A perfectly broiled steak and a well-crafted red wine have long been regarded as the quintessential culinary pair. That's why our Director of Wine left no Napa Valley vineyard uncorked in his search for a repertoire of reds that matches the caliber of signature Prime steaks. From pinot noir and cabernet sauvignon to merlot and a bevy of red blends, we saw, swirled, sniffed, sipped and savored our way to create a curated collection that will undoubtedly elevate your dining experience.
The Palate-Pleasing Pinot Noir
One of the wine world’s most beloved grapes, pinot noir is a crowd-pleasing red that’s easy to love, but it’s also a notoriously challenging grape to grow. Their thinner skin demands the precise combination of sunshine, fog, and cool weather to thrive. It originated in Burgundy and made its way to California in the late 1800s, then Oregon in the mid 1900s. Today it’s grown all over the world. Because of its traditionally light to medium-bodied nature, the best pinot noir has a reputation for being soft and delicate, which is why it’s often underestimated as a potential pairing for a well-marbled, savory steak. Look at a glass of pinot noir, and you’ll see its clarity; it’s often so light in color it’s practically see through. From the classically light and delicate to the unexpectedly big and bold, we’ve picked a pinot for every palate.
Pinot noir is generally known for being refreshing, bright, smooth, and fruit-forward. Red and black cherry, blackberry, and other red fruits tend to be the dominant flavor, with underlying earthier notes of spice, vanilla, and even mushroom. While this softer, more delicate flavor profile has become the expectation when it comes to pinot noir, there are some noteworthy exceptions to the rule and we’re delighted to say we’ve found them. From fruity and earthy to bold and oaky, our list of pinot noirs showcases the true range of this versatile grape.
Pinot noir is used to make champagne. Almost 90% of champagnes are made using a blend of primarily red and black grapes.
Pinot Noir Pairings
Prime New York Strip
Enhance this steaks cut just-right balance of leanness and marbling with a light-style wine to match.
Miso Glazed Chilean Sea Bass
A really soft, delicate pinot noir wine pairs beautifully with the tart but fresh flavors in this dish.
Discover Something New:
If you’re a cabernet loyalist, try a glass of Belle Glos Balade pinot noir next time you dine with us. Pair it with our Filet Mignon and discover an unexpected, powerful accompaniment that’ll lure more flavor out of our leanest, most popular cut. You might just find yourself becoming a pinot noir enthusiast.
Our Partnership With Belle Glos
When steak is the star of the show, you need an exceptionally great pinot noir that can stand up to it. Belle Glos has spent decades perfecting a distinctive portfolio of pinot noirs that do exactly that. Owner and winemaker Joe Wagner is a fifth-generation Napa Valley winemaker who played a major role in redefining good pinot noir from “light and delicate” to packing a more fruit-forward punch. Belle Glos is named after his grandmother, Lorna Belle Glos Wagner, a pinot noir wine lover who also happened to be a co-founder of Caymus Vineyards.
Grape Expectations: Cabernet Sauvignon
Once upon a time, a vineyard full of red cabernet franc grapes and another full of white sauvignon blanc grapes accidentally crossed paths and nature took its course. They crossbred and today, this Bordeaux varietal is arguably the most popular in the world. On behalf of wine lovers everywhere, we’re forever grateful these two grapes crossed paths. The best cabernet sauvignon is known for its darker color, full-body, and higher alcohol content. It’s also higher in tannins, which makes it drier than other varietals. Our cabernet selection is the most extensive because this varietal has long been the quintessential pairing for steak. With literally thousands upon thousands of cabs to choose from, our goal in curating our list was simple: uncover a collection of luxury cabernet sauvignon that stacks up to our Prime steaks.
The primary flavors of this full-bodied wine are black cherry, black currant, cedar, and spice. The best cabernet sauvignon is rich and full in flavor but is also dry in nature, due largely in part from higher tannins. This in addition to its notable acidity is what makes this varietal pair so well with our Prime steaks.
Cabernet sauvignon is the most planted wine grape in Napa Valley and the world.
Cabarnet Sauvignon Pairings
Prime Bone-In Ribeye
We have one word: pepper. The reason ribeye makes such an iconic cabernet sauvignon food pairing is because the dryness and intensity you get with a well-structured cabernet sauvignon pairs perfectly with our black pepper seasoning and the intense flavor that comes from the cut’s signature marbling.
Barbecue Scottish Salmon Fillet
The salmon’s buttery nature has a beautiful way of balancing out the dryness in a good cabernet sauvignon, while toning down the tang you get from the barbecue glaze.
Our Caymus Vineyards & Wagner Family Partnership
Caymus sold its very first vintage in 1952 for $5.25 a bottle. Owner and winemaker Chuck Wagner drove around in his truck selling it to whomever would buy it. Today, 50 years later, Caymus cabernet sauvignon is the No. 1 selling luxury cabernet on the market and one of the most awarded. The Wagner Family winemaking secrets have been passed down from generation to generation. Frankly, we can't imagine not having it on our list. Their Napa Valley legacy and commitment to quality has made the Caymus name synonymous with the best cabernet sauvignon — just as our promise is to deliver the best steak, wine, and service every time you walk through our doors.
Our Partnership With Post & Beam
This Cabernet Sauvignon by Far Niente is inspired by humble Post & Beam barns that dot the American landscape. As simple and elegant as its namesake structures, this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon is hand-crafted with four decades of expertise. It’s primed to be one of the best vintages on record for Napa. Each pour expresses the purity of Napa Valley varietals, with unbelievable flavors and stunning aromas that define a Far Niente luxury Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s expectedly round and textured on the palate, yet reveals just how layered it is.
Merlot: More Than Meets The Vine
Merlot is an often underrated Bordeaux varietal with big red fruit flavors that distinguish it from cabernet sauvignon. Pinot noir and cabernet tend to get all the glory, but if you ask us, merlot deserves a spot (or two or three) in every connoisseur’s wine cellar. Put a good merlot up against your go-to wine, and your palate might just perk up when it makes contact with its fruity (not to be confused with sweet) flavor. The dark blue-tinted grape originated in Bordeaux, France in the late 1700s and was brought to California in the mid-19th century. Today it’s the second-most planted grape in the world.
Merlot is typically a dry, medium to full-bodied wine that leaves traces of red fruit in its wake, from strawberry and cherry to raspberry and currant. It’s bright, lively, and a pure pleasure to drink. It has a pronounced fruit-forward flavor (often with layers of vanilla, clove, or oak depending on the terroir), but crafted by the best, a good merlot is rarely overpowering.
Merlot is commonly blended in cabernet because it softens it.
This fruit-forward wine accentuates, but never overwhelms, the buttery flavors found in our leanest, most popular cut: the famous Filet Mignon. It’s a subtle merlot pairing that brings out our broiled-to-perfection salt-and-pepper crust.
Barbecue Scottish Salmon Fillet
The tangy barbecue glaze is the star of this rich-in-flavor dish. A good merlot will artfully balance out this intense burst of flavor, without taking away from it. The soft, delicate wine also pairs beautifully with the buttery texture and taste of the salmon.
Discover Something New:
Start your dining experience with a glass of merlot and our Beef Carpaccio. Explore how the intricate, earthy flavors in this chilled starter really come to life against the fruit forward nature of merlot, giving your palate a true opposites attract experience. EXPLORE OUR DINNER MENU >
Our Partnership With Emmolo
Owner and winemaker Jenny Wagner, of the Caymus family, attests that “when a merlot is good, it’s really good.” There's no better way to describe this Napa Valley gem, which boasts intensely concentrated sips of cocktail cherries and textured tannins. Emmolo is named as a tribute to the winemaker’s maternal grandparents who emigrated from Italy in 1923 and farmed as a livelihood. Today, this Merlot is a fixture in the Caymus portfolio for its rich history and taste.
Through the Grapevine: Cabernet Blends
The cabernet blend category encompasses any wine that has cabernet as its base varietal. They’re typically made using at least one if not more of the bordeaux varietals (merlot, petit verdot, malbec, cabernet franc, and carmenere). Much like red blends, there’s a wide variety of cabernet blends, which makes it both exciting and challenging to curate a shortlist. Our philosophy when it comes to this category is to stand in contrast to our already-extensive cabernet sauvignon list by seeking out elegantly crafted blends that drink a bit softer and less tannic.
In order to be considered a pure cabernet sauvignon, a wine must be made from at least 75% cabernet sauvignon grape. The same goes for any other varietal in the U.S.
Cabernet Blend Pairings
Topped with the Diablo Shrimp. Counteract the spicy barbecue butter in the Diablo Shrimp with the softness you find in one of our cabernet blends.
Our Partnership with Orin Swift
From 16 months of French Oak aging emerges a true five varietal Bordeaux-blend of epic proportions. Papillon in French translates to "butterfly" and is aptly named after a day where Dave and his daughter were walking through one of the vineyards. She saw a beautiful butterfly fluttering about and called out "Papillion!" and Dave replied "I didn’t know you knew French!" And there the inspiration for this wine was born and is reflected on the wine label where hands come together to create the shape of wings. The perfectionists at Orin Swift sourced from vineyards across Napa Valley for this rare blend—namely Morisoli, Taplin, Lewelling, Stagecoach, Indian Joe, and Monte Rosso on Moon Mountain. Characterized by big notes of blackberry pie, roasted fig, and coastal sagebrush, it is approachable yet ageable. Hedonistic yet nuanced. A piece of art yet just a bottle of wine.
Decanted: Red Blends
Red blends are exactly what you think they are. They’re red wines made from different types of grapes blended together. They’re not new by any means, but they are most definitely having a moment right now, and it’s not hard to understand why. Whereas cabernet, pinot noir, and merlot have certain expectations attached to them in terms of what they should taste like, the red blend category is a bit like the wild, wild west of the wine world: anything goes. They’re made to appeal to a variety of palates. They tend to be bolder than merlot and pinot noir, but less tannic than cabernet sauvignon. In our search for the right blend of blends, we had one distinguishing quality on our mind: elegance.
The fruit from wine grapes is clear. Red wine gets its color from the contact with the skins.
Red Blend Pairings
Prime Dry Aged Ribeye
The red blend category fruitiness pairs really well with the robust, nutty, intense flavor of a dry aged steak.
The Double Breast of Chicken
We’re best known for our steaks, but this is one of our best-kept secrets thanks to its diversity in flavor, which you also get with our red blend category.