Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Which wines work with which rib-eyes?

mash hero.png

Rib-eye is the best steak cut. If you don't agree, we will fight you. And we will win. What we're not so sure about is which wines work best with rib-eyes from around the world. Thus we went to one of London's finest steak restaurants, MASH, to sample their Uruguayan, American and Danish rib-eyes, while their top sommelier (Christian Jacobsen) told us which wines work best. It really is a tough job, this one...

Uruguayan Rib-Eye

Good Value: Rivers-Marie, Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, CA, 2011

Blow the budget: Williams-Selyem "Rochioli Riverblock", Russian River Valley, CA, 2009

The Uruguayan Herefords are about 18 months when butchered making it the youngest of the variety of breeds. The grass- and grain-fed cattle are as close as you come to veal with it still being a full-grown cow (a teenage-cow so to speak). It has a mild spicy flavour with medium intensity and a good fat marbling calling for a light-hearted wine with high acidity. Grenache-based wine from northern Spain, dry Douro reds as well as fresh Cabernet Franc-based wines from the Loire do the job well. My favourite pairing however is American Pinot Noir, especially from the cool Sonoma Coast and Russian River Valley appellations in California. The freshness and smooth structure of the wines provides the perfect match. The acidity breaks down the fat of the rib-eye, cleaning the palate, whilst the flavours don’t overpower the gentle Uruguayan beef. Cobb, Williams-Selyem, Kutch and Rivers-Marie are all good producers and are on top of their game.

_________________________

American Rib-Eye

Good Value: Charles Smith "No Bull", Syrah, Columbia Valley, WA, 2011

Blow the budget: Dunn Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain, CA, 2004

The American Prime cattle are about a year older than its Uruguayan cousins and have a 200-day feast with nothing but sweet corn prior to butcher. The starch in the corn transforms into sugar and brings a strong marbling as well as rich buttery flavour. The American rib-eye is the essence of immediate joy and a steak that doesn't need much interpretation. It's being calls for a wine of the same exuberance. I like to go new world with the American cuts although "Super-Tuscans", good-vintage Bordeaux and the warm appellations surrounding the Mediterranean are good options too if you feel like staying local. Obviously, I am going American again, and my favourite places to look is either in the mountain appellations within Napa Valley in California or the Columbia Valley in Washington State, where cool nights preserve the freshness in the grapes (you really want some acidity in the wine to break down the fat). Dunn Vineyards up on Howell Mountain is as good as it gets, and Snoqualmie and Charles Smith in Washington State brings good value to the table. But that is really just to mention a few.

________________________

Danish Rib-Eye

Good Value: St. Joseph, Pierre Gonon, Rhône, France, 2009

Blow the budget: Barolo "Ravera", Vietti, Piedmont, Italy, 1999

Last, but not least, the Danish 70-day dry-aged beef serves a mention. It's very different from the two previous cuts and naturally calls for a different type of wine. The Danish beef is as flavoursome as you can imagine. The long aging-process builds up a lot of gamy, rustic flavour and the higher proportion of proteins and lower amount of meat juice (lost by evaporation) demands a more tannic and structured wine. I like to stay in Europe when pairing wine with the Danish cuts. Tuscan Sangiovese, Piedmontese Nebbiolo and Northern Rhône Syrah are all great companions to the Danish rib-eye. If you are looking for value, St. Joseph and Cornas will treat you good. Go Barolo or Brunello and choose a bottle with up to a decade on it's back and you will find the (near) perfect match in terms of structure and flavour but expect to pay for it.

Related

kobe_beef.jpg

New York restaurant offering $350 steak

steaks.jpg

The 10 Commandments of Steak

steaks-hero.jpg

The Ultimate Steak Manual

Comments

More

Introducing the KFC Clean-Eating Burger

All is not what it seems

by Matt Tate
24 Feb 2017

Science says 5-a-day is now 10-a-day

Apples galore

by Matt Tate
23 Feb 2017

The Crème Egg Scotch Egg is a legitimate thing now

These look equal parts amazing and deadly

22 Feb 2017

There's a subreddit dedicated to eating oranges in the shower

Simply the zest

21 Feb 2017

Someone's made rum ham and milk steak from "Always Sunny"

"I'm sorry rum ham!"

by Alex Finnis
21 Feb 2017

The president of Iceland wants to ban pineapple on pizza

The whole country, not the supermarket

by Emily Badiozzaman
21 Feb 2017

A workmen's cafe just accidentally got a Michelin star

Business briefly boomed

by Gary Ogden
20 Feb 2017

This graphic of Nutella's ingredients will ruin it for you forever

Nothing you love can survive.

by Sam Diss
17 Feb 2017

11 of the world's most insane Michelin-starred restaurants

From unassuming venues to downright wacky dishes

by Keyan Milanian
15 Feb 2017

Burger King are handing out sex toys with meals

The fast food chain is offering cheeky gifts with the special Valentine's meals

14 Feb 2017