Jessica Norris is many things: an opera singer, a lover of champagne and onion rings, a Master Sommelier candidate and the Wine Director at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse in the heart of midtown Manhattan.
Del Frisco’s is known not only for its steak but for the insane wine program Jessica has helped nourish. This stronghold of beautiful beefy goodness sells about $8 million worth of wine each year and houses around 2,000 bottles of vino. The point? It’s a really great place to be if you love steak and wine.
Before gorging ourselves on onion rings and bubbly, we asked Jessica for some advice on the perfect steak and wine pairings, since she is the Wine Director of a famous steakhouse. We were not disappointed.
“Cabernet is always gonna go wonderfully well with a steak, whether it’s from California or Bordeaux or Argentina or wherever you want.” Jessica admits. “But I often tell people to think outside the box. I’ve been experimenting a lot with the lighter style of things like Grenache… but also white wines.”
White wine and steak? Isn’t that heresy… a culinary crime of the highest order? Turns out, not at all.
Shake up the steak and wine status quo with these three tips from Jessica:
Marsanne with Filet
“I bring out a Marsanne often. I like it with our crab cake but it also goes really well with a filet. It’s kind of nutty and it has that creamy texture to it. It really stands up, weight-wise, to meat.”
Gravonia with Filet or Strip Steak
“People think, you know, steak and Chardonnay. If you’re gonna have white you have to drink chardonnay. But you can have white Rioja, a Gravonia and it is phenomenal, even with a strip steak.”
Stay Away from Ribeye
“Ribeye is hard with white, because it has this massive texture and it needs a really massive wine to take it on. It’s possible, but with filet and strip steak it’s a lot easier to make whites work.”