Ask 10 people to recommend red wine for a good hearty ribeye steak and 8 of them will tell you, “Go with a Cabernet Sauvignon.” It is the most grown grape variety in the world. It’s got the high tannins (that bitterness) that goes really well with steak. It is going to be your safe bet and it’s definitely a good choice. But let’s explore a few others, off the beaten path, for some other more creative choices for you to try.
I started drinking wine on my first visit to Northern Italy. I drank a lot of Chianti and Chianti Classico. These are 100% Sangiovese and are similar to Cabs in many ways. They are less tannic and medium bodied versus Cabs which are full bodied. I’ve had these with steak and have enjoyed them.
I have pictured a Super Tuscans from Cantina del Redi from a winery we visited in Montepulciano during one of our visits to Italy. They age their wines in barrels kept in these creepy caves where they filmed a scene from Twilight movie. It made for a very interesting tour. We occasionally find these here in the States and then recently they popped up at Cosco. This Sangiovese / Montepulciano blend goes really well with steak for the same reason a Chianti does. Check out some of these Super Tuscans. They are another good option.
My daughter, Monica, is a big Malbec fan. She’s got me to try more than I would have otherwise and I like them. In many ways, Malbec wines are similar to Cab. They are full bodied and acidic. They have about the same level of alcohol.
Malbec is less tannic. I find they are more fruity, and by this I do NOT mean sweetness, that I enjoy. If you prefer a less tannic reds, for example if you prefer Pinot Noir to Cab, this might be something for you to try. The Siesta bottle I picture here in the article is one I found recently that I really, really like.
This next one is a little off the beaten path. It’s grown almost exclusively in Portugal. It’s the Touriga National grape variety. I’ve been experimenting with these recently as I’ve explored more of Portugal’s wines. They are similar in many ways to Cab. These are high in tannins and full bodied. I haven’t yet tried one yet that I haven’t liked. Give it a try with your steak.
I’m a red meat lover and am always looking for something new to try with them. Give these a try and share with us what you think.