What is Steak Tartare?
Steak tartare is a dish with a high quality ground (minced) steak (or sometimes horse in European countries) prepared raw. It will typically come with a raw egg served on the top of the beef, with sides to mix in with the meat. The sides usually are onions, capers, pepper, worcestershire sauce, and other seasonings. It is usually formed into a puck shape about 3-5 inches wide and 2-3 inches tall, depending on the amount of beef.
Steak tartare can be a tricky food to pair wine with, but the two do go very well together if paired correctly. Enhance your dining experience by carefully selecting which wine to drink with your steak tartare. Here are some considerations to keep in mind when selecting your wine.
Beef – tenderloin, since it is the most tender cut of beef available. It does not have very much fat content. But since it is raw it will taste more fatty. In this dish the beef itself will contribute significantly to the flavor.
Seasonings – Dijon mustard will add tanginess and salt, egg yolk will add richness and Capers will lend some Mediterranean savoriness.
Garnish – usually sprinkled with some greens to give the dish a fresh lift
Intensity – Overall the dish has medium intensity so you want a wine that will match the intensity.
Wine Characteristics To Pair With Steak Tartare
Acidity – since the dish is rich, it needs a wine with good acidity, but not necessarily bracing acidity.
Body – the steak and yolk will make the tartar smooth and supple. Calls for a wine with a medium body.
Tannin – this is a medium fat dish, so you need wine with medium tannin levels.
Flavors – meaty, tangy, savory, touch of spice, laced with some greenness and perhaps even some nuttiness.
Red Wines To Drink With Steak Tartare
A nice red wine to drink with steak tartare will make for an excellent & sophisticated dining experience. As mentioned above, try to pick a medium bodied wine with a good amount of acidity and tannins. We also think a wine with a little nuttiness works very well with the creamy texture of steak tartare. Here are some fantastic options to drink with your meal.
Cabernet Franc – a wonderful wine that is gaining in popularity in the United States the past several years. These wines tend to have a mix of fruits and herbs with a peppery and earthy finish.
Beaujolais – this is a light-bodied red wine that is usually very fruit forward and high acidity, which makes up for the low tannins. It has a unique flavor that complements steak tartare wonderfully.
Barolo or Barbera – Italian wines with red fruit and dark berry flavors of cherries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and plums. Both are delicious when enjoyed with steak tartare.
White Wines To Drink With Steak Tartare
The default for drinking wine with steak is typically a red wine. With steak tartare, the flavor profile is so much different, that white wines can work just as well, if not better. Here are a few white wines that are delicious with steak tartare.
Grüner Veltliner – try one from the warmer regions of Wachau, Kremstal and Kamptal are prime for the rich and nutty style.
Rosé – a textured Rose like LXV Cabernet Franc rose or a Spanish Rose with lees contact.
Champagne – the acidity in champagne as well as the bubbles make for an unexpected wonderful pairing.
Fiano – this high quality Italian wine is known for its nutty and floral notes, perfect for drinking with steak tartare.
Some other ideas are a white, mineral Friulano or an intense Pinot Grigio Ramato (orange wine), both are equally inspiring.
Best Wine To Drink With Steak Tartare
Beef tartare is so mild and elegant but also refined and exotic. So picking a wine that you often don’t drink is something we recommend drinking with this dish. Our favorite wine to drink with steak tartare is a nice Grüner Veltliner!
- Grüner Veltliner
- Cabernet Franc
Fun Fact: In Russia they pair tartare with shots of Vodka. Have you tried that before?