If you’re looking for the ideal food pairing for a Napa Cabernet Sauvignon (or any other full-bodied cabernet) you don’t have to look very far. Almost any red meat, especially served rare, is going to do the trick.
Napa cabs aren’t cheap so keep the food simple and allow the wine to shine. With young cabernets it helps to have an element of charring to offset the sweetness and tannins. With older, mellower cabs braised or more subtly sauced dishes can come into their own.
Here are my top six picks:
The obvious one. Especially slightly fattier steaks like ribeye and sirloin, served rare to medium-rare
A good burger
Which is, after all, simply chopped steak. At a burger tasting I went to last year at London’s Palm restaurant the winning burger with Napa Cab was the restaurant’s Bozzi Burger which is topped with aged gouda, smoky barbecue sauce and crispy fried onions
You can even have your Cabernet in a burger as in this recipe from Bon Appetit
Beef short ribs and other braised beef dishes
or venison – can be great too. Check out this recipe for espresso braised beef from Silver Oak
Butterflied leg of lamb
or any kind of lamb steak, especially with a herb crust (see tip below)
If you’re not a meat-eater, a big juicy grilled Portabello mushroom (or two) with butter and garlic is the best pairing.
Cheese, especially cheddar, Gouda or Vella Jack.
And milder blue cheeses such as Gorgonzola. Especially in combination with steak or a burger. Polenta can also help make a Cabernet shine.
NB: A useful tip on sides and seasoning from sommelier Andrea Robinson. “Bitter-edged veggies like broccoli rabe, grilled radicchio and roasted brussel sprouts are real winners. I also find the more pungent, piney herbs like rosemary basil and thyme really work well to pull out the cedar/eucalyptus elements in these wines.” For the full feature so what do you drink with a blockbuster cabernet? Click here.
POSTED BY FIONA BECKETT