10 Best Steakhouse Wine Lists Across the Country

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For carnivores, nothing beats a sizzling steak and full-bodied cabernet sauvignon dining experience. Whether you crave your red meat well-charred, aged-to-perfection, melt-in-your-mouth tender, fatty as a rib-eye, as a plate of steak frites, or just a juicy hunk of hamburger, the most important element to elevate the experience is what’s in your glass.

Contrary to popular belief, a Stag’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon isn’t the only full-bodied varietal to select with steak. Keep in mind options of Cabernet Franc, Rioja, Malbec, Old-Vine Zinfandel and Bordeaux. Choose a wine pairing based on details such as cut of beef, aging technique, and sauce.

It helps to look at a wine menu of varied New World and Old World selections, but you may end up confused about what pairs best with what menu item. In many steakhouses, you can summon an in-house sommelier to assist in the wine-pairing selection. With or without a sommelier, you can navigate the menu on your own at these ten steakhouses across the country that offer wine lists as robust and diversified as a cut of beef and its preparation.

wine cellar Press Napa Valley
587 St Helena Hwy
St. Helena, CA 94574

Because Press is located in the heart of the Napa Valley, the menu was created exclusively to highlight the area’s wines. As Press said, “Our goal is to create a repository of knowledge on Napa Valley wines from the 1950s going forward, and we enjoy learning, together with our guests, how these older vintages mature.”

Insider Tip: Begin your meal with a Domaine Carneros Rosé and end with a Grgich Hills ‘Violetta’ Late Harvest (Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Gewurztraminer).

Alexander’s Steak House dish Alexander’s Steak House
448 Brannan Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

With locations in San Francisco, Cupertino, Pasadena, Taipei and Tokyo, the wine list at Alexander’s Steakhouse includes New World and Old World wines by the glass, half bottle and large formats. Their wine philosophy is to provide exciting and interesting wines while holding true to the idea of a classic American steakhouse. They search out artisan wineries that they feel offer the very best quality for the guests.

Insider Tip: Order by the glass or by half-bottles so you can select and share what works best for each course. You can’t go wrong with a 100-point Hall Cabernet Sauvignon, but you may also want to sip a Spanish Tempranillo.

A glass of wine The Capital Grille
Multiple locations

Wherever you are within the United States, there’s a good chance you’re in the vicinity of a Capital Grille restaurant. With over 350 wines, representing nearly every wine-growing region on earth, there are some beautiful selections. There are Old World and New World gems,as well as little-known labels on the brink of stardom. Their acclaimed dry aged steaks and fresh seafood deserve nothing less than an award-winning wine list. Before steaks meet the grill, they are meticulously dry aged on premises for more than 18 days. Then, each is hand-carved by their in-house butchers to exacting standards.

Insider Tip: A beautiful starter is their fresh, hours old mozzarella and tomato salad with an 18 yr age balsamic drizzle. Look for a Sancerre, Soave Classico or Sauvignon Blanc to pair.

Chicago Cut SteakHouse dish Chicago Cut SteakHouse
300 N. LaSalle
Chicago IL 60654

Take two steak-house veterans, a dazzling space along the Chicago River, add a butcher and dry-aging room and you begin to see what Chicago Cut is about. This modern steak house with a unique menu has full throttle wine menu including the famous Miraval Rosé, a Brangelina label with more stability than the Pitt marriage. Try it with the foie gras starter.

Insider Tip: This restaurant is known to attract Fortune 500 CEO’s as well as celebrities from Woody Allen to Jay-Z.

wine cellar Bern’s Steakhouse
1208 S Howard Ave
Tampa, FL 33606

Perfectly aged steaks. One of the largest wine collections in the world. An internationally famous dessert room. These elements have combined since 1956 to provide their guests with a unique culinary experience. Founder Bern Laxer had an incredible eye for wine buying. The cellar contains more than 6,800 different selections with more than half a million bottles. Bern’s Wine Cellar is the perennial recipient of the Wine Spectator Grand Award.

Insider Tip: While the lobby is something to be seen, the dessert room is something to be experienced. Here guests can enjoy a leisurely and intimate end to their dining evening by choosing from nearly 50 dessert choices to more than 1,000 dessert wines and spirits.

Forbes Mill Steak House dish Forbes Mill Steak House
206 N. Santa Cruz Ave
Los Gatos, CA 95030
200 Sycamore Valley Road West
Danville, CA 94526

In its two locations: Los Gatos and Danville, California, the wine menu focuses on local boutique wineries of small production, as well as an emphasis on Brunello di Montalcino and Châteauneuf-du-Pape. There’s a price range for everyone to enjoy wines by the glass, Coravin or bottle.

Insider Tip: Seek help from the sommelier/wine director to hear the story behind each boutique wine label.

wine cellar Aureole Las Vegas By Charlie Palmer
3655 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas , NV 89109

What happens at Charlie Palmer’s Aureole restaurant stays in…your memory. Wine and dine your way around their tasting table experience with Chef Charlie Palmer and Executive Chef John Church’s menu focused around food’s three natural foundations: Root, Surf, and Ranch. The menu positions eight dishes covering all categories, listed from light to robust, with a strong emphasis on sharing, tasting and connecting. Go big and bet on a fantastic dining and wine experience here.

Insider Tip: The restaurant’s 3,000-selection list has been lauded with Wine Spectator’s Grand Award every year since 2000. The “wine angels” will fetch your chosen wine via a three story pulley and cable system.

dining table The Angus Barn
9401 Glenwood Ave.
Raleigh, N.C.

The Angus Barn is an American steakhouse restaurant serving in-house aged steaks, fresh NC seafood, local grown vegetables and homemade desserts prepared by Iron Chef America winner, Walter J. Royal, and his staff. The Barn hosts an award winning wine cellar, the famous Wild Turkey Lounge, Meat Locker smoking lounge. The restaurant’s wine list features 1,600 selections with stand outs from California, Bordeaux and Burgundy, and has earned the Wine Spectator Grand Award every year since 1989.

Insider Tip: The wine cellar boasts its’ own private staff, kitchen, two large dining rooms each with its own full service bar and surrounded by one of the most amazing wine collections in the United States.

a crab dish and glass of wine Pappas Brothers SteakHouse
3 Texas locations

With 2 locations in Houston and one in Dallas, its dry aged steaks make Pappas Brothers stand out among some of the best Texas steakhouses. All of their sommeliers are certified, and at least half of them have earned either Master or Advanced Certificates.

Insider Tip: With 3,900 world wine selections from top producers, this is another chance to use a sommelier to your advantage. You’ll even get help with the proper wine glass, as there are 10 stemware designs to match with your wine selection.

Ringside Steakhouse steak Ringside Steakhouse
2165 W. Burnside
Portland, OR 97210

Dining at RingSide Steakhouse is an experience, offering beef believers the very best in Northwest USDA Prime and Certified Angus Natural Beef. Steaks are aged a minimum of four weeks, hand carved on the premises, seasoned and grilled to perfection. They house one of Portland’s only on-site dry-aging rooms, and guests can select from an array of beef choices, chops, chicken and Pacific Northwest seafood.

Insider Tip: Their extensive wine list of more than 700 labels, including some of Northwest’s finest regional wines. Our wine list has been recognized with the “Best of Award of Excellence” Wine Spectator since 2001.

Charlene Peters is an influential world explorer and culinary/wine scholar who left her East Coast roots for the western pleasures of life in the Napa Valley. She can be reached by email: siptripper@gmail.com.