Steak & Wine Pairings | Ruth's Chris Steak House

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Expert Steak & Wine Pairings

Whether pairing your favorite steaks at home or joining us for a stress-free meal, these tips are sure to make your next steak night incredible.

Straight from our Chef & Sommelier

When pairing great steaks with great wine, the team at Ruth's Chris is second to none. Of course wine pairing is equal parts art, science and taste preference. But with so many vineyards and vintages on Ruth’s award-winning wine list, exploring them is part of the experience of enjoying a world class steak.

Use these tips to plan your steak night, or allow us to recommend something new on your next visit.

BEST WINE PAIRINGS FOR RIBEYES

Typically a highly marbled steak like a ribeye will need a moderately robust wine to complement it best.

We might recommend a young Cabernet Sauvignon, for example, or one that is equally approachable through its maturity like wines from Napa’s Caymus Vineyards. That said, our award-winning wine list has a number of Cabernets by the bottle or glass, and it’s fun to try your own expertise at pairing your favorite wines with various cuts of Prime steak.

For those who prefer a lighter wine, a Zinfandel or a nice Malbec from Chile or Argentina would also make a nice alternative to a Cab.

While wine pairings are another topic that often sparks a spirited discussion among some, we truly believe that personal preference is still what matters most. If a full-bodied Cab just isn’t your taste and you prefer a lighter, more delicate varietal like a Pinot Noir, then order what you’ll enjoy the most with this exceptional cut of beef.

BEST WINE PAIRINGS FOR FILETS

 

If you’re looking for a wine that goes well with a filet, chances are you can look to your favorite red wine. For this lean, delicate cut of meat, we recommend dryer reds with softer tannins.

Wines like a Merlot, an aged Cabernet or French Bordeaux are steak house classics and beloved by all. Pinot Noir or even a red blend make popular choices, as might a Syrah/Shiraz or Sangiovese. If you prefer a sweeter wine, a blush wine is also a suitable pairing option.

Best Wine Pairings for New York Strip Steaks

A New York Strip Steak can be enjoyed with a wide variety of wines because of its balance of tenderness and texture. Higher tannin red wines like a young Cabernet Sauvignon or Bordeaux are best enjoyed with full bodied steaks like the New York Strip, since they actually work together to make both more enjoyable. Tannins soften as they bind with the fat of the Strip, while the wine’s acid helps cut the fat in the meat.  

Cabernet Sauvignon

A younger, more tannic Cab is a favorite pairing for this cut. One that is too “big” or has higher alcohol content can overpower the Strip and shadow its flavor. The peppery aroma notable to most Cabs is also a nice complement to the understated seasoning we use for our USDA Prime steak cuts.

Malbec

Here’s where the balance of texture and tenderness in this versatile steak lets Strip lovers explore so many wonderful pairing choices. With softer tannins than a Cab or Bordeaux, a Malbec makes a nice wine pairing for a New York Strip Steak that has been expertly aged and cooked to perfection.

Bordeaux

The vineyards and chateaus in the Bordeaux region of France produce exceptional wines for pairing with full flavored steak cuts like the New York Strip. Today a Left Bank Bordeaux has more Cabernet Sauvignon, while Right Bank regions, where the soil and climate are different, produce more Merlot-based wines.

BEST WINE PAIRINGS FOR PORTERHOUSE STEAKS

Wine pairing is a question that often comes up with Porterhouses. Do you pair a wine that complements the tender steak found on the Filet side, or one that stands up to the fuller New York Strip? There are a few types of wine our sommeliers recommend. 

porterhouse steak for two

Recommended Varietals

With a Porterhouse steak, a full-flavored, higher tannin type of wine – think Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux or Barolo – are the most traditional wine pairings. The tannins in these fuller bodied wines complement the high protein content in the meat, each softening the flavors of the other on the palate.

A California red blend is also a fresh wine pairing for Porterhouse. Malbec also continues to grow in popularity, and along with Syrah or a nice Zinfandel, are less traditional yet wonderfully satisfying wine pairings, depending on your preference.

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