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Red wines to pair with beef
I am beginning to believe there are magical forces at work in the wine world. This is strange as I am a Muggle and not usually one for believing in Harry Potter-esque, strange goings on.
Yet I have observed the following mysterious phenomena.
Firstly, I’ve noticed that it is a bad idea to ‘big up’ a wine before you have opened and tasted it. Don’t say: “I can’t wait to crack open this beauty.” The chances are that the wine will disappoint. It is a curse on the bottle, rather like getting the garden furniture out for ‘summer’ is a curse on the weather.
Also I have become convinced that you should not mention the ‘C’ word. Never say; “We’ve not had a corked wine for a while.” The merest murmur of the word seems to infect nearby bottles.
This happened to me recently with a Bordeaux blanc. I was looking forward to elegance and fruity zest, when all I got was a dull fustiness. I suppose it was my own fault for saying, “corked”.
It was the second Malbec World Day last Tuesday, an emblematic day for the Argentine wine industry. I’ve come up with three examples of Argentinian malbec which will pair best when beef is on the menu. Just don’t mention the corked word, or ‘big up’ the wine before you have tasted it.
With barbecued burgers try Kaiken Malbec 2010, produced by the Argentinian outpost of Chilean outfit Montes Wines. Full and spicy, it has flavours of brambles, black cherry and liquorice with smoky oak notes on the finish.
Organic Argentinian Cleanskin Malbec 2010, is produced for Virgin Wines but the winery is kept a secret.
Whatever, the wine is from the San Juan region of Argentina and although it would work with a juicy steak, I think it would go best with a traditional roast.
Medium bodied, it has the grape’s characteristic purple hue, with plenty of ripe bramble fruit flavours, violets, liquorice, supple tannins and food pairing acidity.
My choice with steak would be Pascual Toso Reserve Malbec 2009, from the Mendoza region. It is structured and packed with long flavours of cherry and raspberry fruit, black pepper, dark chocolate and vanilla.
Kaiken Malbec 2010, £7.99 from Bon Coeur Fine Wines (bcfw.co.uk) 16/20.
Organic Argentinian Cleanskin Malbec 2010, £9.99 from Virgin Wines (virginwines.co.uk) 17/20.
Pascual Toso Reserve Malbec 2009, £12.90 at Field & Fawcett 18/20.