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Bill Spohn

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Need a Wine Recommendation

by Bill Spohn » Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:25 pm

As the winter comes upon us, our thoughts at Schloss Spohn (the name refers to the state of the inhabitants, not a German castle) are turning to winter fare - stews, braises, and such.

We have stocked up on beef and will be starting in Belgium with a beef carbonnade (or carbonnade a la Flamande as the Flemish apparently get credit for the dish). It is beef and onions braised in Belgian beer and while I did pick up a suitable dark Belgian beer for the dish, I am not a beer drinker, and so to my question.

What wine would you pair with this dish? My thoughts so far are going to rustic medium to heavy weight reds. I have a couple of them sitting on the counter so I can ponder them as I pass by - a 2000 Vinícola del Priorat Priorat Ònix Evolució, and a 2017 Halos de Jupiter Cotes du Rhone. Also thought about a 2014 Bila-Haut Occultum Lapidem and a 2007 Beaucastel Coudoulet.

The runner up will probably get opened next week with the boeuf Bourguignon. Any thoughts. I know, asking for a wine match to a beer based dish is a bit unusual, but I'm sure some will have suggestions.
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Jeff Grossman

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Re: Need a Wine Recommendation

by Jeff Grossman » Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:54 pm

Bill Spohn wrote:What wine would you pair with this dish? My thoughts so far are going to rustic medium to heavy weight reds.

The beer would be best but I understand the sitch.

Your category sounds right.

2000 Vinícola del Priorat Priorat Ònix Evolució

Bleh. Cab Sauv with otherwise indigenous grapes, simmered in French Oak. There isn't a Priorat wine made that I like so there's that.
2017 Halos de Jupiter Cotes du Rhone

Cotes du Rhone sounds good to me.
2014 Bila-Haut Occultum Lapidem

15.5% alcohol! You could use it for lamp oil.
2007 Jaboulet Coudoulet

Jaboulet does not make Coudoulet de Beaucastel. :wink: Anyway, I never think this wine is worth drinking so pfft.

I'm a tough customer.
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Re: Need a Wine Recommendation

by Bill Spohn » Wed Nov 11, 2020 2:10 pm

Pardon for the mind/finger fade on the typo. The 07 CduR from Beaucastel is, like many from that vintage, a ripe wine with fairly big fruit which I why I offered it.

Yes, the Chapoutier is indeed a high alcohol wine but it carries it well.

I gather you are not a big Priorat fan, which puts you in a fairly large group. This one is a lighter version that I thought might work, but all your comments are appreciated. Glad I didn't offer up any of my 1990s Turley Petite Sirahs..... :mrgreen:
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Re: Need a Wine Recommendation

by Jeff Grossman » Wed Nov 11, 2020 2:41 pm

Upon drinking some petite sirah, Steve Edmunds once turned to me and asked, "Is there any reason to give this grape a second look?" :D

Yeah, I am not a fan of big oak or big alky.
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Re: Need a Wine Recommendation

by Bill Spohn » Wed Nov 11, 2020 3:00 pm

How do you stand on Pinotage..... :twisted:
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Re: Need a Wine Recommendation

by Jeff Grossman » Wed Nov 11, 2020 4:23 pm

Had it so rarely that I really don't know.
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Paul Winalski

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Re: Need a Wine Recommendation

by Paul Winalski » Wed Nov 11, 2020 7:23 pm

Bill Spohn wrote:How do you stand on Pinotage.....


With my left foot carefully balanced on the cork.

-Paul W.
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Peter May

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Re: Need a Wine Recommendation

by Peter May » Thu Nov 12, 2020 12:00 pm

Bill Spohn wrote:How do you stand on Pinotage..... :twisted:


Very good suggestion, Bill.

The stews you're cooking would go well with any spicy wine with strong flavours, Pinotage, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Shiraz, Cotes du Rhone, Malbec, Barbera........

Of course, the traditional match for Boeuf Bourguignon is a second bottle of the Burgundy used in the cooking. But such is the cost of Burgundy these days you won't be pouring one in the pot, and since the appellation laws has banned blending with spicy Algerian reds they're a pale shadow of their earlier selves, so nix on wimpy PN!
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Re: Need a Wine Recommendation

by Bill Spohn » Thu Nov 12, 2020 12:40 pm

I ended up having the Halos de Jupiter and it worked fairly well.

We'll be doing a boeuf Bourguignon next week and I will probably opt for a local Pinot, although I have a very presentable Maranges I may use. (not a Burgundian area one sees all that often). Much as the purists advocate the use of a decent Burg in the dish itself, I expect that mine will receive something more along the lines of a Cono Sur Bicicleta PN in the pot.

BTW, just for fun I watched a youtube video of Julia in old age with Jacques Pepin doing a Bourg and then the original B&W episode which I found more entertaining - take a look.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zA2ys8C-lNk
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Re: Need a Wine Recommendation

by Jenise » Thu Nov 12, 2020 3:10 pm

I never saw your original post, but you know what thought occurred to me reading it today? None of your suggestions; rather, ignore the beef and play to the backbone of the beer and sweetness of the overt onion constituency with one of the those Aussie Shirazes you still have laying around (or did, last I knew). Would have been a home run, as I imagine it. My next choice would have been the Coudelet.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Need a Wine Recommendation

by Bill Spohn » Thu Nov 12, 2020 3:26 pm

I wondered if piling sweet (onions) on sweet (shiraz) would be too much, which is why I didn't go in that direction.

I haven't bought any Shiraz that I can recall for about a decade but I'm not running low yet - still have maybe a dozen cases, so I should be looking for meals to have it with, definitely. Nice thing about much of the shiraz I have is that it ages very well and loses the massive whack-in-the-face fruit that I am not fond of with a few years, although they never seem to gain the sort of complexity you find in a French syrah of the same age.

Think I should plan on a series of BBQ events in summer for these wines, health and border restrictions allowing.
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Re: Need a Wine Recommendation

by Jenise » Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:03 pm

I think quite the opposite. It doesn't come out sweet on sweet, not with all the other savory things going on. It makes it integrate.
What would make sweet stand out is having nothing else sweet for it to blend with--symbiosis vs. contrast, if you will. Especially where the food is braised and the wine is aged. Most of the time that is the very root of my wine-pairing philosophy. Like to like.

I had to laugh at you still having maybe a dozen cases. For most of us, it's like a dozen bottles.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Need a Wine Recommendation

by Bill Spohn » Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:14 pm

Jenise wrote:I had to laugh at you still having maybe a dozen cases. For most of us, it's like a dozen bottles.


I'm sure it would be less if you were available this last summer! Still have some old Penfolds 707s, Henschkes etc. BTW, that was 12 cases of shiraz. I have another half dozen cases of other varietals. Clearly I need help from someone with a corkscrew!

FYI everything Oz I have bought since 2006 has been Riesling, Chard, or Pinot Noir. The big reds went 'Parker' after about 2003 with big sweet (and to me blousey) fruit bombs that failed to age gracefully.

PS - tomorrow night, a 1995 Penfolds Bin 389,
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Re: Need a Wine Recommendation

by Jenise » Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:56 pm

I agree with you (mostly) about Shiraz, though I've tasted some decent examples lately. It seems like the boomerang has swung back a little--not that I/we still don't have other preferences. And not that Aussie didn't always have wines that suited our palates, I believe they did--they only exported to us what they thought North American Parker fans wanted.

The only Aussies I've bought have been reisling--yes, me buying reisling! Six whole bottles! (Two different bottlings of Pewsey Vale, including the 1961.)
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Re: Need a Wine Recommendation

by Bill Spohn » Thu Nov 12, 2020 9:01 pm

Keep an eye out for Montalto wines from the Mornington peninsula - some good chards and pinots.
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Re: Need a Wine Recommendation

by Jenise » Thu Nov 12, 2020 9:15 pm

Will do. Get offers for Mornington wines from out of state from time to time, but it's been a long time since I've had any.
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Re: Need a Wine Recommendation

by Bill Spohn » Thu Nov 12, 2020 9:18 pm

Remind me when travel is again possible and I can do a mini tasting to survey a few.
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Re: Need a Wine Recommendation

by Jeff Grossman » Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:57 pm

Bill Spohn wrote:I ended up having the Halos de Jupiter and it worked fairly well.

Good.

We'll be doing a boeuf Bourguignon next week and I will probably opt for a local Pinot, although I have a very presentable Maranges I may use. (not a Burgundian area one sees all that often). Much as the purists advocate the use of a decent Burg in the dish itself, I expect that mine will receive something more along the lines of a Cono Sur Bicicleta PN in the pot.

I use an inexpensive Bordeaux, preferably with a good dollop of cab sauv in the blend. I think the wine has to fight its way through a good deal of fat and beef and onions etc.

BTW, just for fun I watched a youtube video of Julia in old age with Jacques Pepin doing a Bourg and then the original B&W episode which I found more entertaining - take a look.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zA2ys8C-lNk

She is delightful. (The vid is blocked in the US but I've watched her, and Pepin, many times.)

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