An Australian Cabernet Merlot is Good with Beef Pot Roast

We revisited pot roast with garlic and wine from Supercook, a recipe that we had not cooked for a long time. Pancetta is fried off and discarded and the top rump of beef is then browned. Onions, garlic and carrots are then added and tomato purée, bouquet garni and red wine are poured over the beef. It is then casseroled in the oven.

After cooking, the liquid is strained and the sauce is thickened with a beurre manié. Tomatoes are then stirred in. Finally the meat is sliced and green olives are scattered over. The sauce is served over and the remainder is put in a sauce boat to accompany. We served the meal with little roastie potatoes and garlic bread.2016-04-01 19.06.41

We thought a Cabernet/Merlot blend would be a good pairing and opened a bottle of Pitchfork, Margaret River Cabernet Merlot 2012, a full-bodied Australian red from the Wine Society.

We detected vanilla on the nose followed by creamy, smooth, chocolaty black fruits on the palate, with a slight spiciness. A good match with the beef.

South African Red Ideal with Pork Chops with Mustard Sauce

We cooked an old favourite from Supercook and had forgotten how delicious this recipe is.  It’s called pork chops with mustard sauce.

The pork chops are seasoned with salt, pepper and paprika and served with a sauce made from shallots, garlic, mushrooms, French mustard and double cream.

We served with sauté potatoes and green beans with melted garlic butter.

We paired this superb meal with a bottle of Arabella Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, a full-bodied red from Naked Wines.2016-01-05 17.50.02

We detected black fruits on the nose and flavours of sweet chocolate, blackcurrants, and plums, with an intensely savoury, smooth, slightly spicy finish. We even detected coffee notes.  This lovely wine was an excellent match with the pork.

Spanish or Australian Red with Slow-Cooked Lamb Korma?

On a cold rainy January day there is nothing better than something cooked in our crockpot and Lamb Korma from the Slow Cook Book was ideal.

Cubed lamb is fried with onions, ginger, garlic and a spice mixture of dried red chillies, cardamon, cinnamon, cloves, black peppercorns, cumin, mace and paprika.  The lamb is then slow-cooked with yoghurt and a little salt.  Double cream is stirred through towards the end of cooking.  The korma is then garnished with coriander and served with pilau rice.  We mopped up the sauce with naan bread.  Delicious.

We opened a bottle of The Hundred Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2011, a full-bodied Australian red from the Sunday Times Wine Club.  There was an initial sweetness, followed by intense blackcurrant fruits and a smooth, spicy finish. The wine was a good match with the korma, but we have enjoyed better pairings with this wine, such as this one.2016-01-01 17.31.00

However, we managed to improve on the pairing with the leftovers.  We opened a bottle of Campo Viejo Rioja Gran Reserva 2009, a medium-bodied Spanish red from Costco.  This wine is a blend of Tempranillo, Graciano and Mazuelo.

We loved its sweet, creamy smooth vanilla red fruits, with a lovely savouriness on the finish.  A very good match with the korma.

Two Reds Not Enhanced by Autumn Game Casserole

We fancied trying Autumn game casserole from the Slow Cook Book.  Mixed game meat such as pheasant, venison and rabbit are slow cooked with onion, carrot, parsnip, fennel and mushrooms in cider and chicken stock.  We garnished with chopped parsley and served with mashed potato.

We weren’t sure what to expect and what would be a good wine pairing.  Whilst there were pleasant savoury and sweet flavours in the casserole, our next using game will involve a red wine sauce.

We sampled two reds with the dish.  The first was The Hundred Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2011, a favourite of ours from the Sunday Times Wine Club.IMG_2187.JPG

This full bodied Australian red delivered a slight sweetness, black fruits and a smooth finish, but its flavours were not enhanced by the pairing. See here and here for some better pairings for this wine.

The next wine was a bottle of Castillo de Viñas Crianza, Rioja 2012, a medium-bodied Spanish red from the Wine Society made from 90% IMG_2188-0.jpgTempranillo and 10% Graciano.

We detected red fruits on the nose, with flavours of strawberries and a creamy vanilla finish.  A marginally better match, but not great.

 

Which Chilean Red with Beef Tacos?

For a midweek meal we had Old El Paso’s Taco kit.  Taco shells are loaded with minced beef cooked with a spice mix containing seasoning, paprika and cumin. The tacos are topped with salsa, tomatoes, grated Cheddar, sour cream, guacamole and crisp lettuce.

With so many flavours, finding a good wine pairing is a challenge.  Research online suggested a variety of options including Tempranillo, Shiraz and South American reds.

We decided on a bottle of Corte Ignacio Concha y Toro Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, a full-bodied Chilean red from the Wine Society.  A couple of mouthfuls indicated this was not a good match, so we set the wine aside. 

 We turned to a bottle of La Moneda Merlot Reserva 2014, another full-bodied Chilean red, this time from Asda.

We detected red fruits on the nose, dark plum flavours and a spicy finish.  Whilst the wine was a good match with the tacos, we will try to improve on the pairing next time. 

 

A Super Tuscan Red is Very Good with Beef Stroganoff

We have rarely been able to achieve a really good wine pairing with Beef Strogonoff.  See herehere and here for previous pairings.  Some have reported success with Super Tuscan reds, so we decided to try one with the perfect beef stroganoff recipe from the Drift Bar in London.  We found this on ShortList.com

We used strips of rump steak instead of fillet, coated them in paprika and cooked them in a sauce made from shallots, chestnut mushrooms, sour cream, double cream, Dijon mustard, gherkins, lemon juice, seasoning and a parsley garnish. We served with sautéed potatoes and a green salad. 2015-08-30 18.08.06

Our Super Tuscan was a bottle of Selvascura Strozzi Toscana, 2010 a full-bodied Italian red from the Sunday Times Wine Club.  The wine is a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and a previous superb pairing with this wine can be found here.

We detected spicy black fruits on the nose.  There was an initial black cherry sweetness on the palate followed by blackberry, vanilla and chocolate.  The finish was smooth and slightly spicy.2015-08-30 18.12.04

The wine was a very good match with the Stroganoff and probably the best we have achieved so far.

A Southern French Red is Excellent with Delia’s Pork Chops with Mushrooms & Crème fraîche

In the tasting notes that came with Domaine de l’Arjolle Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, the Wine Society suggested it would make a perfect pairing with Delia’s Pork Chops Baked with Wild Mushrooms and Crème fraîche, a recipe we have tried before.

Pork chops are fried in butter and cooked with dried porcini mushrooms, Crème fraîche, fresh thyme, open-cap mushrooms, lemon juice, flour and salt and pepper.  We served with grilled courgettes and croquette potatoes.

The medium-bodied Southern French red blend displayed red fruits on the nose, vanilla sweetness, red berries and cherries with a nice acidity on the finish.  We agree with the Wine Society that the wine is an excellent match with Delia’s pork chop recipe.2015-07-08 19.43.14

See here for a previous pairing with this wine.

A Californian Red Blend is Good with Barbecued Jerk Pork

2015-06-11 18.04.04We visited Jamaica a few months ago and brought back with us some Island Spice Jerk Pork rub. The rub contains corn starch, crushed pepper, Jamaican pimento, garlic, onion, breadcrumbs, black pepper, salt, sugar, cumin and Jamaican scotch bonnet pepper.

We coated some pork chops in the rub, grilled them on the barbecue and served them with a mixed green salad.

We thought the pork was reasonably tasty, but didn’t think it was especially hot as indicated on the packet.

We paired the food with a bottle of Fetzer Crimson 2010, a medium-bodied Californian red blend from Tesco made from Zinfandel, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Durif and Petit Verdot.  An enjoyable, easy drinking wine that delivered mixed red and black fruits, with a warm spiciness.  It was a good match with the pork.

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.