Does Merlot Go With Steak?

There are several ways to answer does Merlot go with steak? First, a wine pairing tradition represents the experience of many wine lovers. Second, your perfect pairing preferences are the food pairings you like the most. Traditional wine pairing wisdom is valuable but doesn’t overlook your favourite wines.

Does Merlot Go With Steak

Merlot and Steak: Is It A Recommended Wine Pairing?

You have probably heard the rule of thumb that red wine and red meats like steak or a beef dish go together as a classic pairing. Likewise, classic matches would say white wines and white meats. Despite that fact, Merlot is typically not recommended as a pairing for steak. Instead, wine experts will typically recommend a full-bodied red wine for a special occasion.

Merlot might be your favorite glass of wine. While it may not be the most conventional best wine with steak pairing, Merlot might still be your preferred choice of wine with steak dishes like ribeye steaks.

The Merlot Wine Flavor Profile

Ask any wine director (especially one with a certification like the WSET) at a high-end restaurant to describe a Merlot wine, and they’ll likely make a few points.

Fruity Flavor.

As a rule of thumb, wine experts start with the fruit flavors when describing a wine. The primary fruit flavors of Merlot include raspberry, black currant, and plum fruit. In contrast, an American Merlot from Napa Valley might have different flavors, like dark cherry.

Alcohol Content

Merlot wines have different alcohol content depending on where they are made. In an excellent climate, Merlot from Merlot usually has 13-14% alcohol by volume. On the other hand, a Merlot from a warmer climate like California will have higher alcohol.


A balanced wine needs acidity for balance. Typically, Merlot wine has a medium natural acidity which gives it layers of flavor. The medium acidity puts Merlot right in the middle of red wines. This middle-of-the-road acidity is a classic choice for many people at dinner.


Do you like fruit wine without tannins? If so, you might like Merlot wine because it has relatively low tannin content. That’s one reason Merlot is sometimes considered a sweeter wine compared to high-tannin red wines like Nebbiolo, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah.

To further advance your Merlot wine knowledge, read more about organic Merlot wine and Italian Merlot. For now, let’s explore Merlot wine pairing rules of thumb.

Two Principles To Guide Merlot Wine Pairing

There are two basic rules to pairing any style of wine with food to keep in mind: congruent (i.e., the food and wine have a similar taste) and contrasting (i.e., the food and wine have opposing qualities). When drinking wine, it is helpful to keep these ideas in mind. When you know, left bank and right bank Bordeaux Merlot from France and other types of role can easily be matched with their ideal food. Based on these principles, Merlot usually is not considered a good pairing for steak.

Does Merlot Go With Steak Conclusion

There are several ways to answer does Merlot go with steak? Traditional food wine pairing advice would discourage you from having Merlot wines with steak. Instead, Cabernet Sauvignon and steak are much more popular choices. The second answer is that if you enjoy the rich flavor of Merlot, then you should enjoy it with whatever food you love.

Does Merlot Go With Steak?
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