The Sweet Red Wines You Should Be Cooking Your Steak In

From smothering copious amounts of salt and butter over the surface to letting the meat rest for hours before it even touches the grill or skillet, there are countless tips and tricks people swear by when it comes to ways to cook the perfect steak. A number of carnivores, in fact, turn to a bottle of red wine to yield the ideal bite. However, it's important to know that not all types of red wine are created equally, and there are a couple of varieties to stock up on for those indulgent moments when you crave beef.

Shiraz and Zinfandel are both beloved, versatile wines that also just so happen to be excellent choices for preparing steak — and culinary scientists would agree. Shiraz, also known as Syrah, is an Australian, full-bodied red wine known for pairing quite well with red meat. It has a bold profile with distinctive notes of dark chocolate, blackberry, pepper, and spice. Zinfandel, on the other hand, possesses a fruity profile with hints of raspberry, blackberry, and cherry, which add a subtly smoky tang to complement the steak's savory, umami flavors.

Shiraz and Zinfandel are steak's best companion

Shiraz and Zinfandel are both slightly sweet wines that harmonize delightfully with the rich flavor and succulent texture of steak. Their sweetness also has the unique power to balance out any gamey taste the steak may have. These wines add depth and complexity, making your beef dish more interesting and enjoyable to eat. Both Shiraz and Zinfandel are wines high in tannins, the compounds that provide a dry and bitter taste. When used in cooking, tannins help to tenderize the meat, making it even juicier. Additionally, the acidity in these red wines breaks down the proteins in the meat, making it easier to digest.

Shiraz and Zinfandel are iconic red wines that are ready to take on any challenge, including whipping up a dinner fit for royalty. So, next time you're rustling up your favorite cut of steak, consider pouring a healthy dash of Shiraz or Zinfandel into the pan to glaze your meat and kick your dish up a notch. With the drippings from the pan, you could also prepare a red wine sauce with herbs, shallots, balsamic vinegar, and beef broth to pour atop your steak. And of course, always feel free to sip a glass or two of vino with your meal.