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The cliché is that steaks call for big, bold red wines. But choosing the perfect wine pairing really comes down to the cut of the steak and your preparation. Let’s assume to start that you’re firing up the grill.

Filet Minion

Filet mignon is cut from the smaller end of the beef tenderloin, near the sirloin. It’s the most tender cut of steak, coming from a muscle with little connective tissue, and is also very lean. As a result, it’s a more subtly flavoured cut. So, this isn’t the time to reach for a full-throttle red. A more delicate wine, like a Pinot Noir, will complement the steak without overshadowing it. After all, you just spent a small fortune on your steak. You want to taste it.

Try these wines:

Flowers Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2018
Sonoma Coast, California ($50)

Bergstrom Cumberland Reserve Pinot Noir 2018
Willamette Valley, Oregon ($44)

Decoy Pinot Noir 2019
California ($25)

Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir 2018
Chile ($9)


The ribeye is a boneless rib steak, that’s both tender and rich in fat thanks to generous marbling. This makes it intensely flavoured, while almost melting in your mouth. You’ll want a bold red that can match that intensity. It’s not necessarily the time to reach deep into your cellar, either. You want a wine with ripe, juicy fruit that tastes as if it was just picked. Structured, tannic wines also do well because they’re tamed by the steak’s unctuous fat. So, go for a recent vintage of your favourite Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet-based blend, whether it’s from Napa or Left-Bank Bordeaux.

Did you know: prime rib and ribeye are the same cut, just with different preparations.

Try these wines:

Chateau Rauzan-Segla 2015
Margaux, Bordeaux ($145)

Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Napa Valley, California ($45)

Montes Alpha Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Colchagua Valley, Chile ($20)

Alamos Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Mendoza, Argentina ($10)


One of the most popular cuts of steaks, the striploin (also known as a New York striploin or strip steak) is leaner than a ribeye with a robust meatiness. Again, you want a wine that can match the intensity of the steak, such as a fuller-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz/Syrah. These varieties commonly have bold fruit flavours, alongside an earthiness and spiciness that pairs well with striploin. They’re also rich in tannin and high in acidity to complement and cut through the juicy fat of the cut.

Although reds are commonly paired with steaks, Blanc de Noirs Champagne can be an excellent pairing for a striploin steak.

Try these wines:

Corison Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
Napa Valley, California ($100)

K Vintners Powerline Syrah 2017
Walla Walla, Washington ($45)

Torbreck Woodcutter’s Shiraz 2019
Barossa Valley, Australia ($23)

Yalumba Y Series Shiraz 2019
South Australia, Australia ($15)

Flank Cut

The flank steak (also known as a bavette) comes from the abdominal muscles of the cow and is quite lean. This means it can be tough if not prepared properly, but when done right it makes for a perfect, toothsome bite with incredible depth of flavour. The leaner cut means that it pairs best with wines that are less tannic, but still with prominent berry fruit, such as Malbec or Zinfandel.

Try these wines:

Ridge Geyserville 2019
 Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California ($40)

Catena Malbec 2018
Mendoza, Argentina ($22)

Lapis Luna Zinfandel 2019
North Coast, California ($13)

So, next time you fire up the grill, pick out the perfect bottle and take your meal to the next level.

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