Because black pepper has its own tannins, it is sometimes considered a “wine killer.” Many times, when the tannins of the pepper hit the tannins in wine, the entire flavor becomes what we call “short in the mouth.” This means that flavors come to a halt and the taste becomes very astringent. The feeling is almost like being thirsty. Black pepper can often do this when paired with wine because it immediately brings the alcohol in the wine to the front instead of highlighting the subtle, soft flavors. The steak au poivre recipe in this segment was a particular challenge because not only is the meat rubbed with lots of black pepper, we also poured a black pepper sauce over the steak. Aldo found a Bordeaux to pair with the recipe which is interesting because this particular Bordeaux is Cabernet based which has lots of tannins. Watch this webisode of Perfect Pairings to understand why this works so well.