what wines would you rec for marinading steak? i picked a bottle of pinot noir up this time ’cause it was ten bucks and we’re poor, but I’d be interested to know what to look for going forward. also I’m making salad tomorrow and I promise to send you a post about it



Well, it depends on the type of flavor you want. I’d personally use a cheap cabernet or merlot. And you don’t need anything more expensive than $5. You just want the tannins and the acid.

Personally, what I would do is as follows (and I do have several posts regarding making the perfect steak, just search #steak)

Let the steak come to room temp (very important step). Combine minced garlic, Worcestershire sauce, wine, chili paste or powder, salt and pepper, balsamic vinegar or a steak sauce of your choice (I like A-1. Yes, you heard me), a dash of brown sugar in a bowl. Put the steak into a ziploc bag and add enough of the marinade to coat the steak. Squeeze out the air and seal. Massage the steak a bit inside the bag and then let sit on the counter for 30 minutes to an hour. Remove the steak from the liquid and dry thoroughly with paper towels or cheese cloth. Salt the outside well. Make sure the pan is hot. slap that steak into that pan and leave it alone for a certain period of time (determined by the thickness of the meat and the doneness you want to achieve). Flip only once.

Ten bucks is cheap wine here, I live at the ass-end of the world 😛 I’ve got your steak tag open in a tab and I’m defs intending to follow your process, I just thought I’d ask about this aspect as I found myself standing in the wine section going “?????”

Ah! Well! I can help with that! Or at least to give you a kind of method.

Pinot tends to be dusty and fruity. Usually dark fruit and earth. They can be “jammy” which is as it sounds, and have a distinct taste of soil. I do love the complexity of pinot, but for steak it is too difficult. You’d have to know precisely which pinot to choose by having drunk it, and if you are on a budget and don’t know wine very well, it’s simply not feasible.

Merlot tends to be more vegetative, more like tomato or red berries. It can also have greener notes like bell pepper. It can be higher in acid. While merlot can be sweet and fruity, it isn’t usually a flavor that contrasts with steak.

Cabernet tends to be peppery or spicy as well as acidic. It tends to have far more vegetative notes. To me it pairs perfectly with red meat as a marinade.

So, when you want to know which wine to choose to use as a marinade, read the back of the bottle. It will give you some tasting notes. Look for things like pepper, white pepper, tobacco, lemon, tomato, green vegetables, bell pepper, spice (not fruit spice or cinnamon) clove, earth, dust, red fruit.

I would avoid anything that says “fruit forward” “jammy” or references to sweetness. You can choose a cheap blended red, but, be careful of blends that include zinfandel, pinot, or any dessert varietal, because those are somewhat sweet.

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