I received two complimentary bottles of Geyser Peak wines, from the winery, to compare in a post. The opinions are completely mine.
I love flank steak. I’d have to say it’s one of my favorite cuts of beef. When I approached Geyser Peak Winery about comparing two of their wines I knew I wanted to pair them with my red wine marinated flank steak. This is a marinade I’ve been making most of my married life, almost 25 years. So when I received the wines and read about them, I knew this dish would be perfect.
Flank steak is a cut of beef common in Columbia but it’s easily found in the United States too. On it’s own, it can be tough but if you marinate it, in something that includes an acid like wine, the meat will become tender, juicy and delicious.
Good to know:
There are a few things to know and remember about flank steak.
- Before marinating score the meat in a diamond pattern on one side. Be careful not to slice completely through the beef.
- Marinate in a 9 x 13 glass baking dish. Acid (from the wine) and metal don’t work well together so make sure it’s glass. If it’s a smaller size, a ziplock bag will work.
- When cutting the beef slice against the grain. It will be far more tender. Trust me on this one.
Now for the wines. If you’re not familiar with Geyser Peak wines, you should be. They have been a fixture in Sonoma County, California making wines for 130 years. They were California’s 29th bonded winery and they are perched on a hill across from Geyser Peak mountain. The geothermal activity of the area makes the region well suited to wine grape cultivation. Geyser Peak wines are crafted from small lots of grapes that are fermented separately and then blended to create balance and character. While I enjoyed both of these wines my preference was the 2014 Walking Tree Cabernet Sauvignon. Maybe because it has a small percentage of Syrah, which is a varietal I love. This is not the first time I’ve worked with Geyser Peak. I had the opportunity to create Rosemary Roasted Cornish Hens to pair with their 2016 Russian River Sauvignon Blanc.
There are a few other subtle differences between these wines.
- While both have a 100% malolactic secondary fermentation in barrels for 21 months, the 2014 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon first fermentation happens in stainless steel.
- The Alexander Valley Walking Tree Cabernet Sauvignon has a traditional fermentation and then the 100% malolactic secondary fermentation in small French oak barrels.
- The Walking Tree has aromas of cassis, mint and chocolate with a bit of spicy oak. The Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon has more fruit aromas like boysenberry and cherry.
- The 2014 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes while the 2014 Walking Tree Cabernet Sauvignon is 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Syrah.
Both wines paired nicely with this flank steak. I would confidently serve either with it. I did use the 2014 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon for the marinade. Remember, when you use a wine to cook, use one that you would drink and enjoy. No sense in using a wine you don’t like because the flavor of the dish will not be as good.