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Feb 26, 2012 04:02 PM

Wine with Beef Stew

Would appreciate your thoughts on a great wine with beef stew. I make the 2008 Gourmet December 2008 version with carrots and potatoes. Would love something that would enhance a really nice stew.

Thanks in advance...

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  1. If the stew isn't noticeably spicey, sweet, or bitter, Beef stew goes with tons of red wines.

    So some details about what price range you'd like, how much access you have to wines, (e.g. wine you can find at the local grocery store or you have access to tons of specialty importers), wines you have liked in the past appreciated.

    8 Replies
    1. re: goldangl95

      I would say the stew is not spicey, sweet or bitter. It is made with wine and has a rich, beefy taste. I have several wine stores near by with fairly broad selections. I don't make this dish often so I haven't tried a range of wine with it. I like wine in general...but best when the wine/food combination really sings. My price range is up to $40 a bottle.

      1. re: Tripper

        "It is made with wine and has a rich, beefy taste."

        You could drink the same wine which you used on your stew. That's always a failsafe choice for pairing.

        1. re: Chinon00

          I would but I generally don't use a $20 or $30 bottle of wine to cook with when the recipe calls for a full bottle. I was hoping to do a bit better.

          1. re: Tripper

            Well you could use a nice wine that uses the same grape varietal and is close to the same style of wine that you used in the stew.

            1. re: Chinon00

              Agree. If you used merlot (or insert other varietal) in the stew drink a nicer merlot.

            2. re: Tripper

              I don't either, Tripper. Beaujolais Villages or Cotes du Rhone (hopefully less than $12 a bottle) is what I usually use in beef stew.

              Unless it's Beef Barolo, and then I use a unclassified Nebbiolo from the Langhe (usually runs $16-18, but a LOT less than Barolo!).

              1. re: Tripper

                An inexpensive ______________ to cook with; a higher quality _____________ to drink.

            3. re: Tripper

              Some suggestions (from a beginner in this). Also if the wine store is good they'll have some suggestions:

              If the stew is on the lighter/acidic side (lots of tomato/vinegars) - Stick to higher acid Red Wines: Pinot Noir/Burgandies, Chianti. Avoid in general Amarone, Zinfandel - Deep plummy wines with strong flavors that will clash with a mild stew (some Zins have enough acid but it's a hard thing).

              If the stew has very strong spicy/fruity notes (or even strong onion/garlic taste): Avoid delicate Pinot Noirs (French)- many can get overwhelmed. More New World (CA/Oregon) Pinot Noirs may still work. Chianti still works. Maybe a Sicilian Red from Mt. Etna?

          2. Lots and lots of reds would go well with this, but it does depend on the stew. Not sure what "Gourmet December 2008 version" is but if, for example, it is similar to boeuff bourguignon made with Pinot Noir (my favourite beef stew), then pinot should work well (unless there are any strong tastes not normally associated with boeuff bourguignon).

            I think a good Burgundy works far better than Oregon / Sonoma / NZ / other new world. Gamay works as well with Boeuff Bourguignon, as does some spicy Rhone Syrah. Does red wine form part of your stew recipe?

            As a general recommendation, I would quite enjoy most types of European style (i.e., as opposed to, for example, Asian, using Asian spices) beef stew with a Languedoc red (often a blend a rhone varieties) or a Spanish Grenache / Garnacha. Perhaps a spicy Syrah like with the Boeuff Bourguignon (Rhone, or Washington State if you prefer new world (Dunham cellars would be my recommendation), though I think Rhone Syrah works better). Or a rhone blend from the southern rhone.

            It all comes down to individual preference though - there are so many possible matches. Just make sure the sauce does not contain ingredients that would completely overpower your chosen wine, if you go for something like a Burgundy pinot noir.

            Given the endless possibilities, it would be helpful to know what sort of wines you particularly like or dislike. I guess a lot of people might pair Californian Cab or Merlot etc with beef stew. I personally would not as the above European wines to my mind are the far superior food wines, but that's just personal taste.

            1. How very topical. Not that recipe, but somewhat similar, and I am enjoying a Page Springs 2010 Petite Sirah, Shell Creek Vineyard with it. gong to move to a Zin, and will report.


              1 Reply
              1. If it absolutely has to be wine, then most any Cotes-du-Rhone. Otherwise, my first choice is Paulaner Salvator.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Brad Ballinger

                  It is a wine drinking yes. But thanks...I plan to do this again with a couple of friends who like that is a great suggestion.

                    1. re: jpc8015

                      This is a wine forum. Just a reminder.;)

                    1. re: Charles Yu

                      Sad to report not only did I fail to make the stew with a 1990 Chateau Lafite won't be served tonight with it either :) I did have several bottles of Cotes du Rhone in the basement that I had forgotten. Both are 2007...Domaine Clavel and Domaine du Trapadis. I have enough of each that if one is not good we can just drink the other. Wish me luck...

                      1. re: Tripper

                        assuming they haven't been skunked and/or aren't corked, either of those will be fine.

                        Cotes du Rhone is a remarkably safe and versatile wine -- it goes well with lots of dishes, most people like it, and it's generally affordable.

                        It can be drunk by itself as just a pleasant glass of wine, or paired with a long list of foods.

                        It's not a one-size-fits-all -- but it's earned its place as my house wine as a one-size-fits-a-heckuva-lot.

                        1. re: sunshine842

                          I agree. Pinot Noir has become my default wine simply because of its versatility. My father-in-law, however, would argue that you can serve anything with a 2005 Bordeaux.

                          1. re: G8ornurse

                            Just to be clear, I don't believe they grow Pinot in Cotes du Rhone? I agree that Pinot is versatile with most european cuisine.

                            I wouldn't say that Cotes Du Rhone is as friendly as Pinot due to variations in blends, and the lower acidity, darker fruit (though Jordan Mackay just did write on the versatility of Syrah as a contrast pairing).

                            1. re: goldangl95

                              No, you're right - Pinot Noir is grown in Burgundy, while Cotes du Rhone is a blend of any of over a dozen other cepages. (I believe the Provencale climate is too warm, and the sandy/chalky soil not rich enough for Pinot Noir, but I would stand corrected in a heartbeat)

                              All I will say about the "friendliness" of CdR is that it is the house red in most Parisian cafes, smaller restaurants, and bistros. Not all, of course, but a huge number of them.

                              1. re: goldangl95

                                And you're both right! Pinot is probably more versatile than CdR (and Beaujolais may be more versatile than either of those), BUT Bourgogne Rouge almost always costs more than unclassified CdR, and since CDR is so tasty, it more often "gets the call" (or at least, that's what I think).

                                I wish I could afford BR for my house wine, but it's just not so.

                                and for Tripper...... you must be very wealthy to even consider making beef stew with Lafite Rothschild. to me that's not even a funny joke. And I don't know any serious cook or winie who would think of doing that. For one thing, Bordeaux is mostly too tannic to be good wine to cook with, even if Lafite weren't so gol-darn expensive.