Sommelier Speak

When hearing about steak you automatically have thoughts of pairing with an aromatic oaky red wine. And it is the case for the grilled skirt steak with chimichurri sauce. The tangy, salsa Argentinian sauce complements the skirt steak to a mouth watering dish best for the summer. Chimichurri sauce is an uncooked sauce made with finely chopped parsley and garlic, fresh lemon juice, olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. The prominent ingredients to flavor are parsley and garlic. Skirt steak are the most flavorful meat out all of the other steak cuts. This cut of steak can easily be grilled on high levels of heat and absorbs the flavors of sauces quite well.

The first thing that comes to mind when pairing steak with wine is that red meat goes well with red wine. Three red wine I feel that is great wine pairing are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. When you think of steak people usually go for Cabernet Sauvignon because it’s full-bodied, fruity, dry and complex wine; also the most demanding wine in the world. But for lean cuts of beef and refreshing sauce like chimichurri sauce; I feel that Merlot is the best fit because it fruity, smooth, and less acidity.

Merlot are grown in many major regions around the world, including California, USA. Merlot grown in warmer climate (like California) which means more exposure from the sun equals more sugar in the grapes will lead a higher percentage of alcohol and less acidity. Due to all the mountain ranges in California, the wind shade effect are good stressful environment (for example: water stress and dry soil) for vines to strive to survive becoming quality grapes. The appearance of Merlot is dark garnet red, light to medium intensity, can be young or aged. To the nose is smells clean, medium intensity, fruity (black cherry, raspberry and plum), oaky vanilla, grapey and usually around 12-15% alcohol. For the taste, Merlot is definitely fruitier, medium tannin and acidity, well balanced and smooth finished. Some winemakers would aged Merlot in oak barrels up to 24 months just to give more structure to the wine. 

Team #6: Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

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