What Wine to Pair with Steak--and the Reverse-Sear Cooking Method

how to make perfect steak in the oven! And what wine to pair with that steak | CaretoPair.com

Ready for a date night in? This steak wine pairing is surprisingly one of the easiest meals you can prepare to impress your honey. And great for beginners, too!

This is a relatively basic wine pairing. Some can get really confusing, but this one is pretty straight forward. Steak's best friend is Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. There are other great wines out there that will work with steak (like this awesome Chimichurri-Steak Wine Pairing I did), but Cabernet is happiest with the simplest of steaks. There's nothing quite like the bite of a juicy steak with the sip of a juicy cab.

The Pairing

Today's pairing might be specifically for Cabernet from the Napa Valley, but if you don't have one from there, that's perfectly fine. Great Cabs come from all parts of California. Washington makes some beautiful ones too. Get out of the US and there are delicious Cabernet Sauvignons grown everywhere: France, Italy, Australia, Chile...

But Napa Valley is the king of New-World Cabernet Sauvignon. There's just something about them--each sip tastes like you bit into a juicy ripe plum. Or blackberry, or black cherry. They are quite rich, with big structure and tannin that will stand up to the weight of the steak. Cabernet from anywhere will most likely work with this recipe, but Napa Cab will carry the complexity needed to match it.

Napa Cabernet Suggestions

There are over 400 wineries just in the Napa Valley alone today. So you've got a lot of choices! I have what seems to be a million favorites (which is impossible, I know), but if you're looking to purchase a more expensive bottle for a special celebration, here are my go-to's:

  • Inglenook (Cask or Rubicon, both amazing)
  • Schraeder (RBS is my favorite, but they're all amazing)
  • Trinchero
  • Robert Mondavi Winery (Reserve)
  • BV (esp. Georges de Latour)
  • Hall
  • Chappellet
  • Spottswoode
  • Bennett Family

Need something a little less expensive? I think the offerings from Franciscan Estate and Charles Krug are two of the best values in the market. If you need a bottle under $20, go outside of Napa. Washington and Chile have some great Cabs for the price.

Side Note: the ones I listed above can get pretty pricey. Find new favorites at the price point you're comfortable with, but generally expect to pay a little more for Napa Cab since there is such a high demand for it!

The Recipe

Now that you know what wine to open, its time to learn how to make steak...in the oven?? Its a crazy concept that even I was skeptical about the first time the hubby brought it up, but honestly, this is our new favorite way to cook steak. Previously, we were on the bandwagon of grilling it outside for a few minutes on each side. But sometimes it would overcook. And the steak always picked up that smoky grill taste, which is great occasionally, but not every time.

The reverse-sear method consists of cooking the steak internally first in a low-temperature oven. Then you just finish it off by pan-searing it on the stove. This method cooks the steak more evenly than if you were to first sear then place it into the oven, or simply grill it. And although you can put whatever seasonings you want on it, we prefer to keep it simple with just salt and pepper.

To make this recipe and pairing into a meal, cook up some garlic mashed potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts as an accompaniment. Enjoy your date night in with an incredible meal you cooked yourself! Happy Pairing!

Cooking a Steak in an Oven


  • Steak of your choice (ribeye, new york, filet, etc.) This method works best with a steak at least 1 1/2 inch thick
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 275 F
  2. Prepare your steak: Generously coat both sides of the steak with kosher slat and course black pepper. Be sure to get all edges of the steak as well.
  3. You can either place the steak directly onto the oven rack with a foil-lined baking sheet underneath, or place a steak on a cooling rack with the baking sheet directly under it. Either way, the steak needs to be on a rack to allow the heat to circulate around it correctly. Placing it directly on a baking sheet or pan will cause it to cook unevenly.
  4. Cook the steak until it reaches an internal temperature of 120 to 125 F (for medium-rare). Depending on the thickness of your steak, the timing will vary. Be sure to check the steak as it progresses in cooking.
  5. After the steak has reached the minimal internal temperature, remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes. After the steak has been resting about 10 minutes, heat a cast iron pan over high heat and let if get VERY HOT. After the 15 minute of rest time place the steak in the hot, dry cast iron pan and sear between 60 and 90 seconds (Andrew says it depends on how frisky he's feeling).
  6. Flip the steak and sear the other side for an additional 60-90 seconds. Remove immediately from the pan and serve.

Happy Cooking!