Pairings | Steak
Steak is the ideal foil for a good red but is there a best red wine for steak? You could simply say it’s the one you most enjoy but it also depends on the cut and the way you cook it.
If you’re looking for the ideal food pairing for cabernet sauvignon you don’t have to look very far. Almost any red meat, especially served rare, is going to do the trick.
Merlot has one of the widest ranges of styles of any red wine from the light, quaffable merlots of the Veneto to the grandest of Bordeaux. Obviously one type of food doesn’t go with them all but merlot is your flexible friend when it comes to wine pairing, smoother, rounder and less tannic than cabernet sauvignon with which, of course, it is often blended.
Pinot noir is one of the most versatile red wines to match with food and a great option in a restaurant when one of you is eating meat and the other fish.
As with white burgundy there’s a world of difference between a simple village burgundy and an elegant premier or grand cru - most of which need 5 years at the very least to show at their best but the dividing line when it comes to pairing wine with red burgundy is age. Is it a light wine you’re dealing with or a more mature, intensely flavoured one. Duck is almost always a winner but here are some other options.
What most people probably think of in terms of Australian red wine is a Barossa or McLaren Vale shiraz - big, lush, sweet and ripe, the ideal pairing for grilled or barbecued beef. Hunter Valley shiraz typically has a more savoury character that suits meats like venison and kangaroo while Western Australian shiraz is made in a more elegant style, almost like a red Bordeaux, making it a good pairing for lamb.
Should you drink the same sort of full-bodied red wine with steak tartare - raw chopped beef - as you would with a grilled steak?
As with many other pairings the best match for steak pie depends how you cook it and whether the sauce includes beer, stock or wine
I’ve just spent the past two days at What Food What Wine? tasting wine alongside dishes as disparate as smoked salmon and apple crumble, Stilton and steak and lasagne and lamb - a bit of an assault on the palate (and stomach!) but one of the best ways to work out what wine really works with your favourite recipes
If you're planning a special meal for Valentine's Day you may be wondering which wine to pair with your menu. I've picked some favourite Valentine's Day foods and suggested some matches that should work well with them.
The food of Piedmont in north-west Italy is as highly regarded as its wines so it makes sense to make the local dishes your first choice if you’re looking for a match for a bottle of Barolo or Barbaresco.
Natasha Hughes re-orders her hit list of wine matches for pinot following her visit to the International Pinot Noir Celebration.
If you think of the ingredients that show off a great wine mushrooms would have to be near the top of the list.
Barbera is a versatile red that will happily partner pretty well any meaty dish you throw at it. It is more robust and typically drunk younger than its Piedmontese counterparts Barolo and Barbaresco.
Although there are obviously differences between the two types of beer, dark stouts and porters tend to pair with similar types of food. Here are my top matches ...
There’s a lot of talk about how the wines of a region tend to match its food but that seems truer of Tuscany than almost anywhere else.
Last night we opened a bottle of 2005 Nugan Estate McLaren Parish Vineyard Shiraz - a typically big lush Aussie red at a hefty 15% ABV.
Despite the growing concern about alcohol levels in wine many reds still clock in at 14.5% or more, a level at which they can become an unbalanced pairing for traditional European food. Many traditionalist would say that they are therefore not ‘food wines’ but as with other types of wine it depends how well they’re made and whether overall the wine is in balance. Châteauneuf-du-Pâpe for example rarely hits the shelves at under 14% but wears its alcohol lightly.
It’s the time of year to look back and review the best food and wine matches of 2011. Some were comfortingly familiar, some a total surprise to me. What they had in common was that the combination was more than the sum of the parts. The drink - in most cases wine - made the food taste more delicious, the food just made the wine sing. I hope you enjoy something similar in 2012.
One of the main events at the Dartmouth Food Festival this weekend was a dinner at Mitch Tonks Seahorse restaurant cooked by London chef Mark Hix. The unusual factor though was that every dish was matched with a cocktail.
Heavily promoted Apothic is just one of a range of sweeter red wines that have been launched on the market recently. Not having much of a sweet tooth, I must confess it’s not particularly to my taste but I can see that it would greatly appeal to wine drinkers who find drier reds unappealing.
For many people coffee is a regular companion to food whether it’s breakfast or that great German institution of kaffee und kuchen (coffee and cake) - only the amount of caffeine they might consume holding them back.
Many people say they don't like chardonnay but as anyone who has a taste for top white burgundy or other premium new world chardonnays will know it’s a spectacular food wine.
The Spanish are more adventurous than us when it comes to matching sherry and food. I remember drinking a dry oloroso with roast partridge a few years back in Jerez. But what else could you pair with it?
Today is International Grenache Day, a celebration of a grape which is (often anonymously) responsible for some of the most generous and appealing reds in the wine world.
This report on a steak and wine tasting I did at Hawksmoor Spitalfields back in 2007 is now over 10 years old but the advice still holds good. It's quite a long read though so for more concise steak and wine matching advice head to The Best Wine Pairings for Steak.
This menu was created as part of a series of pieces I wrote for Sainsbury's magazine. The idea was to invite your friends round for a wine tasting then all have a slap-up meal afterwards. This meal was based on a tasting of South American reds from Argentina and Chile but it would be just as fun to base it round Malbec (Malbec being the perfect wine for a steak).
Red wine is such an established go to with steak that it’s hard to consider anything else as a pairing but it struck me this week after a few days tasting rum with Philippines producer Don Papa (yes, it’s a hard life … ) that dark rum might also be an interesting match.
If you're thinking of going in for our Le Creuset competition this month you may have been tempted by the rather gorgeous-looking cast iron square grill.
There are pay-offs to being the close relative of a restaurateur and this month’s prize was easy to snag. A £150 voucher to spend at my son Will Beckett and Huw Gott’s splendid steak and cocktail emporium Hawksmoor, the best steak restaurant in London (not that I’m biased or anything.) THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED BUT DON'T WORRY - THERE'LL BE ANOTHER ONE SOON!
From my cookbook Steak - now sadly out of print - a homemade alternative to demi-glace, a foolproof steak sauce that you can use on its own or as a basis for another dish such as bavette aux échalotes
Q Could you make a suggestion for a pan-fried flank steak with a mustard/cream sauce consisting of shallots, white wine, chicken stock, cream, and Dijon mustard?
This is the kind of easy meal I like to make for friends. The soup can be made in advance (or buy one of the excellent ready made chilled soups there are nowadays and dress it up with some fresh herbs), the steak is finished in the oven and the dessert literally takes minutes.
Some unusual steak recipes from Jason Atherton (then of Maze, now of Pollen Street Social) that prove you don't always need to drink red with beef.
This was a wine pairing I hadn’t thought of putting together before but once experienced last week at Racine it seemed supremely logical.
The great thing about going to old country pubs is that they tend to have wines you can’t find anywhere else - or certainly not at the price. Like the bottle of Domaine Tempier Bandol 1994 we found at the Nobody Inn in Doddiscombleigh in Devon at the weekend.
Steak and red wine sounds too obvious a pairing to highlight but sometimes it hits the spot so perfectly it’s worth being reminded there’s nothing better you can eat with a good bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon (unless you’re a vegetarian, obviously . . .)
You might be surprised to know that red wine isn’t the first pairing I think of with steak tartare, which for those of you who haven’t tried it is chopped raw beef flavoured with punchy seasonings such as capers, parsley and hot pepper sauce. I actually think it pairs really well with sparkling wine, especially Champagne but last week I was down in the Languedoc and that didn’t really seem appropriate.
The other day I won a selection of Pieminister pies in a raffle and as my husband was away rather sneakily found myself scoffing them for supper (until guilt set in and I put the rest in the freezer). As I also had some beers to taste from a new Marks and Spencer range I decided to pick one to partner with each pie and the combination that really impressed me was their London Porter with the Pieminister ‘Moo and Blue’ (aka steak and Stilton).
If you’re a fan of Hawksmoor - as, being co-founder Will Beckett's mum I’m pretty well bound to be - you may have come across the steak wine Rosso Braida they blend in Piedmont with their supplier Sommelier’s Choice. (You can see them devoting themselves to this arduous task in this YouTube video) THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED.
Last night was my first in a two week trip of Australia - an informal dinner with Vasse Felix at a Chinese restaurant in Perth (Grand Palace).
There’s a distinct nip in the air this week that makes makes me suddenly feel much less like eating summery food. Last night we went round to friends and shared some absolutely awesome steak pies they’d brought back from a butcher called Murray Mitchell in St Andrews in Scotland (they will send them by mail order in the UK apparently if you ring them on 01334 474465).
Although Bordeaux produces some of the most expensive wines in the world it also produces bottles that are great for everyday drinking. So what kind of food pairs best with them?
Malbec has got so popular it may have become one of your favourite red wines but what are the best kind of dishes to pair with it?
I sometimes wonder if we value novelty too much. As an avid restaurant-goer the temptation is always to head for the the latest opening - but keeping pace with what’s new inevitably means you don’t spend as much time as you’d like in the places you actually enjoy.
Beef and red wine is a blindingly obvious match but it gets more interesting once you think about the cut and the way that it's cooked.
Beaujolais - by which I mean red Beaujolais - is the most French of wines, the perfect wine pairing for a picnic or bistro meal.
Hunting horns toot, large slabs of raw meat surround you. Antica Macelleria Cecchini is not the place to go for a romantic night out or - heaven forbid - with a vegetarian.
Although I make my living writing about how food can enhance wine - and vice versa - I would never want to be dogmatic about it and freely admit that there are occasions when it matters less than others.
Like salt, pepper has a pronounced effect on wine, often making reds taste softer and lusher than they otherwise would. Unlike salt though, you also find peppery flavours in wines such as Northern Rhône Syrah and Austrian Grüner Veltliner.
This week is National Pie Week in the UK - not that we Brits need much encouragement to eat pies. But which is the better match - wine or beer?
After the wild winds and lashing rain we’ve endured in the UK this week my drink of the week really had to be a full-bodied red and what better choice than a Malbec?
What is it about the B-word at the moment? Every restaurateur and his dog seems to want to call themselves a brasserie, usually indicating the room is big and has red banquettes. But Brasserie Chavot would be better just called Chavot.
I was interested to read in the Telegraph this weekend that Ken Hom is planning to move from his French base in Cahors to spend more time in Italy and Thailand.
For most people the New Zealand winery Cloudy Bay is synonymous with sauvignon blanc but their range now extends to sparkling, sweet and red wines, a message underlined by a dinner at Hix Mayfair (in Brown’s Hotel) the other day.
I’ve got a bit obsessed with Virgin Marys (alcohol-free Bloody Marys) over the last few days.
If you’re going to or hosting a Burns’ Night dinner tonight and want to create a bit of a stir, crack open a bottle of Westmalle Dubbel, a classic Belgian Trappist ale that is still made by monks at the monastery of Westmalle. You could of course drink a Scottish beer - there are plenty of good ones - but haggis to my mind needs a bit of roundness, sweetness and strength, qualities you find more often in Belgian than British beers.
One of the (many) advantages of having a son who owns a steakhouse is that I can occasionally twist his arm to come up with a very special prize. So I’ve managed to persuade him to donate a voucher worth £350 to be spent at Hawksmoor Spitalfields.
Now that malbec has become the Rioja de nos jours there are so many brands on the market that it’s hard to choose which to buy.
Majorca produces serious wine? Go on, you’re kidding! No I’m not as it happens. This luxuriant red from Bodegues Macia Batle - surprisingly stocked by Marks & Spencer - is a great buy.
So here’s a special for Malbec World Day - maybe a bit of a cheat as it also includes some Touriga Nacional but I quite like Malbec in a blend.
This was recommended by the manager at my local Oddbins in Bristol and I really love it.
If you’re someone who is sensitive to sulphur but not convinced by natural wines Earth’s Essence shiraz is for you.
The usual bombardment of hearts and flowers that heralds Valentine’s Day is bound to make anyone who doesn’t have a Valentine feel a bit out of it. But there’s no reason not to enjoy yourself . . .
I’ll be doing a major round-up on my trip to Provence next week buthere are a few more thoughts on matching rosé and food, an update of mylast overview
Last week was a particularly indulgent one for dining out so it was a tough call coming up with my match of the week but I think it has to be the Côte du Boeuf I had at Racine with a stellar bottle of Ridge’s 1999 Monte Bello
For this month’s comp we’ve teamed up with our good friends Islington-based butchers Turner & George* again to offer you a type of beef that’s become a real hit on the London restaurant scene. THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED.
I was going to recommend a rosé this week having got the misguided impression from the heatwave last weekend that summer was on its way. But today in my home town of Bristol it’s cold, windy and about to rain so I think malbec is more the order of the day.