Tag Archives: Rioja

Grilled Steak with a 20 Year Old Rioja

A 1994 Rioja to pair with grilled steakWe decided it would be fun to celebrate our recent 20th wedding anniversary with a tasty meal at home along with a special bottle of wine. There were a number of bottles that sounded like interesting possibilities at the wine shop. But I was intrigued by the idea of finding a bottle from our wedding year, 1994. We came up with a 20 year old Rioja to go with our grilled steak.

Now, it would have been nice to have a big collection of older wines in our cellar to draw from for this dinner. But most of our wine at this point is for current consumption.

There isn’t generally a big selection of wines from 1994 at this point at most wine shops. But Ray from Pairings Wine and Food was able to poke around the shop and came up with a 1994 Lopez de Heredia Tondonia Rioja. I’d enjoyed a newer vintage from this winery, one of the top Rioja producers, and was ready to try this older bottle.

We had some Trader Joe’s BBQ Rub with Coffee and Garlic on hand that we hadn’t tried yet–mostly because I figured our nine year old wouldn’t go for it. He wasn’t on hand this evening, so it seemed like a good time to try it on some grilled NY strip streak. Plus, I thought the coffee in the rub might go with the Rioja.

So, the steak was on the grill, and it was time to open the wine. Figured at this age it didn’t need much breathing time! The cork was looking like it wouldn’t last a bit longer, but fortunately it had held together to keep this wine in good shape.

I got violet and coffee on the nose. Taste of berries, prune and coffee. The tannins had integrated well for a deep, complex taste, great mouthfeel. The coffee notes worked nicely with the steak. A nice pairing to enjoy on our 20th! The we had another good pairing for dessert, the Grilled Figs with a Sauternes.

grilled steak to enjoy with a 1994 Rioja