Best Wine with Filet

The best wine for filet is a full-bodied red. The sweet taste of the meat complements the bold flavor of a good quality red wine. A rich, robust wine will complement the flavors of your steaks and leave you with a taste that will linger on your palate long after your meal is complete.

Why Does Red Wine work best with Beef?

Red wine and beef have a natural affinity for each other. The tannins in the wine help to break down the proteins in meat, making them more tender and flavorful. Red wines also contain natural antioxidants that fight off the formation of harmful carcinogens associated with cooking meat at high temperatures.

The main reason that red wine works so well with beef is the presence of those tannins. Tannins are polyphenols that exist in all types of plants, including grapes, but they are especially high in red wines.

The tannins in red wine are what make the meat more tender and flavorful. Since they bind to proteins and help break them down into smaller pieces called peptides. This is what makes the meat more tender and its flavor more concentrated.

Here are 5 red wines that work best with filets:

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied red wine that has a strong tannic structure. It can be expensive, but if you want to amp up the flavor of your filet mignon, this is the way to go.

It is typical to age this wine for years before it’s ready to drink. This process allows the tannins in the wine to soften and smooth out over time.

I recommend the following three Cabernet Sauvignons:

Substance ‘Cs’ Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

From the winery itself, “Classic Cabernet Sauvignon. Currant, blackberry, cigar box with touches of chocolate, cedar, and pencil lead. Full flavored & just so damn good. I should raise the price!”

Château Lynch-BagesPauillac (Grand Cru Classé) 2016

It exhibits a deep red color with notes of dark fruit, cassis, blackcurrants, and a distinctive hint of mint. On the palate, it is full in body with ripe tannins and cassis throughout. The finish is long.

Flat Top Hills Cabernet Sauvignon

This is a rich, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. It is distinctly dark fruit on the palate with cocoa and vanilla notes. It has gentle spices like nutmeg and cassis. The finish is smooth, long, and velvety.

Merlot

Merlot is a red wine variety that is for both blending and varietal wines. In fact, it’s the third most widely grown grape in the world (after Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc). It is most famously part of Bordeaux blends but has also been gaining popularity as a varietal wine in California.

Merlot produces wines with deep colors and flavors of black cherry, plum, and tobacco. They are full in the body or lighter with softer tannins, depending on how much oak is used during fermentation or aging.

I recommend these excellent examples of Merlot:

Mayacamas Mt. Veeder Napa Valley Merlot 2019

This mountainside Napa red, from the historic estate Mayacamas, has 5% cabernet franc in the blend that seems to lift the herbal notes on the nose. Bright blueberry fruit is balanced by savory mushroom and pencil-lead flavors that are brilliantly held by the acidity and fine firm tannins that will allow this to age.

Arietta 2019 Merlot “Hudson” Carneros Napa

The 2019 Merlot Hudson Vineyard is full of dark fruit, chocolate, and other savory notes that add complexity to the wine. The wine has a fruity bouquet, with aromas of fresh blueberries and raspberries mixed with vanilla and oak.

Château Lyonnat Emotion, Lussac Saint-Emilion, 2016

The wine’s deep and intense ruby color is accented by a powerful nose with aromas of black fruits, blackcurrant, and darker berries. Notes of toasty oak lend complexity to an already complex bouquet. The wine’s aroma and flavor are bold, yet elegant. The woodsy scent of truffles lingers on the palate after each sip is swallowed.

Zinfandel

Zinfandel is a red wine from the Zinfandel grape, which is native to Croatia. The best zins are dry, but with a soft tannin and fruity flavor profile.

In California, where much of America’s zinfandel comes from, there are two major styles: the lighter “pineapple” versions found in cooler growing areas like Sonoma County and the Central Coast; and darker “blackberry” or “prune” styles associated with Napa Valley.

Australia also produces some excellent examples of this varietal.

These are all excellent examples of Zinfandel that will pair with your filet:

Journeyman Wines, San Lorenzo ‘The Pearl’ Old Vine Red (Alexander Valley)

A floral bouquet with notes of tobacco and anise. This is a bold, full-bodied red. It has rich flavors of chocolate, with dark fruits and pepper. Velvet smooth mouthfeel and a tannic finish. Let it breathe before serving.

Hartford Family Winery Hartford Dina’s Vineyard Zinfandel

Hartford Russian River Valley Zinfandel presents aromas of ripe plum, blackberry, and black cherry. White pepper and allspice add complexity to this wine’s fruity bouquet. A burst of blueberry, raspberry, nutmeg, and chocolate flavors leads to a long-lasting finish.

Carlisle Papera Ranch Zinfandel 2020

Another excellent Zinfandel from Russian River, California. Ruby-red in color. On the nose, it is bright cherry with aromas of blackberry and raspberry with notes of vanilla and tobacco. It is medium-full-bodied and very smooth on the palate. 

Shiraz/Syrah

If you’re looking for red wine to pair with steak, Shiraz is a great option.

Shiraz and Syrah are the same wine from the same grape. This grape is responsible for some of the world’s best wines and is found throughout Australia, France, and California. While this grape produces big, bold wines that are perfect for pairing with filet mignon or other kinds of red meat, it can also produce lighter-bodied wines that are great with seafood or poultry dishes.

I recommend the following Shiraz with your filet:

Calcareous Reserve Syrah 2020, Paso Robles

From the winery. “Aged in 40% deeply toasted French barrels for 18 months, our Estate Syrah is made to showcase the depth and power of the varietal from our soil. Full of juicy blackberry, dark cocoa, and tar mingling with rich fully ripe tannin, this massive wine is built for marbled rib eye and slow-smoked pork shoulder. It should age exquisitely for 12+ years.”    

Lewis Cellars Alec’s Blend 2018

A great wine to pair with. Flavors of black and red fruits with black pepper. Notes of vanilla, and chocolate with good acidity. Blended 57% Syrah, 28% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon with the rest Cabernet Franc.

Seppeltsfield 2018 Shiraz (Barossa Valley)

You can’t have a list of great Shiraz without a Barossa Valley and this is a cracker. It is a bold red with a fruity bouquet of dark cherry and blackberry with hints of oak, vanilla, and coffee. Acidity is good with medium tannins.  Highly recommended.

Pinot Noir

This is a red wine grape grown in the Burgundy region of France, as well as other regions including Oregon and California. Pinot Noir produces wines with subtle flavors, with earthy and fruity notes.

Here are some of the best Pinot Noirs you should look for:

2016 Domaine Lecheneaut Les Pruliers

This is towards the more expensive end of the price range but no doubt this is an exceptional wine. Les Pruliers has a strong color. The wine offers aromas of fresh red fruit, wild prunes, and licorice. As it ages, it adds depth and roundness. It has aromas of cocoa, and smoked meat.

2019 Fanny Sabre Bourgogne Rouge

More affordable is the Fanny Sabre Bourgogne Rouge. This is an organic pinot noir that’s delicate, easy to drink, and naturally delicious. It has a fresh, crunchy, summer pudding fruit flavor with crisp acidity and just lip-smacking moreishness. And because it’s low in sulfur, it’s great for summer or winter drinking.

2018 Corazza Pinot Nero

At the lower end of the price range is the Pinot Nero. This is a unique wine from Friuli, a region in northeastern Italy. From the pinot noir grape and is unlike other Pinot Noirs you might have tried. It’s light, bright, and easy to drink.

Conclusion

As a rule, full-bodied red wines are best for filets. This is because the meat is so tender, it can be overpowered by a wine that’s too light and fruity. A wine with more tannin in its flavor profile will stand up to the filet without being overpowered.

If you are looking for a great recipe for your filet, I urge you to try BritiShop’s Pan-Seared Filet Mignon with Garlic & Herb Butter. This is full of flavor. All it needs is a large glass of red to go with it.

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