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A sommelier is one of those sophisticated people who know about wine, sniff corks in restaurants and use words like "bouquet" when they're not talking about flowers. Even without having to have someone like that at your table, you can get the perfect wine for your meal if you follow a few simple guidelines.
For instance, according to wine expert Evan Goldstein, "grilling beef results in charry, rich caramelized flavors that are a great complement to the typically toasty and smoky nuances, not only found in Cabernet Sauvignon, but in many California Merlots, Zinfandels and Pinot Noirs."
Even among red wines there are differences that affect what wine goes with what dish. Merlot may seem to go with everything, but Goldstein doesn't recommend it with a number of dishes, including steak tartare, beef with curry and coconut milk or carpaccio.
"When pairing wines with lean grilled beef, it's important not to serve a wine that features heavy tannins," says Goldstein. "Save those wines for more fatty meats." He suggests lighter styled wines, such as Pinot Noir, or Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel.
Here are a few of Goldstein's wine recommendations designed to pair well with slowly lean grilled beef: