Ribeye Steak and Red Wine Pairing

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Wine and steak are a classic pairing that has been enjoyed for centuries. The rich, savory flavors of a sizzling ribeye steak from Chicago Steak Company pair perfectly with the bold and complex flavors of a well-chosen wine.

But with so many different types of wine and steak cuts to choose from, it can be overwhelming to know which wine to serve with your ribeye. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best wine pairings for a ribeye steak and explain why wine is served with steak in the first place.

Wine and Steak Complement Each Other Perfectly

First, let’s talk about why wine is served with steak. The reason is simple: wine and steak complement each other perfectly. The rich, savory flavors of a deliciously cooked steak are balanced out by the acidity and tannins in wine, which helps to cut through the richness of the meat. Tannins are molecules that are in the grape’s skin, and seeds. They soften steaks’ fats and release delicious, robust beefy flavors. 

Additionally, the complex flavors of the wine can enhance the flavors of the steak, making for a truly memorable dining experience. Since a ribeye, the king of all steaks, is known for its high level of marbling, a glass of red wine is usually at the top of the list.

Red Wine Has Aromatic and Flavor-Enhancing Effects on Ribeye Steak

It’s all about the tannins. As mentioned above, the tannins in red wine are particularly effective at cutting through the fat of the ribeye steak, softening the fat, and releasing its flavor. The depth of flavor and acidity in red wine balance out the rich flavors of the steak. It’s a bit like chemistry.

The steak’s fat reduces the astringency of the wine creating a smoother, less bitter taste. Steak and wine are like opposites. You know what they say about opposites…they attract. The beef is fatty with a slippery feeling on the tongue and the wine is sharp and dry. The two work together and balance each other which is pleasing to your palate.

Best Wines to Pair With Ribeye Steak

Most foodies, wine enthusiasts, and culinary artists will agree that red wine is the best type of wine to complement ribeye steak. This is because red wine has higher acid levels, and features drier, bolder flavors than other wines do. In addition, red wines are usually served at room temperature and whites are mostly enjoyed chilled. This alone creates two totally different taste experiences. That’s not to say you can’t enjoy a glass of chilled white or rosé with your ribeye.

White wine also tends to be lighter with less bold and complex notes than red wine varieties. It is worth noting that there are some white wine blends that pair exceptionally well with ribeye steak. An aged buttery Chardonnay will bring a rich and creamy note to the pairing, and a crisp Pinot Grigio will bring a crisp and refreshing touch. It’s an individual preference, however red with ribeyes takes the majority of the vote.

The Best Red Wines To Pair With Ribeye Steak: Beautiful, Aromatic, and Delicious

Cabernet Sauvignon: Raise a glass to one of the most popular wines in the whole world. Cabernet Sauvignon, known as the people-pleaser of red wines, has the perfect balance of fruitiness and acidity to accompany a peppery ribeye. Some describe Cabernet as the ultimate compliment to a ribeye creating a classic flavor combination.

Zinfandel: Cheers to medium-bodied sweeter wine. Zinfandel is a superb wine for serving with ribeye. The jammy fruit flavors of blackberry, black cherry, raspberry, and plum burst together with zesty spicy notes. This special wine features high acidity that not only counterbalances the steak but will clear the palate between bites, an added bonus.

Malbec: Bravo, Malbec! This red wine has a very dark romantic color, but it is the rich flavors and complex notes that make it extraordinary. Malbec is an Argentinean wine with rich fruit flavors, a deep aroma, and a smooth, silky finish. The bold fruity profile and aromatic citrus notes are exceptional when served with a ribeye.

Bordeaux Blends: Oui, Oui to Bordeaux, a brilliant blend that is like a Parisian party. It is a complex wine combining multiple French varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, and Petit Verdot in one bottle. Fruity, rich flavors and subtle notes of all the wines including chocolate, licorice, and vanilla are intoxicating and ideal for standing up to many steaks, including a seasoned ribeye.

Syrah/Shiraz: Salute to Syrah and Shiraz, interchangeable wines with bold, earthy, peppery notes. The rich plum fruit flavors and smokey, oak finish always stand up to the occasion. The flavors are dependent on where the grapes were grown yet this wine always provides a lovely pairing to a ribeye.

Tempranillo: Toast to Tempranillo! This unique full-bodied Spanish wine has an orange hue and delivers contrasting flavors of fruity cherries, strawberries, earthy pepper, and leather notes. Some wine enthusiasts call it spicy and meaty and compare it to a Cabernet Sauvignon, another wine that is perfect with ribeye steak.

Barolo: Saluti to an incredible Italian vino, Barolo. Created from Nebbiolo grapes, this special high-quality wine features complex, intense flavors, and a subtle delicate profile. Many times referred to as the King of Piedmont, it features the aromas of cherries, raspberries, and red roses with hints of leather, tobacco, and licorice. Barolo is both delicate and powerful, sweet and savory making this interesting full-bodied wine a perfect complement to ribeye.

Experiment and Enjoy The Wine, Steak Pairing Journey

Pairing wine with ribeye steak or any food is like an art that requires a bit of knowledge and experimentation. After all, there is no right or wrong when it comes to enjoying a glass of wine. When you know the basics of why certain wines enhance the steak’s flavor you are headed in the right direction. But by considering the overall flavor profile and the preparation, you can find the perfect wine to compliment a ribeye’s rich flavors. Whether you prefer a bold cabernet sauvignon or a smooth malbec, lean towards a lighter white chardonnay or pinot grigio, there is a wine or two, or three out there just waiting for you!