French and Spanish Reds Very Good with Lamb Kleftiko

We’ve been watching Rick Stein’s “From Venice to Istanbul” cookery programme and thought we’d try his lamb kleftiko.  However, we modified the recipe by using lamb shanks instead of leg and we cooked it in the slow cooker.

The lamb shanks were put in the slow cooker along with waxy potatoes, red pepper and tomatoes. We poured lemon juice and olive oil over the lamb and added garlic, oregano and water. We added Feta cheese towards the end. Very tasty.

We decided on a bottle of Christian Moueix Bordeaux 2010, a Merlot-based French red from the Wine Society.  We paired a previous bottle of this wine with lamb shanks and enjoyed it.

There was an initial cherry sweetness followed by flavours of blackberries and dark plums, with smooth tannins.  A very good match with the kleftiko.2015-09-25 19.16.33

We enjoyed the leftovers a couple of days later and tried a bottle of Momo Ribero del Duero 2010, a full-bodied Spanish red also from the Wine Society.

This Tempranillo was inky black in the glass with black fruits on the nose.  We tasted vanilla sweetness and black fruits from this powerful and smooth wine.  It was almost as good with the lamb as the Bordeaux.2015-09-27 19.06.10

A Red Bordeaux is Very Good with Slow-Cooked Lamb Shanks

2015-07-05 17.52.32We tried Braemoor slow-cooked lamb shanks in red wine and rosemary gravy from Lidl.  These are cooked sous-vide and we served the lamb shanks with mashed potato and green beans. Very quick to prepare and tasty.

We paired the meal with a bottle of Christian Moueix Bordeaux 2010, a French red from the Wine Society.

This medium-bodied Merlot-based claret had an initial sweetness, followed by mixed berry fruit flavours and smooth tannins.

A very good match with the lamb shanks.

A Spanish Red Preferred to a Red Bordeaux with Ecuadorian Lamb Stew

We cooked Ecuadorian Lamb Stew, a Supercook dish we hadn’t done for a long time.

Cubed lamb is cooked with onion, garlic, tinned tomatoes, red and green peppers, chilli powder, coriander seeds, white wine and fresh coriander leaves.  The stew is served on a bed of saffron rice.

There was a little sweetness to the dish and we fancied a red wine with some sweetness to match. We’d read that Chateau Galès Graves 2011, a red Bordeaux from Lidl had a little sweetness.  I thought it coped reasonably well with the meal but Teresa didn’t think it worked, so we set the wine aside.2015-05-29 18.14.10

We tried a bottle of Campo Viejo Rioja Gran Reserva 2005, a medium-bodied Spanish red from Costco.  We detected spicy red fruits and dark chocolate on the nose, followed by red berry fruits and spicy chocolate on the palate.  The finish was lingering.  A very good match with the lamb.2015-05-29 18.25.17

French and Spanish Reds Both Great with Sauté d’Agneau

We cooked Sauté d’Agneau (Lamb Sauté) from Supercook.2015-05-01 17.40.40

Cubed lamb is casseroled with onions, celery, tomato purée, grated lemon rind, mushrooms, red wine and beef stock.  We served the lamb with Dauphinoise potatoes and mushy peas.

We chose a bottle of Chateau Mont Gueydon 2005, a red Bordeaux from the Sunday Times Wine Club to pair with the meal.  This Cabernet-based blend delivered black fruits on the nose, followed by predominantly blackcurrant flavours, restrained tannins and vanilla sweetness.  The wine was a very good match with the lamb.2015-05-01 17.46.10

To drink with the leftovers we tried another wine from the Sunday Times Wine Club, Venta Real Grand Reserva 2005, a medium-bodied Spanish red made from Tempranillo.  This displayed red fruits on the nose and also on the palate, with a spicy vanilla sweetness.  This wine was also a very good match with the lamb.

A Red Bordeaux Matches Well with French Braised Beef

We cooked an old favourite of ours from Supercook – Estouffade de Boeuf (Braised Beef).

Cubed beef is braised in a sauce containing bacon, onions, carrots, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, red wine, beef stock and bouquet garni.  Mushrooms are added towards the end of the cooking.

We served this tasty dish with mashed potatoes.2014-11-30 18.06.40

We opened a bottle of Chateau Grand Jean Bordeaux 2009, a medium-bodied, Merlot-based French red from the Sunday Times Wine Club.

We tasted red fruits, especially raspberries, but also blackcurrants.  The tannins had softened, but there was still a pleasant spicy bite on the finish.

The wine was a good pairing with the food.

Bordeaux and Aussie Reds Both Perfect with Steak and Kidney Pie

2014-05-24 18.14.02One of our favourite recipes is Supercook’s Steak and Kidney Pie.  A traditional English dish, that we serve with mashed potatoes and green beans.

The recipe contains chuck steak, ox kidney (we could only get lamb’s and pig’s from our butchers though), flour, mixed herbs, onion, beef stock, Worcester sauce and pastry.

Suggested wine pairings include Red Bordeaux and Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon. We opened a bottle of Château Mont-Gueydon 2005, a Cabernet dominant Bordeaux from the Sunday Times Wine Club.

This full-bodied red tasted of blackcurrants with coffee and tobacco notes and restrained tannins.  We thought this delightful wine had some complexity and was a perfect match with the meal.

We had the rest of the pie on another evening and paired it with a bottle of the The Hundred Cabernet Sauvignon Coonawarra Reserve 2011, a full bodied Australian red also from the Sunday Times Wine Club.  We have successfully paired this wine previously with a Steak and Ale Pie and we were also pleased with this match, but thought that the Bordeaux was the better pairing.

Red Bordeaux and Chilean Cabernet Both Good with a Beef Daube

We tried Allegra McEvedy’s Daube of Beef recipe from Economy Gastronomy.  Cubed braising steak is cooked with shallots, bay leaves, lardons, thyme, garlic, red wine, beef stock and a tin of beef consommé.  Unusually for a daube the recipe did not call for marinating the meat beforehand.

We served the daube with mashed potato and curly kale.  Whilst we found the recipe pleasant, we didn’t detect as much depth of flavour as more traditional daubes we have cooked .

We thought a Bordeaux should be a good pairing with the dish and opened a bottle of Chateau Grand Bireau 2008, a medium to full bodied red from the Sunday Times Wine Club. We enjoyed the plum and blackcurrant flavours and smooth tannins of this Merlot-based blend.  A good match with the meal.IMG_0436

The next evening we finished the remainder of the daube, which had been thickened with cornflour and the flavours had also intensified a bit.

This time we chose to pair it with a bottle of Los Gansos Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 Cono Sur, a Chilean red from the Wine Society.

This wine delivered blackcurrants, plums, with some spiciness and smooth vanilla.  Another good match.

A Bordeaux Red is Very Good with a French Beef Daube

It was time to return to an all time favourite recipe, Supercook’s Boeuf en Daube. See here for a previous wine pairing with this lovely stew of beef marinated in red wine and cooked with bacon, mushrooms and the marinade. We served it with jacket potatoes.

We have often found Cabernet/Merlot blends go well with beef cooked in red wine and so we opened a bottle of Waitrose’s Chilean Cabernet/Merlot.  We were not happy with this and set it aside.

We then opened a bottle of Chateau de Camblanc Médoc 2009, a Bordeaux from the Sunday Times Wine Club.  This full-bodied, Merlot dominated red gave cherries on the nose and cherries and black fruits on the palate, with a long, full, slightly spicy finish.  A good IMG_0236.JPG (2)wine and a very good match with the daube.

A Red Bordeaux Not Enhanced by a Provençal Daube

We cooked Provençal Daube of Beef from the Slow Cook Book.  The braising steak is marinated in red wine, zest of orange, garlic, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, parsley, peppercorns and olive oil.  It is then slow cooked with lardons, canned tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, black olives and beef stock.

We opened a bottle of Le Grand Chai Medoc 2005, a full-bodied Bordeaux from the Sunday Times Wine Club .  The wine tasted of black fruits and was slightly peppery and initially we were surprised with it because we felt it lacked structure, complexity and flavour.   Overall it was a bit hit and miss and enjoyment varied from mouthful to mouthful.

From a wine pairing point of view this was a disappointing recipe because the orange zest was overpoweringIMG_0190.JPG (2) and did the wine no favours.

A Classic Pairing of Claret with Traditional Roast Beef

We enjoyed traditional Roast Beef with all the trimmings and decided to pair it with a Bordeaux Red.

We are steadily working through our new acquisitions from The Wine Society and opened a bottle of The Society’s Claret. 

This medium-bodied, non-vintage red is a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, with black fruits to the fore and gentle tannins.  We found it pleasant and easy to drink with the Beef.  Not a wine to drink without food though.