Katy Rutland
March 11, 2014 | Recipes and Wine Pairing | Katy Rutland

Katy’s Kitchen: M is for Merlot

Merlot: a wine that went down in “Sideways” infamy. Unfortunately, Merlot has gained a reputation for being tannic, thin, and harsh, and those who drink it are unsophisticated and haven’t yet had their “Pinot moment.”


We’re here to put that to rest.


When grown in the hot desert climate of our Red Mountain vineyards, Merlot truly shines. This grape is not only a staple of our red blends (ONYX, Signature Series Red Blend, and Arch Terrace Triple Threat), it is also makes for a beautiful single-varietal bottle.


What better way to see that than to pair Merlot with a meal? When making this recipe, give yourself plenty of time. Making risotto is a labor of love! It can rapidly become a favorite request and is very versatile. This is just one of the many diverse flavor combinations you can try.



Flank Steak with Red Wine Risotto


Suggested Pairing: 2007 Signature Series Merlot



What you’ll need:

  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups dry red wine (recommended Signature Series 2007 Merlot)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups Arborio (or other short grain) rice
  • 4 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 ½ lb. flank streak, sliced
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Dried Cranberries




1) Trim any excess fat from the flank steak. Set aside trimmings. Salt and pepper both sides of steak and let rest.


2) Combine beef broth, dry red wine, and 1 tablespoon garlic in a large pot. Heat to steaming; add salt and pepper to taste. Do not allow broth to boil. For addition flavor, add trimmings from the flank steak to the broth mixture.


3) While broth is heating, heat oil in a Dutch oven or large skillet over medium-high heat and sauté 2 tablespoons garlic and onion. The onion should be translucent, about 3 minutes. Pour in rice and stir until rice is evenly coated with oil.


4) Using a ladle, pour a generous splash of hot broth into the rice. Stir constantly until the liquid has been absorbed. Add a ladle of broth and stir. When the liquid is almost absorbed, add another ladle of broth and continue until rice is al dente, about 30 minutes. Turn heat to low or warm, stirring occasionally and adding broth as necessary. The rice will turn purple due to the wine.


5) In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of butter. Add 1 tablespoon garlic when butter is melted. Stir and add flank steak strips. Cook until medium well, about 3 minutes per side, or desired temperature. When done, remove steak from pan, cover, and let rest.


6) To the rice, add heavy cream, 2 tablespoons butter, salt and pepper to taste. Stir until rice is creamy and smooth.


To serve: slice flank steak into long strips. Spoon a healthy portion of risotto onto a plate. Fan flank steak strips on top of the risotto and finish with a small handful of dried cranberries. Serves four generously.


For the pièce de résistance, pair with the 2007 Signature Series Merlot. The dried cranberries will make the dark fruits in the wine to pop, and creaminess of the risotto will complement the velvety tannins. Of course, you can’t go wrong with steak and red wine, and the heartiness of the Merlot does more than hold its own next to the rich flank steak.


Currently, the 2007 Signature Series Merlot is on sale for Taste Washington Wine Month. A case is only $240! These cases are extremely limited, so head over to our online store to take advantage of this library special. Save a few bottles to age yourself and give this recipe a try!


Veni, Vidi, Vinum!

Terra Blanca


P.S.: “M” is also for Malbec, which will be featured in the Tasting Room Friday through Sunday. For $99, you can take home two magnums (1.5 L bottles): one 2004 and one 2005 Terra Blanca Estate Malbec. These bottles are very limited, so get them before they’re gone!


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