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The Grape Debate

Posted: Feb 06 2012

The Grape Debate

A flavourful cut of beef is nothing without its red-hued companion. Two experts talk meat and wine pairings, giving their top picks from vineyards around the world.



Spain – Marques de Riscal, Reserva, Rioja, 2006 (LL54,000)
This is a classical wine of the Rioja, made primarily from the Tempranillo grape variety. With spicy and balsamic aromas mixed  notes of dark berries and a hint of toasted oak, it has smooth tannins that are a perfect match for your meat.  

Chile – Casa Lapostolle, Carménère, 2009 (LL35,000)
Carménère originated in France but is now a varietal emblematic of Chile, where it found its best expression. This wine has notes of rosemary and red pepper with chocolate and tobacco aromas. It has a medium body structure with pleasant acidity and juicy fresh fruit at the finish. It’s a wine to discover.

France – Capbern Gasqueton, Saint Estephe, Cru Bourgeois, 2007 (LL44,000)
This wine falls in the classical style of wines from the St Estephe area. Medium bodied, it will surprise you with its
complexity. With red fruit notes mixed with toasted aromas and a hint of wood, its mouth is smooth and well balanced with an elegant finish.

Lebanon – Ixsir, Grande Réserve, 2008 (LL23,750)
This new wine is one of the best expressions of the Lebanese terroir. Rich in minerals and saturated with Mediterranean character, it unleashes bright aromas of mature fruits and spices. Enrobed in a fine texture, its concentrated taste gives it an attractive liveliness while its rich and mellow – but always complex – palate lasts until the final touch of fruit.



France – Michel Lynch, Bordeaux, 2008 (LL33,000)
This is the standard blend by which all others are measured. It’s great with grilled meat because it’s not too soft or too rough, not full but not light, and dry without being too dry. It’s a pleasant pairing for a lot of meat dishes, but serving it with an exotic food full of complex flavors would be a disaster. You wouldn’t be respecting the wine.

Italy – Angelo Gaja Estates, Sito Moresco, 2008 (LL90,000)
Angelo Gaja put Italian wine back on the map. Many were undrinkable – they were junk. Mr. Gaja reduced production and made better wines. In some vintages he didn’t produce a single bottle because it wasn’t worthy of his name. This is a welcoming option, fun with Italian meat dishes because of the complexity and aromas.

Australia – Banrock Station Red, 2009 (LL27,000)
Shiraz is the most planted variety in Australia, and there are many kinds of Shiraz because the country is huge. This one is medium to full-bodied, soft and has a screw cap so you know it will never be corked. It’s upfront and in your face. You need wine with character to stand up to a good meal. Simply open it, drink it, enjoy it!

Argentina – Domain Lurton, Malbec, 2009 (LL45,000)
Malbec grapes originated in South West France and then migrated to Argentina, where there are better growing conditions. This one has fullness and body, but also fruitiness and spiciness. It falls somewhere between big wines and light, friendly options. Exotic and expressive, this choice is perfect with Argentinean meat.

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