Food and wine

Good food deserves to be paired with good wine. Hence when I cook for my wife each week, I have to think about the food I will be cooking and pair it with a suitable wine from my collection. In this post, I will talk about a few of the wines we have enjoyed with our meals.Now when I cook, I like to use the Sous vide method to cook meats. Hence I have found that the two dishes my wife enjoys the most and looks forward to each week are – Sous vide Wagyu rib-eye steak and Sous vide duck breasts.

For red-meat dishes, I do like to go for the more powerful wines from Italy or Bordeaux in France. But I also like Australian wines, and wines from the Penfolds stable in particular. I have also found that the intense old-vine Shiraz also goes well with red meat, and there are many estates in Australia with these very old vines -they produce less grapes but with more intense flavours, capable of competing with the meat and not be overpowered.

Selection of red meat (New Zealand lamb chops and Wagyu Rib-eye steak)
Selection of red meat (New Zealand lamb chops and Wagyu Rib-eye steak)

Now the bottle of Penfolds Bin 389 2002 was bought at the Sainsburys supermarket in Kidlington over 10 years ago, at the cost of £12.34 per bottle. Considering that 2002 was an excellent vintage in Australia for wine, this meant that it was a great bargain at that price. This wine has been dubbed Baby Grange, after the marquee wine of the Penfolds stable the Grange, as 70-80% of this wine is aged in barrels which were used for the previous vintage of Grange and Bin 707. And if you consider that the current vintage of this wine retails for £50.00 per bottle, you can understand what great value this represents. It goes well with beef, duck and game.

Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz 2002
Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz 2002

The colour was deep red, there were aromas of oak and plums. Flavours of blackcurrant and chocolate were present. It complemented the meal very well. And the thought of the great value of this wine, which had been aged a further 10 years, made the wine taste even nicer. Who says good wine needs to cost the earth?

Lovely glass of 14 year old Penfolds Bin 389
Lovely glass of 14 year old Penfolds Bin 389

For the Sous vide duck breasts, I do like to choose a Pinot noir. I have predominantly collected New Zealand pinot noir, as they tend to be of a very high quality but reasonably priced. This is also a very versatile wine which goes well with some chinese dishes.

Freshly cooked sous vide duck breast
Freshly cooked sous vide duck breast
The full meal
The full meal

For this meal, I chose the Felton Road Block 3 2005 Pinot Noir. This wine is not as readily available and I had to travel to south of the M25 motorway in order to buy this wine, along with a few of its stable mates; the return journey took about 3 hours, so there was some effort made in order to buy this wine. This wine has been chilling and maturing in my wine fridge for about 8 years now, and it was now time for it to be opened, poured  out and paired with the duck breast.

Felton Road Block 3 Pinot Noir 2005
Felton Road Block 3 Pinot Noir 2005

My wife certainly appreciated the wine and duck breasts, as they just complemented each other perfectly. As usual, there was a strong cherry aroma and flavours with a long smooth finish. My wife was happy and that meant that it was a successful meal.

Great food deserves great wine to go with it, and the pairing is rather important as they can then enhance the meal even further. Hence the choice is crucial for each meal. I cannot profess to be a wine connoisseur, but I do know what I like and enjoy, while my wife seems to be getting very good with describing the aromas and flavours in each wine, as we refer to tasting notes provided for these wines. And all of this does add to the overall experience.

Boon