Choose A Wine To Go With Beef Dishes, Part I

It can be quite worthwhile to spend a little extra time, and maybe a little extra money to match your wine and food. Short ribs are a popular cut of beef. Beef short ribs are larger and usually more tender and meatier than their pork counterpart. A full slab of short ribs is usually about 10 inches square, and 3 to 5 inches thick. It contains three or four ribs with a layer of boneless meat and fat. Short ribs may be baked, braised, barbecued or simmered. The French and Koreans are noted for their short ribs. Pinot Noir and Zinfandel based wines are fine companions to baked short ribs. Other good choices include Australian Shiraz, California Merlot, or if you want to go all out, a French Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

Don’t cook beef ribs the way you would cook pork ribs. Because beef ribs are relatively large and very tough, it’s wise to braise them a day or two ahead and reheat them on the grill. Count on one or two ribs per person. Common pairing choices here include Beaujolais, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and Zinfandel based wined. You might also consider a Spanish Rioja or an Australian Shiraz.

Beef Bourguignonne is essentially a pot roast prepared with beef braised in red wine, best a full-bodied wine such as Burgundy, accompanied by garlic, onions, carrots, and a bouquet garni, and garnished with pearl onions and mushrooms. Common pairing choices include Chianti, Pinot Noir, and red Burgundies. Once again you may also choose to go with a Zinfandel.

Beef Curry is especially popular in hot climates. It is much more than a simple beef stew with curry powder. Some places make it spicy, others make it fruity. Common wine pairing selections include California Syrahs and that good old Zinfandel. Other good choices include a Spanish Rioja and, just to show you that we are not prejudiced, beer, especially to accompany spicy curries.

In Hungary goulash is traditionally prepared as a soup. Seasoned chunks of meat are browned in a pot with oil. The meat usually comes from the shank, shin or shoulder, tough cuts that become delicious. Some cooks use hot peppers, some don’t. Many Hungarians don’t make this dish with tomatoes. In any case, a true goulash is really delicious. Popular wine pairings include Spanish Ribera del Duero and Zinfandel. You might also consider an Italian Teroldego or a Hungarian wine such as Egri Bikaver (Bulls Blood). In fact, when in doubt about which wine to go with a tasty dish, a fine Italian wine is almost always a good choice.

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