What is the best type of drink to go with steak?
This is a question we hear quite often at our Hog’s restaurants. The answer though is not an easy “one” suggestion answer;
It really depends on you and your tastes
The old adage is “if you’re eating red meat, you drink red wine and with white meat, it’s white wine” but when you think about it, who says you need to stick within the “old” rules? Why not decide what YOU want to drink with YOUR steak.
You don’t need to be a drinks expert to find a great pairing between what you have on your plate and what you have to drink with it. Decide what you want to drink, go with what you feel like; but, if you want a quick guide for the next time you are considering which drink to have with your meal, please read on.
‘The classic go to, or, the traditional accompanier’, this is often the response given about red wine when sitting down with a great steak and wondering what to wet the pallet with. The tannins in red wine (which are the elements that create a drying feeling in your mouth) are softened by the fat (marbling) content of the steak. The browning that occurs when you cook meat over heat develops flavours from sweet to savoury, this means you need a drink with a real body & boldness to stand up to them. We recommend a Grant Burge Miamba Shiraz with the Rib Eye cut. This is a classic red that is strong and complex, complementing the full flavour of this cut of meat.
Contrary to belief, white wine can also work exceptionally well with a nice steak. The suggestion here is you should look for a full bodied and fruity white wine. Often the sauce that you are enjoying with the steak and the steaks fat content will determine which white wine you will choose to enjoy.
Well, this is an utter no brainer. As the Australian culture is based on drinking a beer while cooking a steak on the barbie there is already a solid culture here. Now, many here will just pull up to a steak with their favourite beer in hand but there is actually a bit of room to move around what actually pairs nicely with the cut of meat you are eating. Again, sauce and the fat content of the steak will determine which beer will “work” better with which pull of beef. We recommend a Pacific Ale with the Rib Eye cut. The fruity flavour is cleansing and will complement the full flavour of this cut of meat.
Ahhh the classics, an ice-cold martini, garnished with an olive. It’s often stated, a Martini’s flavours are so strikingly different to the steak that both together would offer a major detraction. The best time to have the Martini is before enjoying your steak as the Martini is slightly savoury and palate cleansing leaving your senses refreshed for the heartiness of the steak. Have your Martini shaken or stirred…it’s all good either way.
Growing in popularity, the pairing of an amazing whiskey with a fantastic steak has taken off. The whiskey, with an amazing range of tastes and aromas are just as varied as wines offering different yet subtle flavours when paired with your choice of steak. Working well with the fat content of the steak, the fat coats the mouth, then taking a sip of the whiskey the flavours that have dissolved in that fat will rapidly release into the mouth.
There are a few non-alcoholic drinks that work well with steak, two fruit juices that work are Cranberry and Pomegranate juice. These juices work because they also contain tannins like red wine. As with most other juices, these are not so sweet that they overpower the flavour of the steak. If you do find them to be a bit too sharp for your taste, you can dilute with water or soda water. Soft drinks like Lemonade or Coca-Cola work very well as a palet cleanser.
Soda water mixed with lemon or lime as well is another non-alcoholic drink that can be paired quite nicely with steak as carbonisation can cut through the fat but also act as a plate cleanser. Add a squeeze of lemon or lime to the soda as the acidity cuts through the steaks meaty richness and helps balance the flavours in your mouth.
Overall, when it comes to steak there are never any hard or fast rules to what you have to drink, it really depends on you! Just let the cut of meat, the way the meat is cooked and the seasoning used to guide your choice of what you are going to drink. One of the most important things to always remember – drink what you enjoy!
Remember, at Hog’s alcohol is always served in accordance with local liquor licencing laws and the responsible service of alcohol guidelines.