                                                                                              In Tejas there were several places that specialized in pan fried steaks. Butter, of course.... I still do that and then put Stilton on top.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Scargod

                                                                                                                                I love Stilton... but you have no idea how incredibly delicious steak pan fried in butter and slices of garlic is. Then you get to mop up the juices with a fab fresh crusty bread.

                                                                                                                                OK... I'm out of here now..... tt's just to painful to continue.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Scargod

                                                                                                                                    Hah.... How did I guess that you would? And the wine would be..... A big Cab?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                      Sin Zin (or better).
                                                                                                                                      BTW, SO says to never ask for the GEO! Still not sure what that means.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Scargod

                                                                                                                                        Thanks but no thanks just the same. I'd still go with a nice round Cabernet Sauvignon...maybe a Syrah, but the Cab would be my first choice.

                                                                                                                      2. Any good red. If you really want to 'get in the weeds' you'll have to say what cut of steak you're using. Strip loin has a different 'everything' than rib eye for instance so the wine pairing recommendation by red pairing 'experts' will be different.

                                                                                                                        1. Zinfandel. A whole bottle of the stuff.

                                                                                                                          Afterwards, a glass of Bowmore with a splash of branch water.

                                                                                                                          1. In order:

                                                                                                                            1. Red Wine: Pinot, Cabernet, Zinfandel, Malbec.
                                                                                                                            2. Scotch
                                                                                                                            3. Beer, preferably an IPA.
                                                                                                                            4. Whiskey that isn't scotch.
                                                                                                                            5. Port (primarily to finish).
                                                                                                                            6-1758. Other alcohols.
                                                                                                                            1759. Water
                                                                                                                            1760. Soda
                                                                                                                            1761-end. Non-alcoholic beverages that aren't water or soda.

                                                                                                                            1. If I were flush, I would precede the steak with a modestly dry Magellan martini.

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                Never had Magellan, but a serious bone-in ribeye, charred on the outside and rare inside, seems to demand a martini. I like the way original Bombay 4:1 with a good vermouth) cuts through the heaviness of the meat, even when there are hash browns and creamed spinach. If the steak is not as charred, whisky or IPA or maybe a big cab blend would work. We often have old fashioneds ((which in our house are perilously close to bourbon on the rocks with a dash of bitters and a cherry) before we decide on dinner so they clearly go with everything!

                                                                                                                                1. re: tim irvine

                                                                                                                                  Magellan is not only delicious, but also beautiful. It is a pale blue because of one of its botanicals--hibiscus, I think.

                                                                                                                                  Another great and equally obscure gin is Bell Ringer. Reasonably priced, too.