Cabernet-paired holiday dinner

Chef and wine pro Maria Helm Sinskey serves the king of reds with the king of beef for a pull-out-the-stops holiday meal

cab dinner roast beef
James Baigrie

Why beef and cab?

Marbled, tender, and pungent with herbs, prime rib brings as much to Cabernet Sauvignon as a food can possibly offer a wine. In fact, a good Cabernet upgrades humbler cuts of beef too.

Salt- and herb-crusted prime rib with fresh horseradish sauce
Packing a rib roast in a salt crust keeps it moist and makes those richly seasoned end pieces hot items at the table.

THE WINE Serve Cabs in a range of prices and play the high-low game: Have people choose their favorite and guess the price. You’ll be surprised at what comes out on top.

Budget-friendly options
If you’re on a budget this year, substitute a cross rib roast for the prime rib―delicious, if slightly less tender, and what a price difference. Just be careful not to cook it past 125°, and cut it into slightly thinner slices to serve.

Your Cabernets don’t have to break the bank either. “If you splurge on one bottle and you don’t like it, it’s disheartening,” says Maria. “Stick within your budget and you’ll never be disappointed.”


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