Ribeye steak is one of the most high-end and decadent cuts of beef that is served at the top steakhouses all across the world. T
his thick and decadent cut of meat requires a bold and highly tannic red wine to stand up to the strong flavors and heavy fats of the steak.
Traditional big and bold “steakhouse wines” are the best options when it comes to the best ribeye steak wine pairings.
Top Choices for Ribeye Steak Wine Pairings
Cabernet Sauvignon is the most popular and widely planted wine grape in the entire world, and it is used to make straightforward bottles of tannic wine that are full of strong flavors and tannins. The grippy tannins of this iconic red wine are perfect for breaking down the steak’s fats.
While this iconic red wine grape hails from the country of France, the United States accounts for the vast majority of Cabernet Sauvignon plantings today. This thick-skinned grape is perfectly suited for the warm conditions present across California and other warm weather regions.
This is one of the most popular wines in the world and is a staple on wine lists at steakhouses all around the world. Most restaurants will offer a variety of different Cabernet Sauvignon wines to please many different pallets.
One of the most famous wines produced in the United States today is Caymus Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon. This “Cult California Cab” has a loyal following and helped to put Cabernet Sauvignon from California on the map for many international wine enthusiasts.
Beringer Vineyards Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon makes for a fantastic ribeye steak pairing regardless of how it is prepared. This is truly a “match made in heaven,” as the big and bold wine works in harmony with the aggressive fats in the steak for an unforgettable bite.
Zinfandel wines make for a fantastic ribeye steak pairing for completely different reasons than Cabernet Sauvignon.
While Cabernet is dry and strong, Zinfandel is juicy and fruity, with jammy tasting notes that carry through for an extended length of finish on the palette.
Pairing Zinfandel wines with ribeye steaks work best when the meat is prepared without an excessive amount of butter or rich sauces. This allows the jammy fruit flavors of the wine to truly shine while interacting with the natural flavors of the high-quality cut of steak.
The vast majority of Zinfandel on the market today is produced in the United States, and the warmest wine regions in the country tend to be the most successful at producing the grape. California Zinfandels are affordable and reliable with consistent full fruit flavors.
The Prisoner Wine Co. ‘Saldo’ Zinfandel is a popular bottle of approachable red wine that is well suited for new wine enthusiasts. This straightforward Zinfandel is bursting with deep fruit flavors that work well to spice up any piece of red meat.
Rombauer Vineyards Zinfandel is a high-quality bottle of Zinfandel that is refined, balanced, and full of layers of flavor. It makes for a fantastic wine pairing with this high-quality cut of steak as both are full of large and juicy flavors that work very well together.
The red blends of Bordeaux were some of the first wines in the world to gain international fame, and have been enjoyed by kings and royalty for many centuries.
This iconic blend is made using a combination of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes, with Cabernet Franc in lower portions.
The wines of Bordeaux are aged in delicate and refined French oak and range from everyday affordable bottles to world-famous labels that sell for thousands of dollars at auction. They are a unique combination of strong, refined, and balanced that makes for an ideal steak pairing.
Many sommeliers view the wines of Bordeaux as the ideal pairing for high-quality cuts of steak such as ribeye, as it is as consistent as it is impressive. Many restaurants view these as “workhorse wines,” as they consistently deliver high quality and incredible taste year over year.
Chateau Mouton Rothschild is one of the most popular and sought-after bottles of wine in the entire world. It was one of the first growths of Bordeaux and has been world famous for hundreds of years. It makes for a phenomenal pairing with all different types of red meat.
For wine enthusiasts on a budget who would still like to enjoy all the quintessential flavors of the Bordeaux blend, Chateau Talbot produces a fantastic bottle of wine from the Saint-Julien region for under $100. It prominently features Cabernet Sauvignon, which stands up well to rich steaks.
Syrah is a red wine grape that is used to produce strong and tannic wines that deliver grippy tannins and a spicy tasting profile. Some bottles of Syrah have tasting notes of cracked black pepper, while others have a more vegetal peppery taste similar to that of hot chiles.
Like many other of the world’s most famous wine grapes, Syrah hails from France, where it is still widely planted more than any other country in the world.
The United States also produces a significant amount of Syrah, along with Australia and South Africa where it is called Shiraz.
Many of the most refined and highly respected bottles of red wine on earth are made using the Syrah grape, and Syrah wines make for fantastic steak pairings. They contain high levels of aggressive tannins which work to break up the fats in thick cuts of red meat such as ribeye.
Guigal Cote Rotie La Landonne is one of the most high-end bottles of French Syrah that is served at steakhouses and upscale restaurants all over the world. This is one of the best bottles of Syrah in existence, and pairs well with just about every single cut of steak.
For wine enthusiasts looking for a high-quality bottle of French Syrah under $50, Paul Jaboulet Aine Domaine de Thalabert Crozes-Hermitage is a fantastic option. It contains all the grippy tannins and signature spicy tasting notes of bottles of Syrah that cost hundreds of dollars.
The Tempranillo grape is the most important red wine grape in Spain, and it is used to produce some of the most expensive and age-worthy bottles of Spanish wine on the market. These strong red wines are oak aged, which gives them extra layers of flavor.
Many wine enthusiasts compare the deep-tasting notes of Tempranillo to leather, earth, and tobacco. These deep and strong tasting notes are accompanied by strong tannins, which combine to make an ideal steakhouse wine.
Nearly all high-quality steakhouse restaurants will include multiple bottles of Tempranillo on their wine lists, as it is a versatile wine that is enjoyed by a variety of different pallets. It makes for an ideal pairing with thick and fattier cuts of meat such as ribeye.
Vega Sicilia Tinto Valbuena 5 is one of Spain’s most famous bottles of red wine that is served at steakhouses all over the world. It contains bold flavors and grippy tannins which are perfectly suited for big and bold preparations of ribeye such as those served with rich sauces and butter.
Dominio de Pingus ‘PSI’ is an affordable bottle of Tempranillo that is bursting with bold flavors at under $50. This bold red wine is not for more delicate palates, as it contains very strong flavors and aggressive tannins that dry out the mouth and break down the fats in ribeye steak.
Ribeye is one of the thickest and richest cuts of meat in the world and is well known to be a “flavor bomb” full of fats and aggressive flavors.
The best wines for pairing with a high-quality cut of ribeye are highly tannic and aggressive red wines that do not get lost on the palette next to a juicy bite of meat.
Feel free to leave a comment below if you have found a bottle of wine that pairs particularly well with ribeye steaks, and be sure to let other wine enthusiasts in on your favorite pairings!