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Skirt Steak & Zinfandel

A dish with bold flavors requires a stouthearted wine. That's why this robust recipe for steak cured in bacon goes so well with a vibrant Zin.
Perfect Wine Match

Once upon a time, one of this country's most popular wines was a red by the name of Hearty Burgundy. Though neither hearty nor Burgundy (it comes from California), Hearty Burgundy pretty much defined red wine a few decades ago. Its name came to mind when I first tasted this dish and considered a wine to go with it. Hearty Burgundy had, if not the right flavor (I think it was actually light and sweet), then at least a name with the right sort of ring. The rich, bold flavors--smoked bacon, mushrooms and shallots--of this dish demand an equally stouthearted wine. Another California wine, Zinfandel, answers the call absolutely. Every bit the steak's equal in intensity of flavor, Zinfandel also has the structure and acidity to keep the combination from going over the top. The 1999 Green & Red Chiles Mill Vineyard ($24) is my first choice, with just the right balance between tannin and fruit, as well as impressive concentration and power. The 1999 St. Francis Old Vines ($16) is a solid second choice--a bit less intense and a little lighter but filled with lots of ripe berry flavors.

--Lettie Teague 
Published April 2002
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