Whether you’re sinking your teeth into an inch-thick ribeye or a sizzling skirt steak, you want a wine that’ll both stand up to and complement the umami-rich character of beef. Some wines pair well with pretty much any style of steak, but others are better suited to leaner or fattier cuts.
“For a fatty cut of beef, I would recommend a wine with good acidity, structure, and texture to clean the fattiness from the mouth,” says Sebastian Zuccardi, owner of Argentina’s Zuccardi Valle de Uco winery.
Zuccardi was recently named one of the top 10 winemakers of South America. And as an Argentinian, he knows his beef.
For leaner cuts, he suggests a bigger, bolder wine. “I would pick a wine with good volume, and one that’s concentrated enough to take up your entire mouth with flavor,” he says. You also want a wine with good fruitiness and a little less acidity—but nothing too sweet, he adds.
Whether you’re looking to save or splurge, these picks will elevate your next steak dinner. While most are available at big local or online retailers, some are more exclusive bottlings available only through their wineries or select wine outlets.