7 Steakhouse Chains With the Most Impressive Wine Lists
The steakhouse is an American dining classic. It's where we go to celebrate successes with co-workers, take our parents for their anniversary, or our children when they graduate. The timelessness of the steakhouse is even more elevated when the experience is enhanced with a glass (or two) of well-paired wine.
Steakhouse chains across the country have branched out in the past few years, going beyond the traditional staples of Bordeaux and California cabernets, with both Old World and New World wines that complement the dining experience—and may introduce you to your new favorite bottle.
Even if you prefer to stick with a tried-and-true pairing like Bordeaux, you may discover something different as you peruse the list. "There's always a hidden Bordeaux on a steakhouse wine list," says Carl McCoy, national wine director for Lyons Group. "Something that somebody probably bought or couldn't move or didn't know how to sell or nobody's heard of it." McCoy says he looks for a wine like Bordeaux because "it's a little more earth and mineral, and I think that that's what I like with the steak, personally."
We've found the steakhouse chains with the most well-stocked cellars, offering you only the best wine pairings to complement your meal, both by the bottle and glass. Their comprehensive lists include great pours at multiple price points, as well as unique bottles that might surprise you.
BLT Steak and BLT Prime
Combining bistro ambiance with steakhouse fare, BLT Steak and BLT Prime have several locations around the country that have won awards for their wine selections. You can find well-curated selections of Burgundy, Bordeaux, California, and Italian wines at several locations, and more under-the-radar new producers than you normally see at most chains.
The Capital Grille
With over 60 award-winning locations across the country, the Capital Grille is known from coast to coast for its dry-aged steaks, fresh seafood, and attention to service. It's a favorite stop for a fancy work event, or a special date. Capital Grill prioritizes wine and each location's list is kept fresh and unique. The chain often offers special wine events, such as lowered prices on special bottles meant to pair perfectly with your meal. The chain's Scottsdale, Ariz., location has even won a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence every year since 2006.
Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse
This mid-size chain, with locations across Massachusetts, as well as Virginia, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Texas, has featured on our lists before. Marrying steakhouse style and chops with Italian cuisine, Davio's expansive menu has something for pretty much everyone, including a raw bar with seafood towers, Italian pasta specialties, and deep selection of aged USDA Prime steaks. To pair with its top-quality fare, the chain has a diverse by-the-glass program that leans Italian, with additional selections from Argentina, France, California, and New Zealand. Start with a dry riesling or sauvignon blanc with your raw bar order, then switch to a Super Tuscan or reserve cab with your hearty steak. If a bottle is more your thing, Davio's has an award-winning program with a nice variety of options around the $50 to $60 range.
Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House and Del Frisco's Grille
Whether you step into Del Frisco's super high-end Double Eagle Steakhouse, or the more casually elegant Grille, you're guaranteed a dependable, accessible wine list with a few unique choices that might surprise you. Many of this chain's restaurants have won awards from Wine Spectator, and not just in big city locations. Both often offer a bottle-of-the-month special, where a wine that pairs well with steak will be poured at a discount, such as a red blend from Paso Robles, Calif.
Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar
With "wine bar" in its name, you'd expect this California-founded chain to step it up with a great wine list, and you'd be right. While the restaurant has a nice selection of all your favorites from California's Napa Valley, the "Wines of Interest" section is where you'll find a curated list of unique bottles, like Mollydocker from Australia, a seriously fun, juicy red.
Fogo de Chao
One of the most popular steakhouses in America, with annual sales upwards of $200 million, this Brazilian-influenced bastion of beef is a major crowd-pleaser. It's also one of the spots where we'd steer you away from a French or California bottle, and toward a stronger, spicier wine from Chile or Argentina that won't be overpowered by the churrasco-style steak. Menus vary by location, but you won't be disappointed by the wine dinners this chain offers regularly—keep an eye on its website and social media to get more details.
Morton's, The Steakhouse
This chain has over 50 locations around the U.S. and chances are you've got one in your area, or the nearest city. You know exactly what you're getting at Morton's: the classic steakhouse experience, big portions of aged meats, and a dependable wine list. While the list varies by location, you'll find plenty of American cabernets and Italian wines including Barolos, Super Tuscans, and even pinot noirs. Prices run from reasonable (under $60) all the way up to major splurge territory.