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 Chilean Malbec is Very Good with Barbecued Rump Steaks

2015-04-22 17.53.20 HDRWe decided to cook some steak on our barbecue and chose Rump Steaks with Mustard and Brandy Sauce from Supercook.

The steaks are rubbed all over with crushed garlic and French mustard, then grilled and a brandy, cream and paprika sauce is poured over them.  We served the steaks with chunky oven chips, grilled portobello mushrooms and roasted tomatoes.

Like many we enjoy a Malbec with steak. While these are usually Argentinian, we enjoyed a Chilean one – Acaballo Malbec 2011 from the Sunday Times Wine Club.

We tasted mainly red fruits, vanilla sweetness and a smooth, chocolaty creamy finish.  A very good match with the steak.

A Chianti Classico Riserva is Good with Pan-Fried Steaks in a Cream and Brandy Sauce

Welfordian Steaks are rump steaks pan-fried in a mushroom, cream and brandy sauce.  A very good recipe from Supercook.  We served the steaks with chips and asparagus.

This lovely meal deserved to be paired with a decent bottle of wine, so we opened a bottle of Canonica a Cerreto Chianti Classico Riserva 2008 from the Sunday Times Wine Club. They describe this oak-aged Sangiovese with a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot as a top of the range Super Tuscan.

We tasted smooth red fruits, especially cherries, with spiciness and a tinge of liquorice.  We thought the wine was a good match with the steak.IMG_0571

A Selection of Powerful Reds Worked with Steak Diane

Our daughter Hannah and her husband came round for a meal and we enjoyed Hannah’s version of Steak Diane (a modified Internet recipe, I think).  It contained dijon mustard, lemon juice, fresh parsley, fresh chives and brandy, but she forgot the Worcester sauce.  It was still good though.  They brought with them a couple of bottles of red wine to accompany the meal. We also provided some wine.  We decided to open three bottles and taste each wine with the meal to see which one went best. They were Giesta Dao 2009, The Full Fifteen 2010 and Gran Tarapaca Syrah Reservado 2007.  All were from the Sunday Times Wine Club.

The Giesta is a Portuguese red and is a blend of Tinta Roriz (aka Tempranillo), Jaen and Touriga Nacional.  The wine was powerful, smooth with red fruit flavours and a good match with the steak.

The second bottle was Andrew McPherson’s Full Fifteen, an Australian Cabernet/Merlot blend that as its name implies is 15% alcohol. Full flavoured and rich, we tasted ripe black fruits.  Incredibly easy to drink and a firm favourite both with my wife and daughter. It also complemented the steak.

Finally, we opened the Gran Tarapaca Syrah Reservado 2007 from Chile.  We have tried this previously, both times with Greek food – Lamb Kleftiko (see 28th May 2011) and Beef Stifado (24th August 2010). On this occasion the wine had matured further. Very deep complex red fruit herb and spice flavours. The bottle says there are cinnamon, tobacco and chocolate notes.  Our son-in-law thought there were mince pies and medicinal tones. I detected hints of burnt rubber and liquorice.  Definitely different from the previous tastings of this wine and a huge contrast with the Dao and the Full Fifteen.  My verdict overall was that the Dao was the most enjoyable match, but the girls preferred the Australian red.

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.

A Spicy Aussie Red – A Great Match with Barbecued Steak

The excellent April weather provided another opportunity for a barbecue.   We cooked some lovely rump steak with crushed peppercorns and paired it with one of our favourite barbecue wines – The Black Stump Durif Shiraz 2009 from Sunday Times Wine Club.  They describe it as black, brambly Durif given a spicy, blueberry edge by dark chocolate Shiraz and sweet oak.   Sunday Times recommend it with char-grilled steak and we completely agree.   The richness of the Durif and the spiciness of the Shiraz blended well with the meaty and spicy peppercorn flavours of the steak.