What Wine Goes with Steak? 7 Red & White Wine Pairings You MUST Know!

What Wine Goes With Steak? Our Favorite Red & White Wine Pairings

What Wine Goes With Steak? Our Favorite Red & White Wine Pairings

As you know, Steak and Wine is a classic pairing that complements well with each other. Having the right combination of wine with your Steak enhances the taste that goes with this iconic pair.

Just like Peanut butter and jelly or Bacon and Eggs, these combinations go well with each other.

The acidic tang of wine and the fatty, salty, and umami taste of steak pairs perfectly so you can delight your flavor sensations with this great combo. 

Wine and Steak are perfect for any special occasion, whether at a steakhouse or your own backyard.

If you're not sure what wines go well with your Steak, we'll show you how to choose the best pairings.

Basic Rules for a Steak and Wine Pairing

A general rule of thumb in wine pairings and Steak is what kind of meat you will be preparing.

  • Lean red meat goes well with a light variety of red wine. Meat like prime rib and other fatty cuts are ideally paired with red wine with high tannins. 
  • Lamb meat is known for its delicate texture and flavor, choose a wine that is not too overpowering to not spoil its taste. A bold wine but with fine tannins is suitable for this kind of meat. Wines such as Malbec or Petit Verdot are good examples of this. 

If you're not familiar with the different brands or grape types, a visit to the local liquor shop would gladly help you. They will be able to help you get the best wine perfect for your occasions.

You can also check out our blog post here for more info:

Types Of Wine: A Quick Crash-Course On The 4 Main Types Of Wine

Why Red Wine and Steak makes a Great combination?

Often, steaks are associated with red wine, and fish are for white wines.

If you've ever wondered why,  there is a scientific reason for that. This is a common culinary rule that stems from different compounds found in the meat and the fermentation process and chemicals used to make wine. 

The tannins in red wine from grape seeds and skin and the barrels used for fermentation interact with the meat to make a flavorful combo.  

The tannin molecules soften the fats in the meat. It releases more of the meat's flavor. In combination, the fat also decreases the astringency of the wine.

It makes the wine taste less bitter and smoother, bringing out the fruity flavors of the wine.

Together, these two balances out the flavor.

The Beef being fatty and slippery, and the red wine being astringent and rough, balances, and reduces the opposing flavors.

Ultimately, these create a pleasant and delicious taste for the palate.

Benefits of Pairing Wine and Meat

There are many health benefits when pairing your favorite Steak with wine. Chemical compounds in wine, such as polyphenols, prevent bad cholesterol in the bloodstream.

These also reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. High antioxidants in the body result in decreased risk of long-term diseases.

Diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease can be prevented as these are associated with oxidative stress.

Wine also has anti-inflammatory processes. It can prevent chronic inflammation, which may increase the risk of heart disease, cancers, and autoimmune disorders.

Enjoy the umami taste of Steak while having the health benefits of drinking wine.

What Wine Goes With Steak?

Let's get started!


Zinfandel has moderate tannin levels and high acidity. It's perfect for any steak with a moderate amount of fat such as Porterhouse, Rib Eye, and T-bone.

Zinfandel has a bold grape flavor and is rich enough that makes it a great pair for tough cuts of meats. An example of tough cuts of meat that goes well with this wine is Tri-tip and London Broil cuts.


This wine is known for its soft tannin and low acid levels. The wine originated in Bordeaux, where wine-growing is famous. Even though this has low acid and tannin content, this still makes a good pair with your Steak.

Merlot wine is able to complement the fats in tough meats. The fruity flavor of this wine brings out the savory, rich flavor of Steak.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon goes well with marbled steaks. This wine contains high levels of alcohol and tannins. It gives balance for the savory taste of the Steak while also giving the fruity taste of the wine.

Meats such as fish, chicken, and turkey are not suitable for pairing with this wine as the wine's texture is too strong for the meat to compensate. It results in too much wine flavor that you cannot taste the umami flavor of the meat.


This wine is great with a variety of steaks. With a fruity and peppery flavor, it nicely complements the bold flavor of steaks. Shiraz has a balanced level of tannin and acidity that goes perfectly with fine marbled steaks.

Steaks such as New York Strip, Prime Rib, and Peppered Ribeye are examples that complement this well-balanced wine.

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a medium-bodied and light wine that has a low amount of tannin. It has high levels of acidity that balances the bold flavors of Steak.

The most popular reason why this wine is loved for pairing with steaks is that it's versatile, subtle, and food-friendly. It can go well with almost any main course. The undertone of spices and fruity flavor of this wine pairs evenly with steaks.

Steaks that are low in fat are perfect for this wine, such as prime ribs and filet mignon.


Malbec is a wine that is also popular with Steak. It's very popular in Argentina, where it's common to see when people order Steak. Argentinians love this wine for their steaks as it is food-friendly, rich, versatile, and quite affordable.

White Wine

A popular wine choice when pairing it with steaks is Red Wine.

Almost all people go for Red Wine when they want a perfect drink that goes well with their Steak.

White wines do not commonly go well with steaks. It doesn't complement the rich, savory, and umami flavor of steaks.

Picking the right white wine would make the pairing much better; since white wines are often light, you should pick one that's full-bodied to complement your Steak.

An example of white wine that goes well with Steak is German Riesling.

This white wine is rich and has a level of crispness that cuts through the beefiness of Steak.

This is an example of you not always having to follow wine-pairing rules, and if you want to try something different when looking for something new, that goes well with steaks.

Types of Steak and What wine pairs with it

Is your mouth watering yet? 🤤

Lamb Steak with Wine

Lamb has a delicate flavor and generally has little spices that go with it. Go with a wine that has a light flavor to not overpower the delicate flavor of lamb. Lamb steaks often go together with sauces.

The Steak greatly depends on the type of sauce that you will put on it. Pick the wine flavor profile appropriate for the sauce. Some wine examples that are great for lamb steaks are Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Sirah, and Malbec.

Veal Steak with Wine

If you're looking for Steak that goes well with white wine, veal steaks are perfect. A great example of this pairing is a bottle of Gruner Veltliner, which is an Austrian white wine.

Light profile red wines also work well with veal steaks. An example of these light red wines is Pinot Noir, Rose of Sangiovese, Zinfandel, and Valpolicella.

Beef Steak with Wine

Wine pairing for Beef often involves 2 cuts, Lean and Fatty. There are wine pairings for specific for each cut. We will guide you on what wine goes well with each cut.

Lean Cut

Medium-bodied or light red wines go perfectly with lean cuts. Wines that have high acidity levels go well with these robust meats. Follow the rule that the strength of the wine is set on the robustness of the dish.

An example of a great pairing of this is a bottle of bold Sangiovese and Top Sirloin Beef.

Fatty Beef Cut

Red wine is often associated with fatty cuts. Go for a wine that has a high level of tannin and has a bold flavor. The higher level of tannin, the better. This is so it can cut through the savory fat taste and balance the flavor.

Wines like Napa Cabernet and Barolo goes well with these fatty beef cuts.

Venison Steak and Wine

Venison steaks have a rich taste that demands a wine that will not interfere with the flavor. Medium-bodied wines such as Valpolicella and Chianti goes well with this kind of Steak. These are medium-bodied wines that preserve that rustic flavor of venison.

Dry-Aged Steak with wine

This meat is placed or hung on a rack for it to dry out to several weeks. Dry age steaks often work well with rich earth and fruit tones.

A great red wine pairing for this Steak is Amarone.

Amarone is made from dried grapes and is produced in Italy's Veneto region. It's a dry red wine that is fruity and goes well with dry-aged meats. This is a fun and unique pairing for those looking for something new to taste and experience.

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Karl Kahale & The Underground Wine Merchants Team

  • September 25, 2020
  • Blog