It could be argued that Malbec was created for the sole purpose of being paired with steak. The wine, typically famous in the form of an Argentine red wine made from a purple grape variety, is a near-perfect match with most types of steak, balancing the steak’s salty, juicy flavor with its own sweetness. Foodandwine.com chalks this compatibility up to Malbec’s firm tannins, which helps it to pair beautifully with steak while remaining equally “dark and robust.”
There are several important focal points to take into consideration when enjoying steak and Malbec together. After all, with as promising as this pairing tends to be, it is vital that you are doing all you can to maximize its end result and create an unforgettable blending of flavors.
It’s all in the sauce
When pairing steak with Malbec, or any wine for that matter, it is important to pay attention to the sauce in which the steak has been prepared — this factor can play a big part in your enjoyment of this pairing. For example, Malbec’s taste usually thrives when paired with a rich red wine sauce, as it is able to “stand up” to this sauce’s taste and blend comfortably with it, rather than fighting for taste dominance. Additionally, if you are making this sauce yourself, you will have the ability to control which wines you use and ultimately have a better understanding of how to facilitate this pairing.
Cooking matters too
Be sure to also take your steak’s preparation into consideration when bringing a Malbec into the picture. The extent to which your steak has been cooked can have a significant impact on the pairing — maybe even more so than the sauce you have prepared it with. A rarer steak, for instance, will actually lessen the effect of the Malbec’s tannins, which, as previously stated, stand as a crucial component to the Malbec/steak pairing. Some enjoyers of this combination may prefer a lesser tannin sensation, but for those who crave it, a well-done steak may lead to a bolder taste.
Additionally, fattier steaks can also give off their own twist on this pairing. Malbec stands as a wine robust enough to pair well with steaks of this nature, giving the final product a fuller taste than what would be achieved with lesser wines. This particular pairing is best pursued with a ribeye steak or a leaner fillet steak.
Steaks that are charred and darkened, on the other hand, can give off more of a bitter, smoky taste. As a result, they may pair decently well with Malbec since their defined flavor could better activate the wine’s tannins — or at least more so than a rarer steak could.