A Rhône Red Better Than a Portugese Heavyweight with Steak with Stilton

We tried the Fillet Steak with Port & Stilton Sauce recipe from the Waitrose website.  However, we substituted rump steak and Madeira instead of Port.  We thought a fairly strong flavoured red would go with the dish and chose a bottle of Quinta Espirito Santo 2008 from Sunday Times Wine Club.  They describe this Portugese red  as rich, dark and thoroughly satisfying.  Website reviewers’ descriptions range from chocolaty, velvety, raisiny, with port overtones.  Somebody even mentions morechino cherries.  We thought this full-bodied 15% red was up to the job and we expected the cherry-like, almost Italian edge to cope with the Stilton.  Alas, we were disappointed because the combination did nothing for the wine and we put it aside for drinking later with some Manchego cheese, with which it went well.  We ended up opening a bottle of Plan de Dieu Côtes du Rhône Villages Red 2009 from Costco and enjoyed this with the steak much better.  This medium to full-bodied Grenache blend has berry fruit, with spicy, herby flavours and it is not the first time a Côtes du Rhône red has stepped in and saved the day.  They are very versatile food wines.

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