Unless you’re a vegetarian or follow another diet that eschews meat, you probably like steak.
But you’ve probably never thought much about it — that is, what makes a steak a steak.
In very basic terms, a steak is a slice from a larger piece of meat, typically beef.
Various red meats and fish are cut into steaks, but for the purposes of this post, we’ll stick with beef.
Most steaks are cut perpendicular to the muscle fibers, which improves the perceived tenderness of the meat. In the United States, restaurant steaks typically are grilled, often cooked over wood chips such as oak.
Because steaks are cooked quickly (using dry heat) and served whole, the most tender cuts of the animal usually are used. This also means that steaks carry a premium price and perception.
In many parts of the country, grills have been put away for the ongoing winter season, but that doesn’t mean we stop eating steak. Some people like to pan-fry the meat (often in butter), while others opt for broiling in the oven.
Almost regardless of the preparation, a good steak calls for a good glass of wine alongside it. Fortunately, the pairing possibilities are almost limitless.
Here are seven, in no particular order:
* Chianti Classico from Italy
* Zinfandel (red, not white) from California
* Red Burgundy (i.e., Pinot Noir) from France
* Pinot Noir from a coastal region of California (Sonoma Coast, Carneros, Monterey)
* Cabernet Sauvignon (from either Bordeaux or Napa Valley)
* Malbec from Argentina
* Shiraz from Australia
If you like to fry your steak in butter, Chardonnay can make an excellent pairing partner — that’s right, white wine with beef.
Hey, if we can drink red wine with fish (as in Pinot Noir with salmon)… why not?