Beaujolais – An Unlikely Success with a Thai Beef Salad

You will not have noticed too many barbecue food and wine pairing blogs here recently.  The great British summer has put paid to that.  However, today it managed a sunny and warm day, so we used our new barbie for the third time!  We had some sirloin steak and saw a Thai Beef Salad recipe in The Great Barbecue Cookbook (Ted Smart) that looked interesting.  The steak is barbecued, sliced then tossed with lemongrass, spring onions, fish sauce, lime juice, chillies and coriander.  With this mixture of flavours, choosing a suitable wine was challenging.  We tried a white first – Stumble Vineyards Chenin Viognier 2009, a South African white from Sunday Times Wine Club.  Chenin Blanc can work well with lime flavours and we’ve had successful pairings in the past with Thai food.  Not this time though.  The steak flavours did the wine no favours.  Our Plan B was a bottle of Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Villages 2008 from Costco.  We have not had much success in finding good pairings for this wine so far, but I had read that Beaujolais is one of the few reds that can cope with Thai food.  It is also recommended by some as a good partner for plain steak.  Anyway, we were both pleasantly surprised.  The Thai Beef Salad brought out some lovely savoury, earthy, fruity flavours in the wine, which also managed to meet the acidity in the sauce.

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