Tender, Juicy, and Audacious
Filet mignon is the king of beef cuts. Stop, I know what you’re going to say: Filet mignon is so 90’s. And yes, that might be true to an extent. Yet, filet mignon is juicy, tender, and refined. In fact, for this reason, it is considered one of the most expensive steaks, commanding very high prices at steakhouses and fine dining establishments. Fortunately, cooking filet mignon at home is not very challenging.
On the contrary, it is relatively easy. Considering the price, though, you have to cook it right to avoid burning your hard-earned money. To perfectly cook filet mignon, you will need a cast-iron or oven-safe skillet (to finish your steak in the oven), high-quality butter (Italian is our favorite), and a bunch of Mediterranean herbs (or Asian if you fancy) for seasoning.
How to Get a Great Sear?
For starters, the key for a delicious filet mignon is hidden in the salty crust. Before anything, however, your pan needs to be very hot, almost smoking. A crusty sear takes about 5 minutes per side, no more. So, remember that and don’t overdo it.
Why Bake Your Filet Mignon
Baking helps your steak become juicy and tender in the middle, which is what you want when preparing filet mignon (or any other steak, to be honest). So, prepare your perfect crust and then finish your beef in the oven. On that note, when preparing such an expensive cut, you have to monitor the temperature. Filet mignon is delicious when cooked medium-rare; yet, extreme meat lovers may also easily enjoy their steak blue, with minimal cooking.
In any case, these are the best filet mignon cooking temperatures:
- Medium rare: 130-135° (54-57)
- Medium: 135-145° (57-62)
- Medium well: 145-155° (62-68)
What Wines Pair Well With Filet Mignon?
As a super tender cut coming from the thick end of the tenderloin, filet mignon is low in fat and has an incredibly delicate flavor. If you do not intend to serve it with sauces but go only with salt and pepper seasoning, a light, low-tannin Pinot Noir is a great choice. The reason for this is that the Pinot is fruit-forward with very subtle oakiness, complementing the gentle, elegant flavors of the filet mignon.
Now, if you plan to accompany your filet mignon with heavy sauces, going with a smokey Pinot Noir, or bone-dry Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Chianti is recommended. Alternatively, you can opt for an oaky and creamy Chardonnay or even for an aged Fumé Blanc. Malbec is also a fine choice for filet mignon as well as Argentine Bonarda. Both wines have dusty tannins, good structure, and uplifting floral characteristics that help this cut reach its true flavor potential.
As a final note, when it comes to filet mignon wine pairing (or generally steak), less might be more. Sometimes, the simplest wine choices are the best, especially when the main course is filet mignon.
Best Red Wines With Filet Mignon
Belle Glos Balade Pinot Noir
- Winery — Belle Glos
- Country/Region — United States, California, North Coast, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
- Type — Californian Pinot Noir
- Aroma — Cherry, Raspberry, Blackberry, Underbrush, Dried Soil, Game Meat
- Grapes — Pinot Noir
- Taste — Plum Redcurrant, Mint, Pepper, Licorice, Violet, Lavender, Cinnamon Spice, Mushroom
- Alcohol Content — 14.7%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Filet Mignon, Venison, Leg Of Lamb, Duck Confit, Seared Tuna, Fried Chicken, Milk Chocolate
Are you looking for the best red wine with filet mignon? Belle Glos Balade Pinot Noir might be the right option for you. Generous aromas of red berries mingle with earthy notes, forming the inviting and elegant nose. On the palate, this Pinot shows stewed fruit flavors and plenty of baking spices. Vibrant in acidity with a supple mouthfeel, the wine has a good balance.
Fragrances of cherry, raspberry, and blackberry combine to form the aromatic nose, together with nuances of underbrush, dried soil, and game meat. In the mouth, Belle Glos Balade Pinot Noir presents flavors of plum and redcurrant and tastes of mushroom, mint, pepper, and licorice, which contribute depth and structure. The tannins are smooth and well-integrated, while the acidity is brisk, as expected from a high-end Pinot Noir. The finish is short but with floral touches.
Belle Glos winery presents high-quality Pinot Noirs from some of California’s most prestigious grape-growing regions. In fact, even though these appellations are near the Pacific Ocean, the climate differences are significant between them (fog, sunshine, wind, and soil type). For this reason, Belle Glos wines are known for being expressive of the terroir and great representations of California Pinot Noir.
The Hess Collection Allomi Cabernet Sauvignon
- Winery — The Hess Collection
- Country/Region — United States, California, North Coast, Napa County, Napa Valley
- Type — Californian Cabernet Sauvignon
- Aroma — Blackberry, Black Cherry, Black Plum, Vanilla, Oak
- Grapes — Cabernet Sauvignon
- Taste — Plum, Blackberry, Raspberry, Chocolate, Tobacco
- Alcohol Content — 13.7%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Filet Mignon, Hearty Stews, Mature Cheese, Grilled Lamb
On the nose, this wine delivers bright aromas of dark fruit and pronounced scents of florals next to hints of baking spices. Concentrated on the palate, Allomi Cabernet Sauvignon is dense with fine-grained tannins and a plush mouthfeel of plums and cherries.
Aromatics of blackberry, boysenberry, and mulberry emerge upfront, alongside touches of vanilla, tobacco, and mint. Welcoming scents of lavender and violets also exist on the nose, leading wine enthusiasts into the thick palate. A core of juicy plum, cherry, and strawberry join a dance of smoke and charred wood elements, adding personality to this Cabernet. Soft, fine-grained tannins support the medium acidity, finishing long in a bittersweet, chocolate-driven finish.
High-Class Wines as Envisioned by a True Pioneer
Donald Hess is a true California wine lover, and as a pioneer, he became fascinated with Mount Veeder. He confidently believed that the Mount’s volcanic hills, soils, and micro-climates would be perfect for producing dynamic and delicious wine, expressive of the terroir.
For this reason, he decided to found The Hess Collection Winery in 1978. Today, the winery still stands, with the fifth generation Hess family members running it. The Hess family winery promotes state-of-the-art innovations and technologies in winemaking. At the same time, respecting traditional vinification methods.
- Winery — Alexander Valley Estate
- Country/Region — United States, California, Napa Valley
- Type — Californian Merlot
- Aroma — Blackberry, Black Cherry, Dried Figs, Vanilla
- Grapes — Merlot
- Taste — Dried Raspberries, Dark Plums, Vanilla, Spice
- Alcohol Content — 13.3%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Filet Mignon, Beef BBQ, Roast Lamb, Burger, Braised Venison
Perfumed and structured, Textbook Merlot is rich in aromas of red berries, nuts, and cocoa. In the mouth, the wine is refined with flavors of dark fruit dominating, alongside tastes of baking spices and sandalwood. A finishing dash of pepper concludes the tasting profile.
This is a tight red, with focused aromas of cherry, raspberry, and redcurrant and subtle scents of almonds, hazelnuts, and cocoa. Sandalwood and clove lift the refined palate, driving into a core of plum, brambles, and fig. The medium-bodied mouth also showcases tastes of walnuts, violets, mint, and cloves. The tannins are fine-grained, if slightly crunchy, and the acidity is moderate and balanced. The aftertaste is of good length, too, and peppery.
Constantly High-Quality Wines
Founded in 2004 in Napa Valley, Textbook produces industry-acclaimed wines from numerous Napa Valley and Oakville vineyards. The winery follows the European tradition, encompassing a bold-yet-balanced wine-making. style. For this reason, Textbook wines are enjoyed by wine fans in the US and abroad. As such, Textbook is considered one of the top Californian wineries for Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay.
Isole e Olena Chianti Classico
- Winery — Isole e Olena
- Country/Region — Italy, Toscana, Chianti, Chianti Classico
- Type — Italian Chianti
- Aroma — Red Cherry, Raspberry, Plum, Leather, Oregano, Spice, Tobacco
- Grapes — 82% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo, 3% Syrah
- Taste — Red Cherry, Vanilla, Raspberry, Licorice
- Alcohol Content — 13.5%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Filet Mignon, Spaghetti and Meatballs, Lasagna, Red Pasta, Salami Sandwich, Chicken Curry
Hand-harvested, estate-grown grapes produce this yeasty and buttery Chianti, which was racked into barrels before maturing for a year or so. Oaky, bold, and undeniably delicious. Complex and expressive, this wine carries the aromas of plum, cherry, walnuts, and barnyard. Additionally, it displays nuances of dried soil, mushroom, and eucalyptus. Expect to whiff thyme and mint, too, as well as a faint note of grapefruit.
Dense in the mouth, Isole e Olena Chianti Classico has an oaky character of smoke, sweet tobacco, and cloves. On top of this, flavors of brambles like blackberries and raspberries combine with violets, heather, and burnt butter to complete the weighty mouth. The brisk acidity meets a core of fine-grained tannins, which can support this wine for at least, a decade. Finally, it finishes with a good, medium aftertaste.
Isole e Olena: The Creation of a Prominent Figure of the Chianti Region
In the 1950s, the DeMarchi family formed Isole e Olena when it acquired and combined two vineyards in the Chianti Classico region. From the 1970s, the head winemaker of the winery has been Paolo DeMarchi. He is a leading figure in the viticulture scene of the region and has experimented with Chianti blends by making single-varietal Sangiovese wines. He aims to produce complex bottlings with long aging potential.
Volver Single Vineyard Tempranillo
- Winery — Volver
- Country/Region — Spain, Castilla, La Mancha
- Type — Spanish Tempranillo
- Aroma — Plum, Blackberry, Prune, Cherry, Toasted Wood, Smoke, Vanilla Spice, Eucalyptus
- Grapes — Tempranillo
- Taste — Prune, Fig, Raisin, Cinnamon Spice, Chocolate, Coffee, Cassis, Soil, Forest Floor
- Alcohol Content — 15%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Filet Mignon, Tomahawk Steak, Lasagna, Napolitana, Nachos, Chili Con Carne, Manchego
Oaky with pronounced aromas of smoke, charred wood, and dark fruit, this Tempranillo has a bold nose that gives way to the raisiny palate. The tastes, again, focus on the oak, with chocolate, cassis, and coffee accents. The bouquet is aromatic and oaky, packed with scents of wood smoke, toasted wood, plum, and blackberry.
Whiffs of cherry and prune are also present on the nose, alongside hints of vanilla spice and eucalyptus. The palate is raisiny and heavy, full of cinnamon spice, chocolate, and coffee flavors. The cassis also is pronounced and integrates nicely with the smooth tannins and moderate acidity. The earthy finish is gratifying and well-received.
Bodegas Volver is based on Old Vines aged between 30 and 90 years old. It was founded in 2004 by enologist and viticulturist Rafael Cañizares. Volver encompasses the concept of re-asserting the quality of Spanish wines. In doing so he has reclaimed old indigenous vineyards which had been lost due to low grape production or lack of wine-making succession.
As a premium cut, filet mignon is highly prized & expensive. As such it requires an exquisite wine to maximize its flavor potential. Sure, finding a wine that not only matches divinely with filet mignon but also satisfies everyone’s taste buds is a great challenge. Even though we did not mention the best white wine with filet mignon, the above choices should cover most wine and meat enthusiasts’ needs and help you succeed in your quest of the perfect filet mignon wine match!