Wine Pairing With Steak: Bordeaux Inspired Meal to Make at Home

French Wine Explorers | Monday, Mar 22nd 2021
Wine Pairing with steak

Picture this: you’re hosting a meal and you know the main guest loves Bordeaux wines and steak. What is the best wine pairing with steak?

In this post, we’re going to offer you great tips and tricks for meal planning for Bordeaux wine lovers. 

Bordeaux wine pairing tip #1:

The first thing to do before you start any of the creative processes is to determine your budget

  • Now I know this is not the fun part of the journey but it’s the essential part of the journey. It’s going to allow you to determine what wines, and how many of those wines you offer.
  • When I determine my budget, sometimes I think about how much do I want to spend for the entire meal? I’ll purchase the wine first and then reverse engineer a meal. Or I’ll look at what we have in stock for inspiration. Then I’ll base a meal around those wines I want to serve.

Bordeaux wine pairing tip #2:

Now let’s look at a three-course Bordeaux wine pairing meal. This is easy to replicate at home. It allows you to have some Bordeaux wine pairings at two different price points. 

  • First when hosting a meal only cook two dishes no matter how many courses you have, only cook two dishes. 
  • Why is that? You don’t want to be frazzled in the kitchen. Your guests don’t want to see you frazzled and you need to enjoy yourself. 
  • Even better if you can have one other person cook one dish and you cook one dish. What this is going to allow you to do is really be there for your guests. 
    • For example, Pierre and I will usually split up the tasks. 
    • I will make the dessert course and he’ll make the main course. The rest we purchase at the grocery store or at a caterer. This works really well and we always enjoy ourselves at meals. 

Okay, so we figured out our wine budget. We figured out which of the courses we want to prepare ourselves. And which of the courses we’re going to go ahead and purchase in advance. 

Bordeaux wine pairing tip #3: 

3 course Bordeaux wine pairing with steak meal with 2 different price points.

  • First, we’ll have some appetizers. 
    • Now remember this is a three-course meal, so this you consider just the pass-arounds. 
    • And for that, I would recommend something super easy that you don’t have to prepare. I recommend sushi. Sushi is easy to find anywhere and can really allow you to offer different options for your guests to pair with sushi. 
    • A great white Bordeaux is found in the Entre Deux Mers.
      • It’s actually a quite large region and in my opinion an up-and-coming region for great values. 
      • Their whites and their reds are both worth trying. So try a white Bordeaux wine from this region to go with your sushi. And the price point can go all over the place but you can really find something high quality under $30. 

Bordeaux tip #4: Wine pairing with steak

  • Okay now if your main guest is a Bordeaux wine lover, there’s a really good chance that they love red meat and I do too. So what I would recommend for the main course is grilled red meat, something that’s got a little bit of marbling to it. 
  • So something like a ribeye steak. I absolutely love grilled ribeye steak. 
  • You could go with a tenderloin but there isn’t as much fat so there’s a little bit less flavor and because Bordeaux wines have a little bit more tannins in them, they can handle something that has a little bit more full fat. Prime rib would be delicious. 
  • Wine pairing with steak:
    • I would recommend two options: a Listrac-Medoc, or a St. Julien. 
    • The Listrac-Medoc is the least pricey of the two and it offers great options for you in the $30 range. 
    • Now if you have a special guest or you just really want to enjoy the meal yourself, try a St. Julien.
    • St. Julien is my favorite appellation in Bordeaux and it’s that perfect blend of power and finesse. There are many classified growths in St. Julien that you should try. The price point’s a little bit higher so if you’re really unsure, stick with a Listrac-Medoc.

Cheese Course

  • Now we’re going to go to the cheese course. 
    • I know what you’re thinking, the cheese is supposed to be your pass-around course. 
    • It’s supposed to be what you have before the meal. Cheese boards in the United States are usually offered before the meal. But in France cheese is after the main course so let’s go with the French tradition. 
    • If you saw our cheese board video remember to offer a mild, a hard, and a third cheese.
      • Since this is a Bordeaux-themed meal, let’s go with the brie, for your mild, a farmhouse cheddar for your hard cheese, and a blue cheese like Roquefort (Ruk-forh).
      • I know that’s a very hard word to say but it’s a blue cheese made close to the Bordeaux area so it would be a great thematic cheese for you. 

So what Bordeaux wine are you going to serve with the cheeses? 

  • Well if you have a red wine that’s leftover from the main course, that would make a great segue into your cheese course. 
  • And if you really want to up your game, think about offering a magnum for the main course and then the remainder for the cheese chorus. Because this really offers like the wow moment, so keep that in the back of your mind. 
  • The red will go really well with that farmhouse cheddar but that blue cheese is a little bit of a challenging pairing. I would recommend a Sauternes with that. Sauternes is the sweet wine made from what we call noble rot into liquid gold. Sauternes is kind of having a second wave, a new wave of fans who really love it and make it a little bit more of a contemporary type of wine. 
  • And last but not least, is the dessert.
    • For the dessert, make sure the dessert is not sweeter than your Sauternes- if you’re offering Sauternes.
    • If your dessert is sweeter than your Sauternes, it’s going to make the Sauternes taste bitter. 

So let’s recap. Here’s a Bordeaux-themed meal with wines from Bordeaux that will satisfy just about any palette. 

  • First start with a pass-around of sushi, paired with Entre Deux Mers.
  • And then we’re going to go for the big guns with wine pairing with steak and either a St. Juien or a Listrac-Medoc.
  • Offer a cheese course and stay in the traditional french way and continue with the red wine that we’ve offered. For Sauternes lovers, this would be a great opportunity to pair it with blue cheese. 
  • Make sure the dessert is not sweeter than your Sauternes, it’s going to make the Sauternes taste bitter. 

So we have three courses plus a pass around. And you’re going to only make two of those courses to elevate the fun factor for you as the host. 

And last but not least, your guests are going to feel the love, and the dedication you’ve put into this Bordeaux wine meal for it to be a success. 

So I say congratulations-Cheers!