This Ribeye with Mushrooms and a special Merlot from Duckhorn Vineyards is an easy gourmet meal worthy of a special occasion. The wine was sent as a courtesy sample as part of the #MerlotMe month promotion.
When a #MerlotMe sample box of six wines arrived from Duckhorn Vineyards, I knew I would have some fun cooking up good dishes to go with their Merlot.
In particular, I wanted to make a great meal worthy of their single vineyard Napa Merlot. The result was this Ribeye with Mushrooms recipe.
Juicy grilled ribeye topped with savory mushrooms, paired with a special Merlot. Yes, you want to make this soon!
Beef and Merlot can certainly go well together. But sauces and other flavoring can be just as important as the meat for making a good pairing, so we started the ribeye with mushrooms by making a rub with Merlot-friendly ingredients–dried rosemary, garlic and basil. I added cinnamon to the rub after tasting the wine–more on that soon.
Our grilled ribeye gets topped with sautéed mushrooms, another ingredient that goes well with Merlot. The mushrooms are cooked with garlic and thyme, further enhancing the pairing.
Roasting Ribeye Option
We grilled our ribeye, and I certainly encourage that if you are in grilling mode. But seeing as I am posting this recipe well into October, I should mention you can definitely roast the ribeye if that works better.
To roast the ribeye, get an oven proof skillet good and hot, coated with oil spray. Sear the ribeye steak for about 1 minute per side, then move the ribeye to the oven, preheated to 400 degrees. Roast for 12 to 14 minutes, depending on your desired level of doneness and the size of your steaks.
A Special Merlot for Ribeye with Mushrooms
So we had a bottle of 2014 Duckhorn Three Palms Vineyard Napa Valley Merlot ($98, 14.5% ABV) to open to pair with our ribeye with mushrooms. I got rhododendron on the nose of this Merlot. Lush layers of flavor on the taste–raspberry fruit and cinnamon stick were the first taste elements I noted.
After picking up the notes of cinnamon on the palate while sampling the wine, I added a bit of cinnamon to the rub to enhance the pairing. I was definitely pleased with this Merlot paired with our ribeye and mushrooms. That said, I have a second bottle of this Three Palms Merlot, and I’d like to make a dish that is more subtle, with layers of flavor like the wine. Ribeye is more of an over the top, big meat meal. This Merlot definitely stood up to the steak, but I’d like to see how it goes with a long simmering stew or braise next time.
Speaking of next time, as tempted as I am to open that second bottle of Three Palms Merlot this weekend, I’m planning to try putting the second bottle down for awhile. Though this wine is certainly drinking well now, it definitely has the characteristics of a young wine that will get better with time.
Duckhorn has had a long history of focusing on Merlot, so it is certainly a great winery to include in your #MerlotMe observances. Their website notes that Dan Duckhorn “felt that this elegant varietal was underappreciated in North America”. Duckhorn Vineyards is certainly doing its share to change that!
Three Palms Vineyard is one of California’s first single-vineyard Merlots. Named for three iconic palm trees in the vineyard, the warm, up-valley vineyard has lean soils that cause the vine’s roots to go deep for nutrients.
The 2014 Three Palms Merlot is comprised of 86% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Malbec, 2% Petit Verdot. I can see how the blending in of other grapes, similar to a Bordeaux, adds complexity. The wine is aged 18 months in oak, 100% French Oak, 75% New Oak, 25% Neutral.
- FOR THE RUB
- ⅔ tsp rosemary
- ½ tsp basil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 2 ribeye steaks
- MUSHROOM SAUCE
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 10 ozs mushrooms, sliced
- 2 tbsp butter, divided
- ⅓ cup dry red wine
- ½ tsp thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- Combine the rub ingredients, rosemary through the cinnamon, in a small bowl.
- Pat dry the steaks and place on a work surface. Sprinkle rub to just cover one side of the steaks, and rub it into the meat. Turn the steaks over and repeat. Leave the steaks out at room temperature for 15 minutes to absorb the rub.
- Start the mushroom sauce. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the minced garlic, sauté until it becomes fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the mushrooms, and cook about 5 minutes until the mushrooms begin to sweat.
- Pour the red wine into the skillet and stir. Add the thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the red wine has mostly absorbed into the mushrooms, about 5 minutes. Finish the sauce by adding the reserved tablespoon of butter, stirring the butter to melt in with mushrooms. Keep the mushrooms warm as the steaks grills.
- Preheat a grill to medium high as the mushrooms are cooking. When ready, coat the grill with oil spray. Add the ribeye steaks to the grill. Grill covered for 6 minutes, then turn the steaks over and grill covered for another 6 to 7 minutes. 12 minutes total grilling time got our steaks to a good medium rare; depending on your taste and size of your steaks you may want to add a few more minutes grilling time.
- When the steaks are done, remove to a platter and let them rest for a few minutes. Then, trim excess fat and slice the steaks crosswise. Plate 3 to 4 slices per person, and top with the mushrooms. Enjoy with a good glass of Merlot