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Red wine with Steak

Recommendations? What are your favorite 3 to pair with a good T-bone or Porterhouse? And can you explain why?

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  1. Don't mess with a good Porterhouse. season with salt and pepper, and that's it. Drink Cabernet-based Bordeaux blends whether from France, US, Argentina, Chile. Single favorite remembrance was a Trefethen Library Selection 99 Cabernet with a grllled Porterhouse. Amazing. Also a 79 Chateau Palmer with pan seared Porterhouse. But any Cab with a bit of age and a bunch of guts is going to be delicious.

    50 Replies
    1. re: ChefJune

      Thanks for the recommendations. Are you a "chef" by profession? I'm assuming those cabs can be found at the local LCBO? I live in Markham. So I'll likely have to visit the one in Richmond Hill (Major Mac & Leslie). Or would I have to go to a wine specialty shop? If so can you recommend locations?

      And thanks Brad. Recommendations noted.

      As far as marinating steaks...I've been doing that lately. Just salt and rainbow peppercorn. Used to use steak rubs (e.g. Dizzy Pig).

      1. re: BDD888

        <Are you a "chef" by profession? >

        I have been. Right now I teach, write and consult to the food and wine industry. And I lead food and wine focused tours.

        1. re: ChefJune

          Nice to have a "chef" among us.

          Can you tell me where I might still find those two bordeaux you recommended? Don't think they are available at the local LCBO or Vintage online. There must be some good wine specialty shops around the city (hopefully in Markham or Richmond Hill).

          1. re: BDD888

            I'm not familiar with your area, so I can't help too much. but if you take names of wines you'd like to see available to your local wine shop, they might be able to help. Availability will pretty much be determined by what the distributors in your area carry.

            Of course, you could travel to Bordeaux and visit the wineries and pick up a few bottles.... ;)

            1. re: ChefJune

              I've never been to Bordeaux so maybe.... :)

              1. re: BDD888

                This might be the perfect reason to remedy that! [Grin]

                A good wine merchant will be able to take Chef June's list and match fairly closely with their stock. Hand them the list, and ask for their recs.

                I recommend doing just that, after I recommend Andrea Immer's "Great Wines Made Simple," as it was written some years ago, and producers come and go. Though MS Immer lists about 3 levels of all of the "tasting wines," some will no longer be available, or the winery might well have been sold, and slipped. Still, her list should be easily translated by a good shop.

                Enjoy,

                Hunt

      2. re: ChefJune

        You are so right, ChefJune -.Age and Guts! ....and I'm not just talkin' about the wine :)

        I just did a tasting at home the other night-with 3 beautiful aged wines in half bottles with..... grilled steak.

        I opened these:
        1982 L'Evangile
        1988 Duxoup Charbono
        1982 La Mission Haut Brion

        The 88 Charbono was fabulous at first pour. I believe it is the same grape as the Argentina Bonarda grape. But when grown in CA and aged....wow. What a terrific inky, punchy, smokey wine. Fantastic with steak. A reminder that I have to get more!!! Duxoup is terrific but Robert Foley is good too.

        The 82 Haut Brion took 2 full hours to open up. Was worth the wait though. Can't get much better than that. Smokey, earthy, dark and thick, where you chew both the steak and the wine! This is a very powerful HB.

        In the meantime, the 82 L'Evangile opened up in 30 minutes and best at 60 minutes. Slightly lighter (ruby red, not as dark) than the HB, but spicier...peppery and oak. It kind of tastes "beefy".

        It was fun to have all three open on the table to sip and wait at different times. This is where half bottles are really nice.

        1. re: sedimental

          oooh! LOVE La Mission Haut Brion. too bad it's become so pricy. (not that it was ever "cheap")

          1. re: ChefJune

            I noticed that when I did a search...OUCH!!

            http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/la+...

            Still, when my palette is more developed I'd like to try a bottle.

            1. re: BDD888

              I don't think your palette has much to do with Bordeaux unless you're going to make a painting of the bottle. But your palate does. Homonyms that too often get mixed up! ;)

              1. re: ChefJune

                Unless your talking about Mouton Rothschild Labels...then talking about palettes are fine :D

                1. re: ChefJune

                  Freudian slip. Punishable by going to the corner with a bottle of ChefJune's fave Cab Sauv!! :)

              2. re: ChefJune

                I don't know about that June -- seems to me that I purchased the 1970 and 1971 vintages for $6.95/btl. or so; I think the 1966 was $11.95 . . . of course that was back in 1975, when I could afford it! ;^)

                1. re: zin1953

                  Those days are never to return, sadly. :(

                  1. re: zin1953

                    And I assume that you will be pouring the '70 at the "CH Wino" gathering at your house, right?

                    Back then, I clearly recall telling my wife, "I will NEVER drink US$5 wine with ordinary meals." My, how times change, and how I have to eat my words - BTW what wine goes with "crow?"

                    Hunt

                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                      Just think, the 1989 Petrus released at $16 a bottle and everyone said they were crazy to cost that much.

                      1. re: dinwiddie

                        Actually, that was CHEAP! The 1970 and 1971 were $19.99 . . .

                        1. re: dinwiddie

                          Yeah, I know!

                          Good friend was in medical school in the 60's, and his roommate convinced him to buy Ch. Petrus. With his finances, those US$12 bottles were a stretch. Now, he has about two cases per year up until the late '80s. What a collection. Who knew?

                          Hunt

                        2. re: Bill Hunt

                          $5.00 a bottle wine?? You're kidding right? :) I had a bottle of some cheap ice wine maybe a decade ago. Don't recall the brand. Was probably Canadian. Gave me a crushing headache. From that day on I avoided cheap ice wine. Not sure what it was that gave me the migraine....

                          As for "cost"...I'd consider any bottle over $100.00 "not cheap". There are many "good" wines for $20-30.00 US or CAD.

                          I wonder if there is a "point of diminishing returns" when we're talking about wines. Any kind. Or age. Would a $2000 bottle of "aged" bordeaux be measurably "better" than that $30.00 bottle of 2010? Would it taste so many times better? I think not. Very debatable...

                          1. re: BDD888

                            Quantify your terms . . . for example, are you speaking of, for example, prices at time of purchase, or current market value? how would you quantify "tast(ing) so many times better"?

                            Keep in mind, of course, that you are talking about matters of TASTE, and that is subjective and impossible to objectively quantify. Your theoretical $30 bottle of 2010 vintage _________ may taste great to you, but it may taste like $#!+ to me -- or anywhere in between . . . There are countless numbers of "great" California wines that people constantly rave about that leave me thinking to myself "yuck." It isn't that wines are bad -- they are not! -- but rather, they are not to my taste, and I'd rather drink something else. It doesn't have to be something else *more expensive* -- that isn't what I'm talking about -- but something more to my taste, something that I enjoy drinking . . .

                            When it comes to very expensive wines, the prices have little to do with quality, and much to do with limited quantity, demand, and (quite often) hype. There is also the "collector" factor, which explains why (e.g.) a bottle of 1963 Château Lafite can sell for more than a bottle of 1967 . . .

                            There is very little QPR in expensive wines. That, actually, is NOT very debatable. But price is not what determines a wine's quality. Again, it's YOUR taste buds . . . and they are different than everyone else's.

                            Cheers,
                            Jason

                            1. re: zin1953

                              I agree Jason. It does come down to a matter of personal taste. But, does that mean, if you took a more costly vintage of a particular kind of wine from the same producer would most people would not taste a difference? (e.g. 1983 CL vs 1967). Would commonly agreed upon attributes of what makes a "great bottle of wine" be more apparent? Would a group of 10 tasters not agree? Or do you (et al) think that because there are differences in our taste palates that some might find the less costly version "better" (or rather more suited for their own particular palates)?

                              1. re: BDD888

                                Those are really good questions. I do alot of vertical tastings because I have collected for investment as well as enjoyment. Meaning wine futures (cases) from high end or classic producers in France and CA. Many times, the price of a particular vintage is hyped (increasing prices)- then can disappoint later, therefore price will certainly not equal taste. Or, more often, the vintage year will be terrific and it will be able to "out age" the other years, making the wine more valuable. Right now, I have cases of 1982's still sitting in their original wood cases because they have many years left to age. I can wait until the market is where I want -before selling them (or drinking them). Others, like the 1984's were never very good in general and are now waaaay past selling. I drank most of them years ago but I have some to keep for certain verticals that another collector might want.

                                These things make the price of wine just as much as taste. IMO a great vintage year, from a great producer, drank at the right point in time when it has reached it's full greatness- is what makes one wine "better" than another. That is where 10 tasters that personally like that type of wine- would agree, that is where most would say it is a "great bottle".

                                The reality is- if someone does not like classic Bordeaux, then Lafite will not be to their liking either. Maybe a cheap rose is preferable. It is not a matter of "palate" refinement but rather taste. I only like IPA style beer, not Guinness - it's not about refinement, it is about taste preference.

                                1. re: sedimental

                                  Ok thanks for your reply. Let's just say it comes down to personal taste. All things considered.

                                  "agreed upon attributes"? What to you makes a good wine? Those would be the "attributes". :)

                                  Next topic....

                                  1. re: BDD888

                                    All nice attributes of a good Bordeaux would not be the same as for a Chardonnay. Kind of like dog breeds- you might appreciate your chihuahua to be content to sit in your lap all day, but you might not want that from your Great Dane. You could love them both.

                                    I bet most wine lovers think of "balance" as a fine attribute of any wine. You shouldn't make a face after taking the first sip of any wine...like due to sourness, astringency, bitterness, smokiness, oakiness, etc. The first sip should cause you to smile and think about it. That is what I think of as an agreed upon attribute :)

                                    I really enjoy aged wines and my palate is very much geared toward them at this point. I easily pick up on the secondary characteristics of an aged wine and appreciate them. But, I also like the "in your face" primary characteristic of a new, well made, California Cab too. Both can have balance but in a different way.

                                    I have never understood "wine snobs" that only like certain wines that fall into a tight parameter of taste....kind of like saying you are a dog lover -but only like poodles.

                                    1. re: sedimental

                                      >>>"I have never understood "wine snobs" that only like certain wines that fall into a tight parameter of taste....kind of like saying you are a dog lover -but only like poodles."<<<
                                      I've actually met very few people (probably less than 10 in the last 40+ years) that would fall into a category like that, and they were definitely "sine snobs," rather than people who were "into wine." Mostly, they turn their nose up at the wine before the bottle is even opened for them -- the label doesn't meet with their approval.

                                      To these, I would add those people who (in a sense) don't care WHAT they buy, as long as it received a 90 (grade inflation: 94) rating from Parker.

                                      Cheers,
                                      Jason

                                      1. re: zin1953

                                        Agreed. The label doesn't meet with their approval - or the price is not enough!

                                        I meet MANY of them- when I auction wines myself. They are out there - and Parkers rating means everything to them. Even if I know a wine was better 2 years ago, I list according to Parker score- and they buy it at the premium price.

                                        1. re: sedimental

                                          Well put. As a novice I'm feel I'm learning a better way to approach wines.

                                          I used to be surrounded by posers. People who drink certain wines (along with other kind of liquor) just to appear sophisticated acting like wine snobs. Just as there are many smokers who do so out of habit in an attempt to give themselves a "look". Sad. :)

                                          Just taste. Sample. Discover what appeals to our own palates.

                                          Making sure the wine has a rating of at least 90 is a good starting point. That's what I've been doing being as I'm not familiar with wines yet.

                                          1. re: BDD888

                                            BDD888, you need to know this: wine scores are BULLSHIT.

                                            I don't want to derail this thread, but I'd hate to see anyone pay extra $ for crap wine because an idiot like James Suckling likes some syrupy, internationalized merlot from Tuscany.

                                            1. re: Ricardo Malocchio

                                              Then how does one pick a "good wine" from among thousands? Just by sampling? Trial and error? Recommendations from friends who's taste palate we trust? :)

                                              1. re: BDD888

                                                There is nothing better than a relationship with a great wine shop where there's a staff that's knowledgeable about the wines they sell, as well as the ones you prefer. Be aware of the schedules for (usually free) tastings at these shops, and attend frequently (in Boston, many are conveniently scheduled for just after work!).

                                                Second to that... cellartracker. Sorta like the Chowhound (or, yikes, Yelp) of wine. Yes, many folks provide point scores, but you also get tasting notes providing a broader range of views about a particular wine, usually tasted from bottle and in a setting much more like the one in which you'll be drinking (like, er, dinner!). Since the reviews are dated, you can also follow the progression of a wine to know whether it's a good time to pop a bottle. Yes, some posters are more akin to your less-knowledgeable Yelpers, but you can click on their profile to gauge their knowledge and whether their palate is aligned with your own.

                                                That said, there are some wine critics I like. I subscribe to Allen Meadow's Burghound. I like John Gilman very much, but don't subscribe to his letter (he provides great info over at wine berserkers, the best wine forum I've found). And I admit to liking Galloni. But none of these resources provide me with nearly as much good advice as Dan or Ken at Gordon's Wines and Liquors, Len at State Street, Felicia (Flea) at Dave's Fresh Pasta, or all the good folks at the Wine Bottega. Likewise, they're not as helpful as the discussions at wineberserkers.com or the tasting notes on Cellartracker.

                                                Consider this one teeny-tiny reason why wine scoring is suspect (there are many others): as a wine critic, how best to get your name out there to the wine buying public? When a wine retailer website uses your scores to sell wine or when stores put out shelf talkers emblazoned with your score. How do you get websites and stores to shill wine using your scores? Score the wines highly, higher than the rest, and yours will be the scores they use most prominently!

                                                BTW, this might be a good opportunity to share Berry Crawford's (a wineberserker poster among other things) "Spiritual Stages of the True Wine Geek":

                                                Stage 1 "Genesis" - Have an epiphany wine that makes you want to get more serious about wine

                                                Stage 2 "Confusion" - Realize that there are so many bewildering choices that its difficult to decide what to buy

                                                Stage 3 "Discipleship" - Start following the ratings of a respected wine critic as a guide to what to buy

                                                Stage 4 "Cognitive Dissonance" - Do your best to tell yourself that you are actually enjoying all the highly rated wines you are drinking

                                                Stage 5 "Awakening" - Realize that taste in wine is subjective and you need to determine for yourself what you like

                                                Stage 6 "Rage" - What the f*ck am I going to do with all this wine I bought that i don't actually like?

                                                Stage 7 "Dinner Parties" - Unload the wine on friends at non-wine-geek dinner parties. They will likely be impressed as the wines are highly rated.

                                                Stage 8 "The Quest" - Taste, taste and taste some more to see what regions, producers and vintages you like

                                                Stage 9 "Enlightenment" - OMFG! Burgundy!

                                                Stage 10 "Dark Night of the Soul" - OMFG these things are expensive!

                                                Stage 11 "Inner Peace" - German Riesling! And cheap too!

                                    2. re: BDD888

                                      >>> " . . . does that mean, if you took a more costly vintage of a particular kind of wine from the same producer would most people would not taste a difference? (e.g. 1983 CL vs 1967)." <<<
                                      Never said that. I think they would notice a significant different. The 1967, which I haven't had in years, is probably dead and gone.

                                      >>>" Would commonly agreed upon attributes of what makes a 'great bottle of wine' be more apparent?"<<<
                                      I hate to answer a question with a question, but what ARE the "agreed upon attributes" of a great wine?

                                      >>>"Would a group of 10 tasters not agree?"<<<
                                      I think that depends upon the specific tasters, their experience in tasting, and the specific wine(s) being tasted.

                                      >>>"Or do you (et al) think that because there are differences in our taste palates that some might find the less costly version "better" (or rather more suited for their own particular palates)?"<<<
                                      I am absolutely convinced that, in a blind tasting with wines of similar type (e.g.: all California Cabernet, all Bordeaux, all Australian Chardonnay, etc.), ranging in price from x to y, multiple wines would have "first place" (favorite) votes, an -- conversely -- several wines would receive votes for worst/last place. Indeed, I am also convinced that, in most cases, they would be the same wines (i.e.: Wine A would receive BOTH 1st and last-place votes).

                                      Cheers,
                                      Jason

                                      1. re: zin1953

                                        >>>>>Indeed, I am also convinced that, in most cases, they would be the same wines (i.e.: Wine A would receive BOTH 1st and last-place votes).<<<<

                                        I laughed at that! So true. I can't tell you the times I have poured very special vintage bottles of wine for (non wino) friends and they have said "ummm, this is okay, but it doesn't really taste like wine...you know, like grapes".....

                                        The DRC is put away and the Columbia Crest comes out!

                                        1. re: sedimental

                                          Sedimental,

                                          What ever you do, do not let Aunt Marge near the DRC's, as she'll mix them with Coke, and enjoy the mixture, however many headaches that causes you.

                                          Just did Passover, and hid the "good stuff," from "the masses." They loved the "house wines," and did not miss the better wines. MOF, they probably enjoyed their wines better... ?

                                          Hunt

                                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                                            Well, I forget that not everyone loves aged wine. It is not because they don't have a "refined palate" either- it is often just about taste. I grew up with aged wines and prefer them. Collecting is a must if you love aged wines (unless your name is Bill Gates). When I offer to pour for non wino friends, they are often more intrigued to be drinking an outrageously expensive bottle -rather than because they like it. I only do that once. I just don't realize it until the bottle is open, then it is too late.

                                            Likewise, the young wines that others think are really good- takes me a bit of perseverance to calibrate my palate to- and enjoy it. The difference is that it is no real loss if I don't like a glass of a 50 dollar bottle of wine. If they don't like the glass of a 2000 bottle of wine- it feels like a loss (to me) although I never paid that much for it. It is a loss of value in some form. I always think "damn, I should have sold it"!

                                            1. re: sedimental

                                              Sedimental,

                                              Oh, I could not agree more. My wife, who has a very well-developed palate, likes most of her wines younger. Whether Bordeaux, Riesling, Port, or even white Burgs, she prefers them fresh. While I have no problems with such, I would rather have some age on those wines. "Different strokes... "

                                              At the end of the day, it is about personal preferences.

                                              Hunt

                                              1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                I for one love my German Rieling young!
                                                Complexity and Petro related sensation is one thing but as a wine, I prefer the 'pure floral' characteristics of a young Riesling than the Petro dominated older ones.

                                                1. re: Charles Yu

                                                  Charles,

                                                  You and my young wife would get along. I lean towards older Rieslings, and she just scratches her head... [Grin]

                                                  Hunt

                                        2. re: zin1953

                                          Now, my wine event tasting experience pales to yours, BUT, I have seen exactly what you describe too often.

                                          Often, and in the end, it is the wine that gets fewer Last Place votes (not most First Place votes), that will win. Some of the winners actually are in the middle, but the judging rules out many of the wines that I have found to be "top performers." Still, enough of those do not appeal to the majority of tasters, so score less.

                                          Hunt

                                          PS - when following a critic, the exact critic, and how their palate rates with the buyer, is all important. That critic X says, "100 pts. and buy it now!" is not good for me, unless I generally agree with critic X.

                                      2. re: zin1953

                                        Jason,

                                        I am lucky in that I do not really "collect" my wines, but buy them, because I like (or liked) them. I never factor in any possible appreciation, as I hope to drink 'em all, before I pass on to that great vineyard in the sky, or wherever it is.

                                        OTOH, "value" is very often assigned to many wines, based on other aspects. That is not wrong, nor is it bad. It is just not what I do.

                                        Hunt

                                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                                          Agreed . . . I have NEVER "collected" wines. Every bottle in my cellar I bought to drink, and I've never sold a bottle from my cellar, either.

                                          1. re: zin1953

                                            I will make you a deal. If I die before you do, you get all but a very few "promised bottles," and then you reciprocate for me... [Grin] Think that I might make out better than you, but am not sure. If I do not get to drinking a bit more, you'd get about 6K bottles.

                                            Of course, though an old dude, I seem to be in good health, so who knows?

                                            Also, I will leave you my Perlis white linen suit and favorite Panama hat, for you to wear at Galatoire's on your next visit.

                                            Hunt

                                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                                              A scholar and a gentleman, sir . . . . ;^)

                                              1. re: zin1953

                                                Considering my age, I think that you will be the winner, but OH, so worthy a winner!

                                                Hunt

                                                PS - we still need to meet up in NOLA. I'll pick up the bill, but you will have to pick the wines.

                                                1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                  You're on! I think our next trips there will be late October 2011 and April 2012. If we could meet, that would be great!

                                                  1. re: zin1953

                                                    Hm-m, might be able to get close. We have a wedding in NOLA, and will soon have all the details. If not, 2012 is fairly free, with the exception of London in April & Oct, and then the monthly trip to SF.

                                                    Let's see what we can do. In NOLA, I'm dragging you to Stella! again, and X'ing my fingers that they match our meals, and not yours...

                                                    Hunt

                                      3. re: BDD888

                                        Well, those prices were from the late '60s, so do not apply nowadays.

                                        As far as "diminishing returns," I think that it would depend on the buyer's bank account, and on their palate. It's like esoteric audiophile equipment - when does the lack of distortion exceed the BfthB (Bang for the Buck)?

                                        Friend just spent US$25K on a pair of speakers to go with his US$60K amps. His system DOES sound great, BUT... !

                                        Hunt

                              2. re: ChefJune

                                I agree with ChefJune, any good cab with a bit of age should be great with the steak. And a great Bordeaux is always a treat, steak or no steak.

                                On the other hand, I also like a big Malbec with steak. A couple you might want to look for that should be available and aren't too expensive are Achaval-Ferrer Malbec Mendoza and Bodega Catena Zapata Malbec Mendoza.

                              3. California Cabernet, SuperTuscan, Australian Shiraz. Mainly because all have bold flavors, and a fair amount of tannin to deal with the grilled meat.

                                1. Grilled steak, eh?

                                  For me, Cab Sauvignons, Cab Francs, Syrahs/Shiraz, Merlots (must be a good one), many leaner Zinfandels, Nebbiolas and Tempranillos are good pairings. It all depends on my mood.

                                  The reason that I like these is pretty much per Brad's reasons - the tannins offset the fat in the grilled beef.

                                  Depending on the cooking method (I use fire for most steaks), the smoky notes can play a role too.

                                  In the end, it is all about what you like. There are no rules here. It is all about pleasure.

                                  Hunt

                                  27 Replies
                                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                                    Bill, you have me craving a thick charcoaled rib eye and a Duckhorn Merlot...

                                    1. re: Veggo

                                      Actually, a lightly marinated filet, done to perfection on the Lynx with a Biale Zinfandel. It's a bit bigger than I would normally go with here, but the filet can hold up to it - at least I hope so... [Grin]

                                      Hunt

                                    2. re: Bill Hunt

                                      Was just curious to know what "experienced" wine drinkers preferred with their steaks.

                                      I'm presently living in a condo so I'm pan frying. In about a year I'm planning to move into a town home and buy a Primo ceramic charcoal BBQ. :) Can't wait. Have been using propane for roughly 15 plus years.

                                      Experimenting is part of the enjoyment as I'm sure you'll all agree. I don't know what I truly like (e.g. which Cab Sauv, Bordeaux...etc.).

                                      Speaking of Bordeaux any specific good recommendations that would be found at the LCBO? If at a specialty shop please point me in the right direction (hope it's not downtown...live in Markham).

                                      1. re: BDD888

                                        I don't think too many of us active on the wine boards are Canadian, so we may not be able to help you much with the LCBO.

                                        I suggest nebbiolo, but I suggest nebbiolo for everything. ;) Great acid, present taninns, powerful yet balanced, complex...what's not to like (other than the price tag, sometimes)? Ask the dude at the LCBO to point you in the direction of a reasonable Barolo, Barbaresco or Gattinara.

                                        1. re: invinotheresverde

                                          Thanks. Will look into those recommendations. Never looked into Nebbiolo based wines. Will give them a try. The LCBO carries several varieties of each type.

                                        2. re: BDD888

                                          As stated, I am in AZ, USA, which has distribution problems all its own, and do not know Canada at all.

                                          I could reel off a bunch of Bdx. recs., and at several price-points, but then none might be readily available. If one is just starting out with Bdx., I'd suggest starting with some of the "petite chateaux," and "Cru Bourgeois" offerings, especially as the wines will be young. In general, they should be a bit lighter too.

                                          I do not do much pan-fried steak, so do not have any specific recs. there. I always use fire, so there will be a different flavor profile, and likely a different wine. Your steak is likely to be more pure beef, with unadulterated flavors, like the smoke and char, so the wine will not have to compete with those aspects. However, you will not have those flavors, so the wine cannot really play off of them. Again, here I would go with a lighter Bdx.. Do not hesitate to pour (or decant) it early, as it will most likely be younger, and can usually benefit from more oxygenation.

                                          Enjoy,

                                          Hunt

                                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                                            Since I have no place to grill, I've developed this method for cooking steaks, as we don't like to "do without."

                                            Season both sides of favorite steak with salt (kosher) and plenty of coarse cracked black pepper.

                                            Get your skillet SCREAMING hot... and sear on both sides for 2-4 minutes, depending on thickness and preferred doneness.

                                            Move the sexy-seared steak to a 400 degree oven, and cook for about 5 mins (this is to warm the inside. I like mine med-rare, but you can skip this if you prefer blue-er). I like to do this part on a rack, over a dish of some kind. This will help prevent juices from pouring out because your steak sat flat on something for too long.
                                            Remove from oven, tent, and rest for at least 5 mins.

                                            Meanwhile, toss diced mushrooms and chopped shallots into pan with "fond" (yummy brown bits left in pan from steak). Cook for a few minutes on the same high heat. Then add chopped garlic, and toss. Remove from heat, pour in some brandy, and ignite. When flames die, add a healthy knob of unsalted butter. This goes GREAT over your now well rested steak.

                                            And it's VERSATILE! Brandy could be red wine. Garlic could be rosemary. Butter could be cream! The only constant MUST be the yummy brown fond left in the pan.

                                            1. re: ChefJune

                                              Thanks for the idea ChefJune. Will try the frying pan searing then oven method. Did see that on YouTube. But as for tossing in some Brandy or red wine ...I'll have to pass as I am living in a condo with overly sensitive smoke detectors. :) Planning to sell next summer and buy a town home. Will have a deck or backyard so I'll finally be able to BBQ properly with a Primo ceramic smoker. Along with a propane BBQ for convenience.

                                              1. re: BDD888

                                                It's not the brandy flambe that'll be a problem for your detector -- it's the smoke from the screaming hot searing of the steak!

                                                I do this all the time in my, erm, cozy Boston apt - and it makes a great steak - but I have to open all the windows first.

                                                1. re: Ricardo Malocchio

                                                  Pan frying...I always have my exhaust fan running for a while first. There is smoke when I lift the lid. Usually not a problem if I had the fans going. It's when there is caked on grease (or cheese...etc.) on aluminum foil for instance in the oven that's been smoking that I trigger my alarms.

                                                  Any how I look forward to the day I'm in my new town home next year with my new Primo BBQ. With maybe a nice bottle of my fav bordeaux. Or maybe a Malbec...etc.

                                                  1. re: BDD888

                                                    Lid? I wouldn't recommend the lid! Direct DRY heat at a very high temp is ideal. A lid will hold in just enough steam/moisture to make the steak tougher than it should be.

                                                    Although I rarely "finish" a steak in the oven, when I do I'm sure to leave the door cracked to let moisture escape.

                                                    1. re: Ricardo Malocchio

                                                      Never thought of that. Just wanted to avoid the spatter of oil and minimize the possibility of setting off my smoke detectors (even with my exhaust fans on). :) Could leave the lid on with a partial opening. As you would when using a BBQ. Charcoal or propane.

                                                      1. re: BDD888

                                                        I have a big silicone round splatter guard (with holes in it) that works really well for pan frying. I got it at a kitchen store. Works well -and cleans easier than the old style mesh screen ones.

                                                        1. re: sedimental

                                                          I have to get one of these. Currently, I place the steak on the grill-pan ... and then retreat toute suite!

                                                          1. re: sedimental

                                                            Can you take a photo of it? Would the oil not come through the holes?

                                                            What time do we come over RM? :)

                                                            1. re: BDD888

                                                              I am not good at photo's here. Just google "silicone splatter guard". The little bits of grease that make it through the holes- doesn't get to your stove top- it just lands on top of the screen.

                                                              1. re: sedimental

                                                                Ok. Never mind then. :) I ain't getting one any how. Will just not fully cover the pan with the lid so that the steak can "breathe" when cooking.

                                                                1. re: sedimental

                                                                  You're talking about one of these right? Might get one after all. :)

                                                                  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002...

                                                                  Wasn't sure if you were referring to one of those 3 sided screens. Didn't even know those silicon splatter guard "lids" existed.

                                                                  1. re: BDD888

                                                                    Yes, that's it, but mine has a long handle on it. Comes in handy for frying lots of things and not making a mess.

                                                                2. re: BDD888

                                                                  Sorry I missed your post BDD888 - we certainly would've loved the company! ;-)

                                                                  My wife brought home a really nice variety of foraged mushrooms that turned out great. Especially with the Barberesco.The Italian truffled cheese ("sottonicere" or perhaps an accurate spelling of the same?) was also just perfect with the wine.

                                                                  1. re: Ricardo Malocchio

                                                                    There's always next week. So don't be surprised if we all suddenly drop by one day. :) Don't think I've had Italian 'truffled cheese"...chocolate truffles yes...

                                                                      1. re: Ricardo Malocchio

                                                                        Thanks for the link Ricardo. Will look for it when I find the time. Worth trying once at least... One cheese I cannot stand is Blue Cheese. UCCCK!!! A friend of mine from Amsterdam recommended Old Amsterdam brand of Gouda...found a local importer/retailer. :) LOVE Gouda!!

                                                      2. re: BDD888

                                                        heheheh I open the kitchen window and turn on the ac fan , even in winter to prevent the smoke alarm from activating.

                                                        1. re: ChefJune

                                                          BTW, I happen to be cooking this very meal tonight!

                                                          And I've had a 2006 Produttori Barberesco decanting for aeration since 7am this morning. Ought to be just about drinkable by tonight! Perhaps not as ideal as Bordeaux, but I'm adding some truffled wild mushrooms and polenta to try to make it more Piemontesey!

                                                            1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                              Yes, even after 12 hours it was, as they say, a tannic beast! More licorice and tar on the nose than I remember, but some wonderful cherry and floral elements, too. This is gonna be a good'un.

                                              2. mmmmmmmmmm got some nice big sips of one of my favorite "steak wines," Silver Oak (Alexander Valley) Cab, last evening at the W&S Top 50 Tasting. Made my mouth water, for sure.

                                                1. Had a Canadian Angus Prime Striploin, cooked rare with a cast iron pan yesterday. Paired with a 1990 Antinori Solaia ( Cab/Sangiovese ). Yummmmm!

                                                   
                                                   
                                                  31 Replies
                                                  1. re: Charles Yu

                                                    Thanks for the recommendations and photos. Mean man! Making our mouths water!! :) Will look for that bottle at the LCBO. Did you have that steak at a steakhouse?

                                                    1. re: BDD888

                                                      Hello BDD888! Since you too resides in the Richmond Hill area, it makes thing easier for us to communicate!
                                                      I bought the wine through the LCBO Classic catalogue a few years back. Doubt you can find the same vintage anywhere in Toronto now. May be their October auction?! However, younger vintage of the same wine or 'similar Super Tuscan' may be availble in LCBO's Summerhill or Bayview village stores?
                                                      As for the steak, I bought it at Pusateri. However, I found cheaper and more marbled ones at McEwan today!
                                                      Enjoy!!!

                                                      1. re: Charles Yu

                                                        Charles,

                                                        That is great. Too many of us do not live in Canada, so recs. that we might offer, could well be of little, or no use to the OP.

                                                        Thanks for dropping by,

                                                        Hunt

                                                        1. re: Charles Yu

                                                          I would be checking the LCBO on Major Mac & Leslie. You don't live in Bayview Hill do you? :) Or the "Vintage" online store. The Vintage online store has the 2007 Vintage. Might try it anyway...http://www.vintages.com/lcbo-ear/vint... ...drink it when it matures. Not cheap though at around $250 CAD a bottle. :

                                                          )

                                                          Haven't been back to Bayview Village in years. DId you buy the steak at the BV location of Pusateri's? I will Google "McEwan".

                                                          1. re: BDD888

                                                            Hello BDD888! Wow! Sleeping late?!
                                                            Actually I do live in Bayview Hill! How did you guess?! Do you too??!! In fact, another chowhounder SkylineR33 also lives down the road from me! Small world! Once in a while, we get together for a 'mini-chowmeet'. May be you and your spouse would like to join us?!
                                                            Yes, I did buy the steak from Pusateri's Bayview Village location. However, from where I live, Bruno's in the Village gate plaza is fine enough for me. Pretty good quality and choice! Sometimes, their 'specials' are indeed a bargain! They just had a USDA prime special last week! Missed that though!
                                                            I used to bring back some wines from the States years ago. However, nowadays, with LCBO's new releases, Classic catalogus , Futures...etc. The choices are more than ample. Furthermore, one can only consume so much!!
                                                            Once again, Nice making your acquaintance!!

                                                            1. re: BDD888

                                                              Here are my recommendation, they are of different styles (super tuscan vs st. emilion) so you might want to buy both and do a little experimenting.

                                                              TENUTA MORAIA PIETRACUPA BOLGHERI 2007
                                                              VINTAGES 211458 | 750 mL bottle

                                                              CHÂTEAU VIEUX POURRET 2005
                                                              VINTAGES 199117 | 750 mL bottle

                                                              both are available in the Hwy 7/McCowan store

                                                              If you're having problems to select a wine in the future, grab yourself a vintage magazine (available free from LCBO, or view at www.vintages.com). Lots of new releases biweekly, skip the scores/ratings, go straight to the tasting notes and you'll learn fast.

                                                              1. re: Blackham

                                                                Thanks for the recommendations Blackham. Will do that. Best way to find out what I truly like. Part of the fun of enjoying wines. :)

                                                                Charles, we should meet some time. I used to live in Bayview Hill too. Great neighbourhood. I'm single. No "ball & chain" yet. :) Is there a way I can send you a PM? Most other forums allow members to send emails to each other.

                                                                1. re: BDD888

                                                                  You'll find my e-mail address posted in my profile

                                                            2. re: Charles Yu

                                                              Have you tried buying wine from the US and bringing it back? I've asked some US shops if the ship across the border. None do. One said it was "taxes" and another the law. Does any one know anything about this?

                                                              I'm probably going to be living in Los Angeles for several months while my new home is being built (when I buy it). Can buy most of the recommendations mentioned here t hen. Wonder if I can bring them back when I return.

                                                              1. re: BDD888

                                                                There is a HUGE difference between bringing wine across international (or state) borders YOURSELF for personal consumption, and having it shipped.

                                                                1) ALWAYS illegal to ship alcoholic beverages via the US Mail anywhere -- regardless of destination.

                                                                2) Shipments across international borders are ALWAYS subject to national customs duties and excise taxes, and in some cases state/provincial taxes as well.

                                                                3) IF you are actually living in LA for a period of time (i.e.: establish residency in the US), and then move back to Canada, you have the right to bring back household goods. Check with the relevant Canadian and Provincial authorities to find out the exemptions, tax rates, etc.

                                                                1. re: zin1953

                                                                  Hi zin,

                                                                  Thanks for commenting. I'm about to sell my condo unit within the next few months. Live in LA while my town home is being built. Roughly 8-9 months I'm guessing. So I won't be establishing residency. Do you (or any one else...Canadians) know if I would have any troubles bringing back 2-3 bottles...on the plane (maybe suitcase). :)

                                                                  Update: Just Googled and found out I can bring back 1.5 liters or 1500ml of wine without paying duty/taxes. Or 2 750ml bottles of wine. Typical size. After that if I bring back more I am able...just need to pay duty/taxes. :)

                                                                  http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/media/fact...

                                                                  By this Fall some time I should be in LA. And will be able to sample your recommendations (available only in the US). Might consider a short trip to Napa Valley.

                                                                  1. re: BDD888

                                                                    2-3 bottles are not worth bothering about, so Canadian Customs and Excise should leave you alone. I thought you were talking about 2-3 CASES . . . .

                                                                    Make sure, however, you check with Provincial authorities as well, as some provinces have tighter restrictions than others.

                                                                    1. re: zin1953

                                                                      CASES!!?? :) I'm not that enthusiastic. :) But according to what I read there really isn't a limit. It's just that if you plan to bring back more than 2 750ml bottles you're going to have to pay duty/taxes. Could always play dumb if they do have problems with you bringing back 10 cases. :)

                                                                      Will be interesting during my time in LA tasting. Seeing which 2 bottles will be the 2 I bring back. :) Or 3, or 4....

                                                                      1. re: BDD888

                                                                        "CASES!!?? :) I'm not that enthusiastic. :"

                                                                        Well, not yet!

                                                                        Hunt

                                                                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                          HEH!! We'll see after my roughly 8-9 month stay in LA. :) After 8-9 months of tasting. Will I change my tune? Hmmm...

                                                                        2. re: BDD888

                                                                          Spend your 'house' money on a few cases of Grace, Harlan and Screaming Eagle and you might get a better return than the real estate investment?! Ha!

                                                                          1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                            They're that expensive?? :) Are they Bordeaux?

                                                                            1. re: BDD888

                                                                              California 'Cult' wine! Screaming Eagle can be more expensive than Petrus or Romanee Conti!!

                                                                              1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                                California "Cult" wine? Will look into it though. Curious.

                                                                                Emailed you btw...

                                                                                Seems Romanee Conti is the most expensive of the 3 you mentioned. CRAZY!! Perhaps when I win the lottery will I try a bottle. Or some one here could send me a bottle for Xmas!! :)

                                                                                http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/rom...

                                                                                1. re: BDD888

                                                                                  California cult wines = bigger ripoff than Bordeaux.

                                                                                  At least Bordeaux is ageable. Calis are a total crapshoot, and likely merely fade rather than transform. Screagle... geez. Just get an $18 Educated Guess cab.

                                                                                  Are you in Stage 3, BDD888? You're gonna regret that point- chasing!

                                                                                  1. re: Ricardo Malocchio

                                                                                    >>> You're gonna regret that point- chasing! <<<

                                                                                    Amen!

                                                                                    1. re: Ricardo Malocchio

                                                                                      What is a "cult wine"??

                                                                                      Stage 3?? And I'll regret what point?? :) As for choices of Bordeaux....I've since found many. Watched the video introducing Bordeaux wines by LCBO Discovery. Informative for nubies like me and maybe more experienced winos. :)

                                                                                      1. re: BDD888

                                                                                        "Cult wine" = a wine you have to be brain-washed to believe tastes good.

                                                                                        This is not the traditional definition. The traditional definition is "debut vintage made by former Silicon Valley entrepreneur-gazillionaire from raisined grapes destemmed and over-extracted in a cold maceration fermentation utilizing industrial yeast no. 496, rotofermented to bring alcohol levels down from 18 to 16%, re-acidified with powdered tartaric, then punished with a regimen of extremely toasted new oak before bottling in a veritable glass homage to the winemaker's penis. 100 points. $400/btl."

                                                                                        "Stage 3" is from Berry Crawfords' "Spiritual Stages of the True Wine Geek" that I posted back on the 16th. Sorry for being unduly cryptic!

                                                                                          1. re: Ricardo Malocchio

                                                                                            Ricardo, this easily makes my Top 10 list of Chowhound posts. Nice balance of acid and astringency and a definite lack or barnyard odor.

                                                                                      2. re: BDD888

                                                                                        Yeah, I keep holding out for a big Powerball ticket, for the '47 Petris.or Cheval Blanc. Next, I'll do a vertical and also horizontal of DRC's, just for my posse...

                                                                                        Come on Powerball, daddy needs a few bottles of highly-allocated wines. [Grin]

                                                                                        Hunt

                                                                                      3. re: Charles Yu

                                                                                        <Screaming Eagle can be more expensive than Petrus or Romanee Conti!!>

                                                                                        And not nearly as delicious, imho. I'm singularly unimpressed. AFAIC, all it is is expensive.

                                                                                          1. re: zin1953

                                                                                            Hey, the Screaming Eagle that we had with lunch at The French Laundry was OK, but that was the day that my Citation 30 broke down, so we could not fly back to Los Angeles...

                                                                                            Actually, I've had several vintages, on others' nickesl, and have enjoyed them all, but do feel that I have tasted much better, and especially for the price-point.

                                                                                            Hunt

                                                                              2. re: BDD888

                                                                                I usually pack 1-2 extra bottles and never had a problem (maybe I'm lucky). Be honest w/ the custom officer when asked about the alcohol, and they won't give you too much trouble.