February is pure fantasy of the best kind. Think about it: it’s the only time of year when a cheeky, chubby, cherub marauds about town matchmaking with an enchanted bow and arrow. Beyond epic right?
Snapping back to reality – we might not quite have Cupid’s prowess in the love game, but we can definitely add a little Oh là là to your Valentine’s Day plans. The brains at Beefsteak Club are here to help you create the perfect steak and wine night for your special someone.
Before we get into it, a quick piece of advice.
Whether you’re in a long-term relationship, or you’re lighting a new flame, planning an intimate meal for two is always an exciting time. The nerves and butterflies, the ideas and anticipation, the pondering and perfecting – you want everything to be just right. We get it.
Firstly, press pause on all that pressure. It might feel like you’re under the microscope and you need to impress, but this isn’t the case. You see it’s not really about you. Your Valentine’s Day steak night is all about the other person. Not to get all mushy here, but it’s about making someone feel loved, appreciated and special. Yes this could involve a grand gesture, but often the little things can make the biggest difference. So relax, be yourself and keep it simple. Put your Valentine at the heart of what you’re doing and the thought, care and consideration will shine through.
Top tip: A little planning goes a long way, so map out everything ahead of time to get ahead of the curve.
Your three areas of focus: steak, wine and experience.
A Valentine’s Day steak and wine night consists of three main players: the steak, the wine and the overall experience. But don’t view each element as a separate thing. They are all connected – versatile puzzle pieces that can be put together in many ways to form all kinds of amazing pictures. You’ll soon see what we mean.
What’s the best steak for your romantic dinner?
Spoiler alert: there’s no definitive answer. You see there are so many different elements to consider – from tenderness and texture, to fat marbling and depth of flavour. Ultimately it’s quite a subjective thing. Here’s some basic knowledge to help you choose.
The softest and most tender steaks come from cuts nearer the centre of the cow, as the muscles here do the least work. In terms of steak, think Fillet, T-bone, Tomahawk, Sirloin, Côte de Boeuf and Rib-eye.
You’ll find leaner, firmer and heavier textured steaks in cuts nearer the legs and neck, as the muscles in these areas bear the brunt of shifting a cow about. When it comes to steaks, you’re looking at Flat Iron, Cube, Rump, Flank and the always-economical Bavette.
So what would your love prefer: soft and tender or thick and juicy? That’s the steak sorted. Time for the wine!
Top tip: Bloody with a pulse might float your boat. But it could sink your Valentine’s ship. Make sure you know how he or she likes their steak. Check out how to cook the perfect steak here.
A match made in heaven.
The love affair between steak and wine has been going on for centuries. It’s a real relationship. A relationship filled with just as much passion and excitement as any famous tale of the heart. Sceptical? Let us explain.
In any relationship, you have two individuals with their own traits and characteristics. When these people come together, their personalities combine, bringing out the best in one another. The same can be said for steak and wine. Every cut and every bottle has its own ‘character’ consisting of taste, texture, aroma, flavour profile and so on. So when you pair them together, all their qualities interact, enhancing their individual strengths, as well as creating new sensations and experiences. Sounds like a relationship to us.
A quick relationship breakdown
Keeping things topline for now – the nature of the steak-wine synergy has two main components. Wine should either reinforce the existing flavours of your steak with similar flavours, or it should act as a counterpoint, adding a contrasting flavour profile to create a more hybrid taste experience.
How to pair steak and wine for your Valentine.
The first general rule is to pair steak with dry red wines. Now, if you have a leaner cut of meat, you should be looking for a lighter dry red. However, if you’re all over richer cuts, we’d suggest a more tannic or fruity red to penetrate through the fatty flavours. Let’s check out some hot couples.
Top tip: Icebreakers for the first-daters. Did you know that a cow sleeps standing up? Can you believe that a cow has 4 digestive compartments in 1 stomach? Warning: banter not guaranteed.
Sirloin and Beefsteak Club Tempranillo
Sirloin is the go-to steak for countless carnivores. Known for its slightly thicker grain, Sirloin has a higher amount of connective tissue and fat – meaning a juicy yet tender texture with meaty accents and hints of cream. We’d recommend a wine with fruity flavours, acidity and dynamic tannins to sing through the fat.
Our Beefsteak Club Tempranillo is an ideal match. Concentrated aromas of juicy red fruit and plums, mixed with notes of raspberries and strawberries, all come together in a potent fruity statement. While velvety tannins create another layering of contrast to the meaty flavour, hints of vanilla complement the strip’s creamy, fatty flavour too.
Fillet and Beefsteak Club Reserve Malbec
If you’re going in all premium guns blazing, then this most terrifically tender treat will tantalise taste buds for sure. Fillet steak has an understated, and yet extremely evocative, flavour. Such a refined and elegant character needs a similar soul mate. A wine with soft delicate tannins and an authoritative flavour profile.
Enter our Beefsteak Club Reserve Malbec. Its smooth and full-bodied texture echoes the refinement of Fillet; while velvety finely grained tannins allow the steak’s natural flavour to shine. Finally, ripe black fruits fuse with notes of black olive, mint, vanilla and spicy black pepper to create a contrasting sensation on the palate.
T-Bone and Beefsteak Club Malbec
Taking another trip to the tender cuts, T-Bone steaks are fairly lean yet amazingly tender. Brace yourself for multiple tastes and textures as the steak is cut from both a softer fillet side and a firmer meatier strip side. It’s clear that a fabulously fruity and aromatic partner is needed for this taste tango.
Thanks to the perfect grape ripening conditions in the high altitude vineyards of the Mendoza sub-regions in Argentina, our Beefsteak Club Malbec has a deep, dynamic and fruit-filled personality. Its ripe black fruit notes, subtle tannins and long, smooth finish both accentuate the textures of the steak, whilst simultaneously creating an independent fruity impact.
Rib-eye and Beefsteak Club Cabernet Sauvignon
Rib-eye packs a flavourful punch. Marbling and natural tenderness create a harmony of buttery flavour and tangible textures. This classic steak needs a rich, classic wine to bring a little contrast to the relationship.
Originating in the Chilean Valle Central, our full-bodied Beefsteak Club Cabernet Sauvignon is the perfect companion for rib-eye. Thanks to its aromas of black currants, figs and cacao, as well as some seriously smooth tannins, this opulent wine cuts through the buttery and fatty flavour of the rib-eye with ease and elegance.
Top tip: Personalise your menu. Whether your partner in crime is a tender soul, a touch fruity or a smooth operator, find a wine or steak to match their character. Explain your choice and how it relates to your date.
How to show you care? Small details make a big impact.
Of course your gorgeous meal is important, but the fate of your date goes way beyond the plate. Crafting and curating the overall experience is where you can really shine. Remember the night is all about your Valentine, so every detail should call back to their personality, passions and cute quirks.
Ambience and vibe.
You might be picturing strewn petals, elaborate table settings and candlelight, but maybe your sweetheart is more of the ‘Netflix and Chill’ type. The point is that vibes are everything.
Customisation is key.
Your love is totally unique. So doesn’t he or she deserve unique too? Try to get a little more hands-on if you can. So rather than buy a card perhaps make your own. Not Picasso? No worries, a little note from the heart or a funny poem will work wonders. Forget generic compilations on Spotify, create a meaningful playlist full of his or her favourite tunes.
News flash: the earth will keep spinning whether you’re jacked into the matrix or not. For tonight your love is your world. It’s all about human connection, so put your phone away and put all your attention on the object of your desire.
We wish you a night of fun and flavour!
Hopefully, your creative juices are in full flow. Ultimately this is your night, so do whatever works for you. No pressure though – showing you care lies in the effort and creativity, not the outcome. Good luck.