Bernard Baudry in his cellars in January 2018

Pairing Wine with Steak Tartare (à la Française)

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I mostly eat a vegetarian diet, but I occasionally long for a nice steak or beef dish. Last week, I satisfied my cravings by making a steak tartare à la Française.

There are many recipes for steak tartare, from traditional to exotic, with various choices of condiments and spices. However, being born and raised in France, I will offer a French recipe. As a side note, as a child, I enjoyed my steak tartare cooked! It is a great way to add some flavors to beef while making it child-friendly.

My recipe is from Anthony Bourdain's "Les Halles" cookbook. As Anthony explains, "the key to a successful steak tartare is fresh beef, freshly hand-chopped at the very last minute and mixed tableside. A home meat grinder with a fairly wide mesh blade is nice to have, but you can and should use a very sharp knife and simply chop and chop and chop until fine. The texture will be superior. And do not dare use a food processor on this dish - you'll utterly destroy it."

Home-made Steak Tartare with Spinach Salad

Ingredients for 6 persons: 2 egg yolks; 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard; 4 anchovy filets, finely chopped; 2 tsp ketchup; 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce; Tabasco sauce, to taste; Freshly ground black pepper; ¼ cup olive oil; 1 oz Cognac; 1 small onion, freshly and finely chopped; 2 oz capers, rinsed; 2 oz cornichons, finely chopped; 4 sprig of flat parsley, finely chopped; 1 ¼ lb(s) fresh sirloin, finely chopped.

Directions: Place the egg yolks in a large stainless-steel bowl and add the mustard and anchovies. Mix well, then add the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, and pepper and mix well again. Slowly whisk in the oil, then add the Cognac and mix again. Fold in the onion, capers, cornichons, and parsley. Add the chopped meat to the bowl and mix well using a spoon or your hands. Divide the meat evenly among the six chilled dinner plates and, using a ring mold or spatula, form it into disks on the plates. Serve this dish immediately with some bread toasts. I ate my steak tartare with a fresh spinach salad sprinkled with balsamic vinegar. However, French fries are usually served with this dish.

Baudry's vineyard Croix Boisee, January 2018

Pairing this steak tartare with wine is quite fun. Play with the many flavors of the dish by accompanying it with light peppery reds (such as fresh Cabernet Franc, light Cabernet Sauvignon, Zweigelt, Blaufrankish, Mencia, Schiava, Lagrein, and Carignan), earthy complex rosés and spicy non-fruity whites.

I accompanied my steak tartare with a delicious Cabernet Franc from Bernard Baudry (the 2015 Cuvee Domaine). Its bouquet of dark cherry, blackberry liqueur, violet, earth, black and pepper paired beautifully with the flavors of the dish and its bright acidity, gorgeous minerality and supple silky tannin worked great with the earthy notes of the steak tartare.

Below is a list of wines that we currently have in stock that will pair wonderfully with this steak tartare. I hope you will enjoy these pairings! Caroline Coursant

Pont de Breux 2015 Côtes du Jura Tradition (Chard/Savagnin)

80% Chardonnay and 20% Savagnin grown near Salins-les-Bains on Kimmeridgian soils, organic since 1992. The 2015s were made by the capable Emilie Gerard who has taken over from Jean-Chalres Maire. 12 month sous-voile elevage in old barrels. Slightly oxidative aromas of lime-flower, dried pear, spiced citrus and almond, quite complex and pretty. The plate shows dried herbs, quince, citrus peel, spice and pear with saline mineral flavors and form acidity. The finish is long with sharp mineral flavors that linger on the palate. Lovely wine - serve with sole almondine, chicken in cream sauce, aged Comté and full-flavored goat cheeses. David Lillie

  • white
  • 11 in stock
  • $17.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Pranzegg 2013 Mitterberg Schiava / Vernatsch Campill

Of all the wines made by Martin Gojer at Pranzegg, the Schiava is to me the most interesting. Schiava wines are often pleasant thirst-quenchers of little substance but Martin saw greater potential in his vines. Sourced from 50 year-old vines trained in pergola and farmed biodynamically, this is a more profound expression of the grape. The wine is fermented with 30% stem inclusion and macerates for 6 weeks in large conical vats followed by elevage in old oak and cement tank for 10 months. Tart cherries and raspberries leap out on the nose over aromas of lavender, black pepper, and slight hint of leather.  The palate is medium bodied, with great acidity, delicate tannins and a lifted mineral finish.  Martin described it as a “really charming full bodied wine that is on the other hand drinkable,” and I couldn't agree more.  Try it with duck or wild boar, charcuterie, hard cheese, mushroom dishes, or rich pasta. Andy Paynter

  • red
  • 12 in stock
  • $29.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Pranzegg 2013 Mitterberg Lagrein Quirein

Lagrein is a grape that shares many similarities with Syrah: deep berry fruit, a savory smoky character, and distinct herbal tones. In the hands of Martin Gojer it yields a full-bodied wine that nonetheless captures a sense of alpine freshness. The wine is fermented with 70% whole clusters for four weeks with a submerged cap for the first two.  It is then raised in old, small barrels for two years and bottled without fining or filtration. The wine shows savory aromas of ripe blackberry, turned earth, leather, tobacco, and black pepper. The palate is full and quite smooth, with grippy tannins, focused acidity, and more flavors of forest floor and rich black fruit.  It is well suited to rich foods; try it with game meat or lamb, smoked sausage, cured cheese, hearty vegetable dishes, or with stew.  Andy Paynter

  • red
  • 10 in stock
  • $29.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Baudry 2015 Chinon Cuvée Domaine

Cabernet Franc from the Loire is one of the greatest choices for Thanksgiving - The Baudry Chinon "Domaine" is always one of our favorite reds from the Loire Valley and it's a sensational value as well.   All Cabernet Franc of course, a blend of 75% from a parcel in St. Louans, where the thin clay/limestone soils give earthy well-structured wines, with 25% from gravel soils near Cravant, giving supple fruit and freshness. Organic farming, wild-yeast fermentation, aging in 5 to 10 year-old wooden vats and casks with minimal added SO. The 2014 "Cuvée Domaine" was a sensational wine and really built to age, while the 2015 is a bit more round and forward, and even more delicious for current drinking. The wine shows a deep red/black color and beautiful aromas of ripe red and black fruits with hints of earth, roast meat, black pepper and violet. The palate is dense and sapid with supple strawberry and blackberry liqueur and mineral flavors lifted by bright acidity. The fruit is quite ripe but the wine is well balanced at 12.5% alcohol. This is a superb "Domaine" that is a bit less structured than the 2014 - it's delicious now and will be singing in 2027 as well. Highly recommended.   David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Guion 2016 Bourgueil Cuvée Domaine

From 15 to 40 year-old vines on clay/limestone soils in Benais, in organic agriculture since 1965. The 2016 vintage shows quite deep red/black color with bright aromas of ripe black raspberry, black cherry, pepper, earth and clove. The palate is sapid and bright, with the firm acidity always present in Guion's wines. The black raspberry and red currant fruit is light and bright, at 12% alcohol, and the finish is refreshing and mineral. This young and vibrant wine will benefit from decanting well in advance (or opening the night before). Serve cool with charcuterie, roast chicken, pork chops and burgers. Thanks to Domaine Guion for two generations of organic agriculture and natural winemaking! DL 

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $13.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Coulaine 2016 Chinon Cuvée Domaine

This is a delicious fresh wine from Chateau de Coulaine, a 12-hectare estate operated by Etienne and Pascale de Bonnaventure, who have been practicing organic and biodynamic farming since 1988. This 100% Cabernet Franc wine comes from the youngest vines near the Chateau, along the Vienne river, grown on clay/limestone and sandy clay soils.  Harvested by hand, the grapes are macerated at cold temperatures and aged in concrete vats with little extraction and fining. Sulfur is added at minimal dosage at bottling. The nose shows a pretty aromatic bouquet of dark and red cherry, dark raspberry, strawberry, violet, chocolate, dark tobacco, light pyrazine and savory notes. The palate is vibrant with fresh acidity and silky tannin. A wine full of energy, drink it with light fares such as grilled pork chops, roasted chicken and light cheese. Caroline Coursant    


  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $17.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Cru Godard 2012 Francs - Côtes de Bordeaux

This certified organic wine is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. The wine offers a bouquet of ripe berries, plums and cherries with some light savory herbs and spice notes. This wine has a good acidity and minerality (thanks to the vineyard's limestone soil) giving a pleasant freshness and brightness to the wine. The Cru Godard is an enjoyable pairing with various dishes from grilled pork chops to the classic hamburger. Caroline Coursant

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $16.99

  • Organic

Peybonhomme 2015 Premières Côte de Blaye Cru Bourgeois

Biodynamic farming, native yeasts, wild fermentations, good value –all phrases not typically associated with Bordeaux. Yet, each year the Hubert family provides us with just that in their staple cuvee from the Côte de Blaye. The Cru Bourgeois is a blend of mostly Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and a bit of Malbec. Generously aromatic  owing to the rich clay soils in which it is grown, the 2015 offers crushed violets, cassis, and rhubarb on the nose. The palate shows the warm vintage with finesse. Cascades of ripe red fruit, black currant, and spice, with supple tannins and an undercurrent of chalky minerality. This is a great addition to the dinner table alongside grilled meat or sipped on its own. Amanda Bowman

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $15.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Balagny 2016 Moulin-a-Vent Docteur Bouchaille

Julie Balagny makes fun natural organic Beaujolais wines. Established in Romanèche-Thorins (near Fleurie) after moving from Paris, Julie has a total of 5 hectares in Fleurie and Moulin-à-Vent. Using whole bunches, the grapes are naturally fermented followed by cold carbonic maceration and slow pressing by hand. Julie ages her wines in old barrels with no filtering and no addition of sulfur. Moulin-à-Vent “Docteur Buchaille” comes from over 100-year old vines located in Moulin-à-Vent on a steep parcel of decomposed granite and quartz with north-east exposition.  The 2016 Moulin-à-Vent “Docteur Buchaille” has a beautiful structure and floral notes reminiscent of Fleurie. The wine is fresh and vibrant with great acidity and soft tannins. With some oriental spices undertones, the wine displays notes of red and dark berries, tart cranberries, and roses. This is a fun and fresh natural wine to enjoy with light fare, oriental cuisine or roasted chicken. Caroline Coursant

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $41.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur
  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $29.99

Carpentiere 2014 Castel del Monte Primaluce Bombino Nero

High atop the Murge Plateau in Puglia, Cantine Carpentiere is a small family-owned winery that produces two indigenous Puglian grape varieties: Nero di Troia and Bombino Nero. Made from 70-year-old Bombino Nero vines, this is the only rosato in Southern Italy that has DOCG status. At 450 meters above sea level, the vineyards are rich in limestone and surrounded by stone walls originally built to protect local flocks of sheep. Tannins from the maceration process make this a great food wine, but it retains its freshness and acidity from the 5-6% of white grapes that are naturally included in each cluster of Bombino Nero. Ripe watermelon and wild strawberries with hints of pepper, try pairing it with a salmon salad, orecchiette with broccoli rabe or even a juicy burger. Christine Manula

  • Out of Stock
  • rosé
  • 0 in stock
  • $19.99

Pranzegg 2016 Vino Rosso Leggero

Pranzegg 2016 Vino Rosso Leggero   From our charming friends in the Alto Aldige, this is a blend of Lagrein and Schavia. A unique note to this wine is its fermentation on white grapes skins. Truly a light red (“Rosso Leggero”) wine, this fresh and vibrant wine captures the spirit of the European vin de soif, meant to quench our thirst while bringing us great happiness.    

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $22.99

Pittnauer 2016 Burgenland Pitti

A blend of Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch, and a touch of Merlot; the Biodynamically-grown grapes are harvested by hand and see only stainless steel, so although the wine is medium in body, it boasts an incredible freshness. The nose is vibrant with notes of cherries and plums, while the palate is bright with juicy blackberries, dark plums, smoke, red apple skin, and red raspberries. Works well with or without a slight chill. Cari Bernard

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $14.99

  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Preisinger, Claus 2016 Burgenland Puszta Libre!

Unusually slender for a red wine bottle, the Puszta Libre! bottle shape takes its inspiration from vintage soda bottles, a cheeky nod to how chuggable this wine is; and if that's not enough we are also instructed by the label to "drink cold"! Mostly Zweigelt with Sankt Laurent, fermented in stainless steel and aged in large (600L to 1000L) used oak barrels. An electric purple in the glass, this vintage brings us a bit more mineral cut with notes of black raspberries, raspberry seed, tart red plum, ripe red cherries, and fresh juicy blackberries. Cari Bernard

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Cameron 2015 Dundee Ramato Pinot Grigio

It’s common to find Ramatos in the Friuli region of Italy, where the term (from the Italian word for copper: Rame) is used for the local style of skin contact Pinot Grigio. It’s not so common to find a Ramato in Oregon, but when John Paul was offered access to Pinot Grigio grapes from the Abbey Ridge vineyard, he decided to try his hand at making one. Shortly after he started making his Ramato, about 5 years ago, John Paul met Sasha Radikon, and traveled to Collio to see how he and his father (the recently deceased Stanko Radikon) approached making their Ramato. He learned that the Radikons waited much longer before harvesting, yielding a darker hued and more intense wine. Though he has embraced the Radikon style and experiments now with late harvest Pinot Grigio (aged for 2 years in neutral oak like their Pinots), this is the original version that John Paul has always made. He picks the grapes at peak ripeness, (we should note this is already later than nearly everyone else in Willamette Valley), and ferments them on the skins, extracting just a touch of tannin, and giving the wine a pleasant structure. There’s tropical and stone fruit here, and also a fascinating herbal side. It’s a beautiful color in the glass and a perfect introduction to the world of skin contact wines. Drink with a slight chill.  Eben Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $33.99

  • Organic

Amplify 2016 Santa Ynez Valley Camp 4 Carignane

Cameron and Marlen Porter share a love for music and wine that reverberates through the entire Amplify lineup, which combine precision, freshness, and deliciousness, exemplified perfectly by this vintage of their Camp 4 Carignane. Bursting with red fruit, fresh and pretty florals, and hints of earth and salt, this Carignane is a versatile delight, served with a chill alongside salads or burgers or steak tartare. Cam and Marlen explain the inspirations for with characteristic charm: "We fell in love with its wild iterations in the Roussillon, though the way we choose to interpret it is inspired equally by Poulsard from the Jura.  As a result, Amplify Carignane is a delicate, lithe, limpid red wine with just a hint of the savage." Ariana Rolich

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $23.99

Dominio del Urogallo 2015 Asturias 'La Fanfarria' Blanco NO SO2

Nicolas Marcos comes from a winemaking family in Toro but found himself drawn to the polar opposite, cool, northern coastal region of Cangas in Asturias, where very old vines of Mencía and autochthonous varieties like Carrasquín, Albarín Blanco, Verdejo Tinto, and more cling to steep, rocky slopes of slate and quartz. Farming is biodynamic, winemaking is additive-free, and the wines are  pretty darn exciting, with brilliant freshness and depth. Fanfarria Blanco is a blend of Albarín (different from Albariño) and Albillo (not sure which Albillo this is, but we'll find out!), full of green apple and silky citrus, with white flowers, potent minerality, and a creamy, waxen quality that could inspire Chenin lovers to drink Spanish wine. Ariana Rolich 

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Aixala Alcait 2015 Priorat Endevinalla Blanc

After tasting their red wine in a Priorat restaurant, I tracked down Jordi Aixalà and Sussi Alcait at their tiny garage winery in Torroja, a gorgeous mountain-top village in the heart of the Priorat. As is often the case, the people behind the wines are just as lovely as the wines themselves, and we are very proud to be able to offer their wines. Endevinalla is 100% Garnacha Blanca from certified organic vineyards in Torroja, picked early and vinified in stainless steel tanks to retain freshness. Flavors are bright and Mediterranean, without the intense alcohol associated with Priorat whites: musky apricot, citrus rind, bitter almond, heady herbs and a hint of salt. Textured and minerally, this wine shines with herbed fish and poultry.  Ariana Rolich

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Terroir Al Límit 2016 Priorat Vinum Verum Roc d'Aubaga Rose

As with most serious rosés, Roc d'Aubaga is really coming into its own with some time to evolve in the bottle. Dominik Huber of Terroir al Limit continues to defy expectations with bold, unique, yet relatively light wines from the sun-baked Priorat, famous for dense and powerful reds. Roc d'Aubaga is a whole cluster co-fermentation of  Grenache Noir, Grenache Gris, and Grenache Blanc, with aromas of red currant, wild rose, and hibiscus, flowing onto the subtle yet exuberant palate of wild cherry and creamy berries, with watermelon pith, cherry pits, rose hips, tea leaf, chiseled minerality, fresh acid, and lots of length. Technically a clarete (blend of red and white grapes), this is a beautiful all-season rose, shining with richer duck dishes as well as grilled fish or flavorful raw dishes. Ariana Rolich

  • Out of Stock
  • rosé
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $33.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Lectores Vini 2016 Conca de Barberá Pomagrana Trepat

Pomagrana is 100% Trepat from our friend Fredi Torres (known to our customers through his eponymous Priorat and Montsant wines, as well as Silice Viticultores in Ribeira Sacra). Fredi is known for finessing elegant wines out of big, bodacious varieties like Carignan and Grenache, and Trepat is used to make ethereal, pale and herbal reds and rosés, so we knew his Trepat project in the Conca de Barberà (southern Catalonia, Spain) would be a hit. Pert and mineral, with a refreshing 11% alcohol and tart raspberry, cranberry, and (you guessed it!) pomegranate fruit. Best served with a chill alongside snacks, cheese, charcuterie and friends! AR Many customers have been asking for a red wine to pair with fish and Pomagrana is the perfect red wine for that! Think of Thai- or Vietnamese-inspired meals with seafood or fish, sushi, blackened salmon, or seared tuna. Light and bright with great energy and nice acidity, the wine will enhance your meal without overwhelming it. A fantastic option for people who don't want to drink a white wine with their fish! Caroline Coursant    

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $17.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur