I had a bottle of 2012 Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon on the wine rack, awaiting the right dish to open it with. Beef seemed like a natural, and I figured mushrooms would make the pairing even better. The tasty result was this Sirloin Steak with Chanterelle Mushrooms and a Cabernet recipe I posted over on Cooking Chat recently.
This wine is definitely steak-worthy! The Halter Ranch Cab is deep red in the glass. I got eucalyptus on the nose. I tasted blackberry and cherry fruit, along with notes of charcoal. Tannins are well-integrated. It’s approachable now, but I suspected decanting or aging would really make this shine. So I decanted after the first small tasting pour. Just 15 minutes or so in the decanter really help show a nice long finish on the wine.
No surprise that this robust Cab paired nicely with the steak. In addition to standing up to the beef, there was enough nuance to the wine to play well with the subtle flavors of the chanterelle mushrooms. A winning match for sure!
One more note on the wine: this Cab is comprised of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Malbec and 3% Petit Verdot. I’d say the grapes blended in with the Cab add to the depth and complexity. Halter Ranch is a SIP Certified sustainable winery, too. One more reason to grab a bottle! More details on the winery can be found here on their website.
Full disclosure: I received a courtesy sample of this wine from the winery. As always, the opinions expressed here are entirely my own.
We 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.
I get to experiment with pairings for this Grilled Steak with Garlic Cumin rub fairly often. The rub packs enough flavor for grownups, but my 9 year old also loves it, so it gets used often! A lot of big, bold reds can work with the meaty dish, but there’s also the spice element to pick up. That gets me going more in the direction of a Zinfandel or Syrah for this grilled steak recipe.
You could do well with any of your favorites in the Syrah or Zin department, but one specific pairing for this grilled steak recipe that has worked very well for us is the 2011 Halter Ranch Syrah from Paso Robles. It’s got big berry flavors to stand up the beef, and some nice spices to pair with the flavors of the rub. Give it a try or let me know with you come up with for a pairing! (you are going to try this super-easy rub, aren’t you?).
Here on Wine Pairing Weekend, I typically just link over to the original recipes. But if you’re in a hurry, the rub is simply equal parts cumin, garlic powder and salt, and you can add a pinch of cinnamon and/or other dried herb (sage is nice) to vary the flavor.
Typically I pair our wine to go with the entree. I consider the type of meat or fish and how it is prepared, paying attention to ingredients in any sauce or rub. But sometimes there are two distinctive items being served together, which was the case for us the other night. I was making Orzo Salad with Kale Pesto as part of a #SundaySupper virtual picnic theme. While this dish could be a main course, in this case I was serving it as a side dish along with some Grilled Ribeye with Garlic Cumin Rub.
Pesto has a distinctive kick that tends to have me choosing a white such as Sauvignon Blanc or Picpoul. But serving the orzo dish along with steak, I wanted to pair a red that would work with the beef as well as the pesto. I thought a good Italian red might fit the bill, given pesto’s Italian roots. I went with a 2011 Tenuta di Gracciano della Seta Rosso di Montepulciano, which supplied enough depth to work with the steak along with some finesse to go with the orzo salad. This is a great quality wine for under $15!