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How to pair wine

What to sip with ...

This week: Flank steak

By Bill St. John, Special to Tribune Newspapers

May 2, 2013

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If you can find a well-made red wine from Mexico (they exist, though they're rarely well stocked this far north), try it with this recipe.

Failing that, solid red wines come from many places. Because this might well be a summer dinner that is partially grilled outdoors, a full-bodied dry rose would also be just the ticket. Little in the preparation gets in the way of wine enjoyment — even the chili heat is fairly mild — but do avoid overly tannic reds. Flank steak doesn't sport enough fat to counteract high levels of tannin.

The food: Grilled flank steak with poblanos, onions
Combine 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro. Rub over a

1 1/2-pound flank steak. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet. Add 2 poblano chilies, seeded, cut into strips, and 1 sliced red onion; cook, stirring, over high heat, until crisp-tender. Grill steak to desired doneness; let rest 5 minutes. Slice thinly on the diagonal. Serve with chilies and onions; sprinkle with more cilantro. Makes: 4 servings

The wines
2010 Torre dei Beati Rosa-ae Cerasuola di Montepulciano, Abruzzo, Italy: While a rosato (pink wine), it could pass for a light red; delicious herbal character, lots of minerals and earth, developing layers with a bit of age. $17

2011 Duboeuf Morgon Jean-Ernest Descombes, Beaujolais, France: Super delightful red, with low tannin; chillable red fruit flavors; open aromas of strawberry and cranberry; and a clean, fresh finish; great warm weather quaff. $16

2008 Clos du Bois Red Blend Marlstone, Alexander Valley, California: A terrific wine, with round-the-mouth chalky tannins holding up its abundant fruit and closing off its persistent length. $50

— Bill St. John, special to Tribune Newspapers