When it comes to wine and food pairings, Cabernet Sauvignon and flame-cooked steaks are the ultimate partnership. Red wine and well-marbled beef work together thanks to compounds that combine in our mouths when we merge them with, in particular, protein, fat, and tannins. When we talk about serious love matches there’s always an element of chemistry at play and putting steak and Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon together is no exception.

Tannins, which are compounds in wine that are present in grape seeds and skins and oak barrels, offer a drying or astringent quality on the tongue and gums. Steak’s natural levels of fat and protein provide a lubricating or moist feeling in the mouth. When steak and Cabernet get together, the astringent and moist qualities strike a balance and create an enjoyable sensation. Then science kicks in, with molecules in the steak’s fat making the tannins more pliable, producing softer, smoother sensations, while the wine’s tannins mellow out the fat and coax more flavor out of the meat. Ripe Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with bold fruit flavors and a good amount of oak aging is the perfect mate for well-marbled, fire-kissed beef. We’ve rounded up 10 Napa Cabs from a combination of well-known topnotch producers and a few that are under the radar but no less stellar.