What better way to celebrate Father’s Day on the 21st of June than with that ultimate meal for men, the steak? No pairing comes as naturally as that of red wine with beef, and to help you get the meal utterly perfect we’ve asked Phil Crozier, director of wines for the Gaucho restaurants in London to match wines to the different cuts. The rump, sirloin, rib-eye and fillet vary hugely in taste and texture – but read on to get the low-down on choosing the best wine to match your meat.
Wines with minerality are good with this cut – particularly Malbec from Patagonia. The Valle de Perdido Malbec 2006 (Cavas de Gaucho, £ 12.15) or the juicy Norton Malbec (£5.99, Oddbins ) from Mendoza have lovely mineral freshness that cuts the meatiness of this variety.
The belt of fat that sits on top of this cut combined with the softness of the meat needs a wine with soft and juicy tannins. The Malbecs from Mendoza fit the bill perfectly. Try the Dona Paula Malbec 2006 (Oddbins, £9.99) or the Urban Malbec from O Fournier in the Uco Valley (Mendoza – Oddbins, £6.99) cuts the fat. You could also try a juicy and dense Bonarda, Argentina’s second grape variety next to Malbec. Try the lovely and brambly Zuccardi Reserva Bonarda from Oddbins at £7.99.
The steak lover’s steak, and the best for big red wines. The marbling of the fat and the eye in the middle gives superb depth of flavour and rich indulgent texture. This demands a meaty wine. Try the Norton Privada (Waitrose, £14.24) or the beautiful Catena Malbec (Majestic, £14.24) or the Vinalba Malbec reserve from Majestic too. For a real treat, try the Cheval des Andes, a joint partnership between Terrazas de Los Andes in Argentina and Cheval Blanc in at £50.00 (Majestic).
Soft and creamy in texture, this is considered to be the ultimate steak cut. Matching wine is not easy, however, and demands some subtle wine styles so as not to over-dominate the beef. Soft and ripe tannins are called for, and the Terrazas de los Andes Malbec 2006 (Cavas de Gaucho, £17.85 ) is a soft and juicy belter. A good soft and plumy merlot would also go well, try any one from Chile, but the Cono Sur from Colchagua is a winner (£5.99, Majestic).
If you are a white wine fan, Phil recommends a creamy Chardonnay red might be more suited to your palate. Red meat is not a no-no for whites.