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A Brief Guide to Cabernet Sauvignon Food Pairing

The perfect Cabernet Sauvignon food pairing is both an art and passion among wine lovers. Most agree that a bold, full flavored wine welcomes a complex and robust dish. This makes Cabernet Sauvignon the star of the dining table and enhances a wide variety of food choices.

Ranging from rich garnet to the darkest purple or almost black, the color of Cabernet Sauvignon is a nod toward what’s in store. Sourced from Lodi, California, nestled at the base of the Sierra Foothills, our East Side Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon is deep in color and boasts concentrated layers of flavor. Long sunny days and an extended growing season contribute complexity and a higher level of tannins. This wine is both a pleasure to drink and a pleasure to pair! 

The General Principles of Cabernet Sauvignon Food Pairing

A common recommendation for pairing Cabernet Sauvignon is food with a natural buttery or fatty unctuousness. While red meats are often an exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon food pairing, dishes such as hearty lasagna, rich and cheesy polenta or a wild mushroom risotto are equally delicious with this bold wine. 

Fire-roasted or grilled vegetables gain heft from the cooking process and, therefore, become a great match as well.  Try tossing zucchini, peppers and thickly sliced onion in olive oil and generous seasoning before placing on the grill.  The caramelization from cooking and subtle smoky layers of flavor complement the black fruit qualities and tannins in a big cabernet. Portobello mushrooms, with their meaty flavor and texture, can be marinated and grilled, stuffed or baked for a versatile vegetable pairing to a robust Cabernet Sauvignon.

Steak Wine Pairing with Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is often recommended as the best steak wine pairing.  Red wine, especially a high quality one, enhances the flavor of beef.  The steak, in turn, summons more of Cabernet’s jammy or fruity flavors. Scientifically, this is due to the fact that the protein in meat binds with red wine tannins, in turn, actually mellowing tannins into a perceived velvety texture on the palate.

Whether dining in a restaurant or cooking over a fire, a good cut of meat deserves a great wine to go with it.  We often recommend pairing our East Side Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon with a fine steak.   Tender and often lean, the superb flavor of filet mignon is one of our favorites. Like steak, a good juicy burger is a natural pairing with Cabernet Sauvignon.  Topped with all the fixings, including a full-flavored cheese such as an aromatic Gouda or sharp Bleu cheese, adds to the pleasing combination.  Bacon and mushrooms are also a welcome accoutrement as they complement wine’s earthiness.

No matter the cook you prefer, Cabernet Sauvignon is a natural pair with steaks cooked on the rare side as well as with those cooked well done. When choosing sauces, a thicker, heartier sauce such as rich gravy, bolognese or au poivre are a better bet than lighter, sweeter ones such as marinara when paired with Cabernet, as tomatoes tend to be a little too acidic for a full-bodied cabernet.

Of course, this wine pairs well with a great range of meat dishes. Three Finger Jack Cabernet Sauvignon is especially good with grilled pork carnitas tacos.  Roasted duck breast and braised venison are also good candidates, especially if the typically accompanied sauce component captures the fruity undertones of Cabernet. 

To discover Three Finger Jack wines, you may order online or find it nearby at a local  restaurant or store.   Please enjoy responsibly.

Pan-Seared Filet Mignon Recipe: East Side Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon Food Pairing

Ignite your night with the perfect cast iron pan-seared filet mignon. A perfectly seasoned cast iron pan gives you the ultimate sear to lock in your filet’s juices.  Enjoy with a glass of Three Finger Jack Cabernet Sauvignon. 


Temperature recommendations for a perfectly cooked steak

Very Rare/rare:  120° F to 125° F – 4 minutes

Medium rare: 125° F to 130° F – 5-6 minutes

Medium: 135° F to 140° F – 6-7 minutes

Medium well: 145° F to 150° F – 8-9 minutes

Well done: 160° F and above – 10+ minutes


Servings 4

Prep Time: 10 Min

Cook Time: 10 Min

Total Time: 20 Min



4 10-ounce thick beef tenderloin filets

2–3 tablespoons butter

salt and pepper to taste

other seasoning if desired (garlic salt, chili powder, etc.)


Garlic & Herb Butter

1/2 stick of butter (softened or cold)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

½ – 1 tablespoon minced garlic



1. For the garlic & herb butter, warm the butter until soft, 10-15 seconds. Stir in herbs and garlic until fully mixed. Spoon the batter onto tin foil doing your best to reshape it to resemble a stick of butter. Place in refrigerator for about 10 minutes and remove 5 minutes before adding to the filet.

2. Preheat the oven to 415° F. Remove steak from the fridge about a half hour before cooking, to ensure your cooking times are more accurate. Season both sides generously with salt and pepper and other seasonings if desired.

3. Add the plain butter to an oven safe cast iron skillet and turn up high, allow the skillet to become scorching hot first. Place the filets face down and sear undisturbed for 2 minutes. Flip the filets and sear for an additional 2 minutes. This will give your filets a nice, seared edge.

4. Transfer your skillet directly to the oven. Be sure to handle with oven mitts for the transfer. Refer to the above for timing on how you’d like your steak prepared.  But, remember, depending on the size of the steak, the more or less time it will take. Remove filets from the skillet and set on a plate, lightly cover with tin foil and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. This is important to bring your steak to its final serving temperature. Top with a slice of the homemade garlic and herb butter and serve with a glass of Three Finger Jack Cabernet Sauvignon. 

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