Beer Versus Wine – The Perfect Blue Cheese Stuffed Filet Mignon Pairing

Congratulations to last month’s Beer Versus Wine Challenge winner –Megs from If It Falls on the Floor!  Part of the honor includes coming up with the next month’s challenge.  Below is If It Falls on the Floors post and challenge food.  Participants have until next Tuesday, May 13 to turn in their suggestion before we take it to a vote.  Winner gets to present June’s challenge, a winners badge, and to sweeten the offer, Megs is giving away a free copy of her cookbook to the winner.  (I already have a copy.  Trust me.  You want it.)  For more on the rules, click here.

In my past life, I owned a catering business, Divine Bovine, where people often asked me how I learned to cook…..

My father, a cattle rancher from the central coast of California, was one of the originators of the “Santa Maria style BBQ” back in the early 50’s.  He was fortunate to be able to combine his love of food with his gift for gab; weekends often included invitations to dinner for friends and neighbors.  Dad would barbeque his famous beef tri-tips and mother would put us kids to work in the kitchen, making salads, beans and casseroles.  It was the start of my cooking lessons.

Blue Cheese and Bacon Wrapped Filet

Blue Cheese and Bacon Wrapped Filet

So when The Wandering Gourmand posted his first pairing contest, Fish n’ Chips, I was totally on board.  It was PARTY time!  I had inherited my dad’s love of entertaining and cooking – this was the perfect excuse to invite over friends to have some fun!    I had never made F n’ C before, a little too much grease, and now I was going to serve it for dinner.  Yikes!  A little of this, a little of that and Viola!  Dinner was made and a great time was had.  The next pairing, Shrimp n’ Grits (chosen by The Wandering Sheppard) was excuse for another dinner party.

And now it is my turn to name a pairing.  Talk about pressure.  In the old days, I custom-catered small cocktail parties, fancy galas, annual dinners, intimate dinners and huge fundraising events.  I catered for political hopefuls and US congressmen, even Al Gore, then Vice-President.  (I guess that just dated me!)  I catered for Steve Young (SF 49’ers) and Dave Dravecky (SF Giants). Rarely did I serve the same menu twice.  Living in California, celebrities and big wigs didn’t faze me (much), neither did cooking for them.  Coming up with the perfect pairing menu has me nervous.

May is the month for Mom’s and Grad’s.   It’s Memorial Day weekend.  It’s the end of school and the unofficial start of summer.  So fire up your grill – we are definitely going to BBQ!  Now, I realize, depending on where you might hail from, the term BBQ might mean different things.  I’m talking about an oak wood fire burning down to red glowing coals with a grate hovering 7 to 9 inches over the top.  I’m talking a gas or charcoal grill.  I’m talking California style.  Put away your sauces and condiments.  You’re in for a treat.  A favorite from my cookbook Grilled Filet Stuffed with Bleu Cheese and wrapped with BACON (Tracy, I followed your suggestion).

The food has been presented!  Now, what’s your perfect beer or wine pairing for Blue Cheese Stuffed Steaks???  

Author: Bryan

Beer, Food, and Travel Writer

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  1. Sounds delicious. I would pair a bleu cheese stuffed filet mignon wrapped in bacon with St. Cosmé (100% Syrah) The big structure and body of the wine would stand up to the big body of the dish, and the natural smokiness of the grape would be echoed in the flavor of the bacon. I would definitely want something big and bold with layers of flavor to go with this big, bold, flavor-layered dish.

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    • I can’t wait to cook it this weekend. The dish will be our Sunday night dinner. All kinds of yum thanks to If It Falls on the Floor. I don’t know much about Syrah, but will experiment with a bottle to test out your suggestion.

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  2. Here’s my vote.
    Normally, I would pair a full bodied and dry red with beef, but in this case, I feel a wine with softer tannins would work best with this lean cut of meat. The Bleu Cheese and bacon add some strong flavors, along with the fact that I like my beef grilled rare, so I want a wine that is filled with earthier scents, a little fruitier, some smoke added, but with some a little more punch.
    I am going to go with a Pinot Noir.

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  3. I’m going to play this month with a beer suggestion since only wino’s are tossing in pairings thus far. Normally, I like something heavy and dark with steak like a Russian Imperial Stout. However, the blue cheese throws in a curve ball. As strong and sharp as blue cheese is, it does lighten up the dish a bit with its creamy nature. Thus, I want to lighten up the beer a bit, but with something that still packs strong flavor. I am going with a barley wine like Sierra Nevada Bigfoot. The yeasty and toasty malty notes go well with the sharp cheese, smokey, bacon and savory steak.

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  4. Oof. I got this. Boulevard Brewing Sixth Glass – a Belgian quad.

    Here’s what I wrote a while back when I paired the beer with a steak: “the richness of the meat and fat melted into the carbonated sweetness of the beer. It was even better as the beer got warm.”

    What makes this quad ideal for steak is the caramel and brown sugar flavors imparted by the beer, blending perfectly with sweaty, medium-done meat. My mouth is watering a little.

    Here’s some notes I compiled on the beer:

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  5. When it comes to grilled beef, I have a tendency to think outside the box. I had a revelation when a winemaker friend of mine handed me a bottle of 1997 Riesling Auslese and told me to try it with steak. I could not believe what he was thinking, but when I tried it, it worked: the aged Riesling has enough power to stand up to the grilled aromas, and the fruitiness of the wine adds so much complexity to the dish it is mind-boggling.

    Now the blue cheese adds a different layer to that. A classic pairing with blue cheese would be Riesling or Pinot gris (I want to stay white here!), some say Gruener Veltliner although I am not entirely sure that would work. So let me focus on Pinot gris or Riesling.

    The two regions that come to my mind are Alsace and Mosel. While Alsace tends to produce dry, higher in alcohol whites, the Mosel tends to produce fruitier versions of wines made from these grapes. I guess it is a matter of personal preference: The Alsatians should be cutting through the creaminess of the cheese easily, while the Mosels would add more flavors to the plate. In order to get these flavors out, I would opt for a younger Riesling Spaetlese from the Mosel (yes, a sweet wine!), preferably 2010 because the high acidity levels paired with great fruit intensity should make this pairing a rare treat.

    There you got: I will always find a way to pair anything to my beloved Rieslings…

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    • I think you use these challenges as a reason to justify drinking more Riesling :) I have also read that (but not tried) Chardonnay goes well with red meat. The oak adds a fullness that makes it stand up like a red.

      Thanks for participating!

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      • Hahahaha, but trust me on this one! If you are cooking it anyway, just stash away a bottle of Spaetlese in the fridge and see for yourself! I want the fruit aromas to add to the steak, chardonnay shouldn’t give too much of those…:)

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        • I like your outside of the box thinking on Riesling with steak. I’m not a Chardonnay fan at all. I will try your suggestion out this weekend!

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      • Also, Riesling is just SO versatile!!! I’ll try to come up with something else next time…;)

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  6. This is a tough one for me, as I’m not a blue cheese fan! I think I’d go with something a little softer like Merlot . . . it’ll still stand up to the meat, but won’t clobber the cheese over the head. Salud!!

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  7. I have THE answer. Any cream stout. Second street brewery in Santa Fe makes an exceptional local stout which isn’t available anywhere else. But this post is to make your mouth water.The Stout is inspired by the sweeter English style and is hopped with Fuggles and is fermented with an authentic English yeast strain. O.G. 1.055, IBU 23.
    Very smooth and slightly chocolaty. Think a lighter but still roasted and creamy Guiness. Low carbonation. The slightly sweet smoothness would bring out the blue cheese, the creamy roast chocolate mouth feel would have the steak screaming! In addition the steak fat and grease will be gently sheltered with the stout. Gonna go have one right now.
    The wise, all knowing husband of Megan.

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    • Thanks for dropping in, Malcolm! Are you and Megan having an insider competition to see who can win more votes?

      You have me so convinced on this one that I’m tempted to ask you to ship me some. Of course, if Second Street is like many of the breweries here in Charlotte, they don’t bottle or can yet.

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  8. I think I would do a dry creek Zin. Maybe old vine. Rich fruit with spice, some acid, plenty of structure.

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    • Great suggestion! I think we have the whole range of reds now. Well, except for Malbec. But I’m sure that’s coming.

      Thanks for answering my plea yesterday. I hope you’re doing awesome!

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  9. I’d go with a high abv stout like left hand brewery’s wake up the dead stout with its roasted barley and vanilla notes. Though you can never go wrong with dog fish heads 120 IPA, the hops notes will plate great with the blue cheese and the beefy tenderloin will highlight the mineral notes.

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    • Another beer suggestion! Thanks for helping make this competition not just be between a bunch of winos! Both suggestions sound about right to me. I had the DFH 120 with a woodgrilled burger at one of their gastro pubs. An amazing pairing!

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  10. Recently, I went to a boxed wine tasting. The person giving the tasting said Chilean Cabs wines augment grilled meats. Something in the terrior gives off a cowboy flavor. I like heavy wines with steak, so seems appropriate.

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