Picpoul de Pinet and Steak Tartare Redemption #Winophiles

Picpoul de Pinet

Picpoul de Pinet – aka “Lip Stinger” from the Languedoc region in the south of France

Winophiles Sample the “Lip-Stinger” of the Languedoc
Picpoul is a white wine grape best known for crisp, refreshing high acidity white wine. Picpoul de Pinet is the best known region for producing the wine, and it’s located very close to the Mediterranean sea in the Languedoc-Roussillon region in Southwest France. Perfect for sipping by the seaside on a hot summer day!

Find Picpoul de Pinet close to the Mediterranean Sea at #7 on the map. Map courtesy of: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vignobles_midi-fr.svg

The Picpoul-de-Pinet wine producers have a very nice website. full of good information on the grape, the area, and the growers. Perfect for the region, the wine pairs very well with seafood of all types, and excels as an oyster wine.

DIY steak tartare

Having learned my lesson, steak tartare #2 was a success

Getting Back up on the Steak Tartare Horse
On our previous French Winophiles get-together, I had a humbling first experience with my do-it-yourself steak tartare. With some research, I found I wasn’t alone. Here’s an article on some other DIY failures, good for a laugh! Determined to soldier on, I found some good advice and reflected on my own first misadventure. Here are a couple of hints I applied to this go around:

  • Use high quality meat from a butcher you trust. It’s expensive, but you don’t need a lot, I used tenderloin.
  • Don’t use the food processor. Cut the meat by hand. It’s easy and surprisingly quick. There’s a link below in the recipe section.
  • The additions flavor the dish, but exercise care. Not too much, and not too many. Again, high quality ingredients are key.
  • You can mix in the egg yolk, but it looks so classy and dangerous on top…..
Domaine Condamine L'Eveque "La Dent" Picpoul de Pinet

Domaine Condamine L’Eveque “La Dent” Picpoul de Pinet

Domaine Condamine L’Eveque “La Dent” Picpoul de Pinet AOP 2015 ($13 at France 44)

I found this nice description of the winery on the K&L Wines website:

“It’s rare to find estate-bottled wines in Picpoul de Pinet, so we are fortunate to have this direct relationship with one of the greats in the region. Made by Guilhem Bascou, whose father, Guy (and founder of the estate) was the president of the Picpoul de Pinet appellation. Both father and son work side by side, while mother Marie-Claude manages the office. The family’s 15 acres of Picpoul are planted just west of the Thun Lagoon near the Mediterranean, and the coastal influence is palpable in this licksmackingly refreshing wine. It’s a natural companion to seafood, but does equally well with rich cheese and charcuterie.”

Eye: Clear, pale lemon
Nose: Clean, medium- intensity, aromatic white flowers, lemons
Mouth: Dry, medium intensity flavor with high acidity buffered by a nice texture to soften the tart edge. Refreshing lemons, white flowers, and a reminder of sitting by the sea.  Not salty, just a hint of that salt air.

Picpoul de Pinet and Steak Tartare

Crisp, clean white wine is perfect for steak tartare

Wine Pairing with Steak Tartare
Surprisingly, steak tartare pairs with a crisp white wine (rosé too) even better than a red. The richness comes from the meat, but the flavors are more from the additions. Classic accompaniments are frites, salad and cornichons. My conclusion is that the “steak” flavor from steak is a product of the meat itself plus the cooking technique. Searing, roasting, braising all bring out different aspects of the meat. Raw? Think white and rosé!

Embossed bottle of Picpoul de Pinet

Picpoul wines almost always sport an embossed bottle. I love ’em!

Winophiles Dream of Summer Days in the Languedoc
There’s no shortage of great Picpoul ideas this month, check them out. If you see this in time, please join us on Saturday morning, April 21 at 10am CDT for a chat on twitter at the hashtag #winophiles

Steak Tartare Redemption

Steak Tartare is one of those deceptively simple dishes. It relies on fresh, high quality ingredients.

I prepped our tenderloin by placing it in the freezer until it was very firm but not quite frozen. Once it’s firm, cut it like fine dicing a carrot.  Here’s a video to see some of the techniques for preparation. The recipe below can be multiplied for the number of people you are serving. Leftovers are a no-no for steak tartare!


  • 8 oz. beef tenderloin (generous for two)
  • 2-4 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tsp finely chopped capers
  • 4 tsp finely chopped shallots
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh chives
  • 2 egg yolks (optional but delicious)
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Serve with:

  • Lemon slices
  • cornichon
  • baguette toasts (thin slices)
  • Green salad
  • Sweet potato fries (we make oven fries)


  • Start by prepping all the additions while your beef is firming up in the freezer.
  • Squeeze the lemons, finely chop the capers, shallots and chives
  • Separate the egg yolks, keep the yolks separate to place on the individual servings
  • Make and refrigerate the salad
  • Toast thinly sliced baguettes
  • When all the ingredients are ready and the fries are in the oven, start the tartare prep
  • Take the tenderloin from the freezer, and finely dice it (pretend it’s a carrot).  I like to get the beef to about 1/8″ dice.
  • Mix 2-4 tsp of lemon juice into the tenderloin. Start with 2 tsp, add more juice if needed, just to dampen the beef.
  • Mix in the capers, shallots and chives
  • Carefully mound the beef on each plate with a depression in the center
  • Carefully place the egg yolk in the center of the mound.
  • Plate and eat!

DIY Steak Tartare at www.foodwineclick.com

21 Responses to “Picpoul de Pinet and Steak Tartare Redemption #Winophiles”
  1. Amber says:

    I’m so going to make this for my hubby when we get back to the US. It’s one of his favorites! I like how you paired the dish with the wine.. I bet the combo was delicious! Cheers

    • It was a good learning experience. Raw meat flavor is more about the added flavorings (capers, etc…), so a white wine was perfect. I’d love to hear how yours turns out!

  2. I thought 3rd time was the charm…nailed it second time around! Way to go Jeff. It looks great and sounds like a good pairing. Cheers.

  3. That’s a wine pairing I would never have thought of! Tempted to give it a try, though.

  4. Gorgeous photo – the “dangerous” egg yolk on top is the best! I also like that you chose to pair the dish with a white wine; I bet it was delicious.

    • Thanks Lauren. If the meat is raw, the flavor is mostly savory and rich but lacks the usual flavors from searing, etc… I definitely think white is a better choice (rosé, too).

  5. I am inspired! I love steak tartare and have it all to rarely. I do agree with the Swirling Dervish the “dangerous” egg is the best!

  6. Payal says:

    LOVE the photo of summery wine in the snowy setting! +1 for the steak tartare redemption vote! Looking forward to next month in the Bordeaux.

  7. Nicole Ruiz Hudson says:

    I’m so glad it worked out better this time around! I still need to give it a try!

  8. wendyklik says:

    How interesting that steak tartare should be paired with a white wine. I never would have guessed that. Great redemption post!!

  9. Ahhh, spring in Minnesota. A crisp white Picpoul with snow in the background and fresh steak tartare looks good, minus the snow. I never thought about raw beef pairing well with white wine, makes sense.

  10. Since the weather is finally getting warmer, the Picpoul sounds like it’s next on my shopping list! Thanks, Jeff!

  11. one of these days I’m going to give this a try… PS I would ever have guessed a white like this but now I know!

  12. Cooking Chat says:

    Looks like you have learned well from your troubles last time! Interesting about steak tartare pairing well with a white like Picpoul, wouldn’t have guessed that!

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] Jeff of FoodWineClick! pairs Picpoul de Pinet and Steak Tartare Redemption. […]

  2. […] Jeff of FoodWineClick! pairs Picpoul de Pinet and Steak Tartare Redemption. […]

  3. […] after researching Languedoc Wines, a region we have virtually visited a number of times( 2019, 2018, 2015). This time, however, we will focus on wineries who are working to leave a smaller chemical […]

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