Red wine for braising
Help! I usually use a Guigal Cotes Du Rhone (~$12) for braising, but I'm travelling in the hinterlands where the selection is limited to supermarket California reds. Any suggestions for a substitute that is widely available, but not very tannic or woody? Thanks.
PS- I'm making Patricia Wells' Three Beef Daube from her "...at home in Provence" cookbook.
I'm really not up on CA wines at all these days, but keep in mind that tannicity (if it's not a word it should be) isn't such a big issue when you're braising with meat unless the wine is horribly out of balance. Tannins bind with protein and will not be very noticeable when you're done.
A pinot noir will work nicely but the daube will taste rather different than it would with a CdR.
I don't know if they're as ubiquitous out there as they are here in the NE, but I think I would go with an Aussie shiraz or cab-shiraz blend if you're looking for something that will at least be in the ballpark of what you're used to using the CdR. As an added bonus, none of the cheap Aussie wines are great but I don't think I've ever had one I didn't find at least pleasant. I can't say the same for inexpensive West Coast pinot noirs.
Another one to keep an eye out for is Goats Do Roam from South Africa. Cute/silly name aside, it's broadly similar in profile to CdRs and reliably tasty. Around here at least it goes for around $7 at a discount and lists for something like $10 IIRC.