A Spanish Rather Than a Portgugese Red with Italian Beef

We had more of the previous evening’s Italian Beef and decided to switch to a Portugese red – Quinta do Casal Branco Ribatejo 2007 from the Sunday Times Wine Club.  This oaked wine is a blend of local Portugese grapes Alicante and Castelão with Cabernet Sauvignon. Rich, juicy, spicy and full of flavour, but after a couple of sips we knew it wasn’t right for this particular dish.  We set it aside and enjoyed it with some Cheddar and Sant Agur cheeses later.  Instead we opened a bottle of Sierra Almiron 2009, a Spanish red also from Sunday Times.  We last drank this with Spaghetti Bolognese (see 24th August 2011).  This medium-bodied, Tempranillo-based blend from La Mancha was a much better match than the Ribatejo, but not on a par with the Chianti from last night.  The Spanish wine was spicy with redcurrant and cassis flavours and also had a slight woodiness, with enough sharp acidity to cope with the white wine and lemon sauce.  It was much more enjoyable than when we had it with the Bolognese previously.

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