man and woman steak and wine romantic dinner

Better Together – Our Favorite Pairings

Last Updated on February 14, 2020

By itself, a salt-and-pepper encrusted filet mignon is a thing of beauty. However, paired with a nice Cabernet or bacon, it becomes something divine.

This is one of life’s great truths: Two is better than one, or as Three Dog Night sang, “One is the loneliest number.”

We think this is especially true with food. Pairing an entree with the perfect side dish? A crisp white wine with a perfectly charred salmon? A spicy barbecue sauce with the right IPA? Some couplings just work so well together.

In the spirit of sharing the love, we wanted to share some of the duos that are closest to our hearts.

Meat and the Perfect Sauce

While a few spices can add a kick of flavor to any cut of chicken, beef, pork, or fish with ease, an amazing homemade sauce can transform the ordinary into the other-worldly. Whether using one of the foundational sauces of fine cuisine or just a simple barbecue sauce, the right flavor combinations perform magic on a steak, pork chop, or chicken breast.

Want to dig deeper into sauces and flavor combinations? Check out our guide on which types of beer go great with the various styles of barbecue sauce.

Steak and Wine

steak and wine

Which red wine pairs best with a New York strip steak? This question is as vital to the overall success of any romantic dinner as any other planning the meal requires.

Luckily we’ve got a few great chefs here at ButcherBox who are happy to share their wine-pairing wisdom.

As ButcherBox’s Chef Yankel explains, “You can get even better pairings by matching characteristics of your seasonings and sauces with notes that the wines exhibit. For example, mushrooms and onions pair well with wines with spicier characteristics; sweeter side dishes taste best with fruitier wines.”

Music and Cooking

Hearing an incredible rocked-out version of Prince’s Raspberry Beret on the way into work this morning stirred something deep within me. Likely, my wife will be inundated with a fair amount of the Purple One’s music as I do my thing in the kitchen this evening.

We’ve said this before, but there is something about cooking and music that just works so great. Whether by yourself, with a fully staffed restaurant kitchen, or with a crew your best buds—think The Big Chill—music is the one ingredient every recipe needs. As ButcherBox’s Chef Yankel said about his time running a kitchen, “We basically turned the kitchen into a two-minute mosh-pit before a crazy night of service.”

We even have a great romantic dinner playlist for after you’ve got your food on the table.

Dennis Keohane is the Editorial Director for ButcherBox.