“Red wine with meat…”

THIS week in the Irish Examiner I’m looking at some inspiration for wines to go with the most common ways of preparing red meat. The odd-one-out is of course the white wine which I’d recommend with pork and bacon. 

Beef or lamb stew

Altos d’Oliva Gran Reserva Catalunya 2004 Dunnes, €9

 Tannin gets more subdued over time, making this tempranillo garnacha blend  rich, easy-drinking red a perfect foil for stews. You might also like to try Dunnes’ more snappily crisp Marqués de Chivé Reserva Utiel-Requena DO also at €6.99.

Steak from the pan or grill

Bushland Reserve Shiraz , South Eastern Australia
Aldi, €5.99

Made by Michael Hope (as in Hope Estate) this is one of the best value wines on the Irish market, an enormous fruity red in a beautiful creamy texture. The welcoming scents of baked sweet red fruit follow through on the palate in a spicy, creamy texture.

Roast pork / roast or baked ham

Tesco Finest Ken Forrester Chenin Blanc, Tesco, 10.99

Chenin and other middle-weight whites  go beautifully with pork and bacon. This outstanding example is a lovely middle-weight crisp and slightly spicy. Apart from lavishly sauced-up dishes such as barbecued spare ribs, an enormous range of recipes from roast pork to bacon and cabbage will do best accompanied with a white — such as Semillon and that most appley of wines, Pinot Blanc.

Another great match for pork we hardly ever seem to think of is cider. Think of most recipes for pork, and apples are rarely far away. By the same token, soft moist pork can be set off beautifully by a dry, crisp cider. Cider is particularly good with bacon and cabbage, as the combination of wine and brassicas can lead to an unpleasant metallic clash.

Roast lamb

Bodegas Muriel JME  DO  Independents, e13

Smashing overt tannins and generous bright cherry and berry flavours make this Rioja a fine foil for lamb.

Imported by Classic Drinks, stockists include Cork Barry’s Midleton; Pinecroft, Grange. Mulcahy’s, Charleville; O’Driscoll’s, Ballinlough; Matsons, Bandon; Cahill’s, Ballintemple; Kerry Stacks, Listowel; Waterford Ardkeen Quality Stores; Greater Dublin Magic Carpet D18; Jus De Vine, Portmarnock; Bin No 9, Clonskeagh; Hole In The Wall; Wine Boutique, Ringsend; Cellars, Naas Road; Townhouse Naas; Newtown in Maynooth; Galway Adare beverages Kilkenny The wine centre; Next Door, Thomastown.


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