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Nov 7, 2012 10:57 AM

Interesting food / wine match conundrum [moved from UK board]

Hi guys,

This is my first post but I must confess to being a bit of a lurker over the years!

So here's the conundrum. My best friend and I are meeting up Friday for a food and wine catch up; he is cooking slow cooked beef cheeks with shallots and I am in charge of wine.

He suggested he might cook the beef in a new world Shiraz which I immediately suggested would end up too rich/sweet and so I suggested going as per a Bourguignon and using a decent but inexpensive Burgundy, sound sensible? The difficulty stems from the heavy use of shallots which will be slightly caramelised and will add a lot of sweetness; that said chestnut mushrooms will add earthiness that would go with a burgundy....So do we stick to burgundy or take more account of the shallots and go with something 'bigger'?

In addition there's the question of what to drink with it; stick with a Burgundy or assuming the sauce will cook down to being quite rich and relatively sweet go for a Shiraz or perhaps a Rhone blend?

I'd love to hear your thoughts!


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  1. My first choice would be to suggest something like a Chianti for braising liquid and probably a Super Tuscan or Cab to drink.

    Regardless, slow braised beef cheeks and any wine that pairs well with beef probably will be spectacular. Cab is the traditional favorite pairing with beef, but I'm partial to a Mouvedre or even Tempranillo with steak. A good Argentinian Malbec could also pair well if you enjoy that style of wine. The key will be to pick a dry red wine with enough acid that it can cut through the rich fattiness of the beef cheeks. Whatever you decide I'm sure it will be damn tasty. Please let us know

    1. So I think shallots tend not to go with big, plummy, alcoholic wines wines so I'd say Shiraz is out.

      I think a Burgundy on the younger side would work well. If you want something deeper, a Rhone blend (majority grenache - say CDF or similar) on the younger side would work well too. Also a really good Chianti - with smoother tannins would work well.

      1. I would go for a Burg. I love burgundy with beef. I wouldn't worry about the shallots or "over think" this as it sounds like a simple dish with many components that all pair well with Burgundy.

        1 Reply
        1. re: sedimental

          Thanks guys for all the replies; they suggest what I was thinking which is that there are various possibilities that could work well with the dish. I might turn it into a bit of an experiment (albeit a slightly extravagant one!) and crack open three red's to see which marries best; I have a Chassagn Montrachet that will cover the Burgundy option then a good Rhone blend and maybe a Chianti or a Tempranillo. I'll let you know how it goes!