In this recurring feature, members of the Court of Master Sommeliers, an international association of wine experts, suggest pairings for popular menu items. The sommeliers do not have a financial interest in any of their recommendations.
Here, Kansas City-based consultant Doug Frost selects a bargain and premium wine to pair with beef.
Grape varieties: 70 percent Zinfandel, 15 percent Carignane, 10 percent Petite Sirah, 3 percent Grenache, 2 percent Mataro
Taste profile: Comprised of layers of seductive, spicy fruit with red cherry intensity, but in a way that’s more graceful than a typical Zinfandel. The American oak in which it’s aged adds lots of spice and dust, but it ends smooth and tangy.
Pairings: Rich meat dishes such as beef short ribs.
Average wholesale case price: $168
Grape varieties: 95 percent Malbec, 5 percent Bonarda
Taste profile: Blueberry, mulberry and blackberry aromas and flavors, as well as the spiciness of oak maturation, but also some delicate, floral notes.
Pairings: Powerful beef dishes such as good, well-aged steak.
Average wholesale case price: $108