A few weeks ago I posted about a wonderful find, the Domaine La Garrigue 2004 Cotes du Rhone Cuvee Romaine, which quickly sold out at my local wine merchant. Its absence had me considering another French wine, the 2004 Cuvee Reservee Vin de Pays Des Coteaux de Bessillies from Domaine Saint Martin de la Garrigue. This garnet red provided a subtle combination of strawberry and plum aromas coupled with a hint of earthiness. The palate was fairly balanced, with good structure and moderate tannins and acidity. The fruit was less noticeable at first, though the wine did open up and could probably do with decanting. The overall mouth feel was lithe and delicate.
I initially paired the wine with a hearty, delicious beef stew my wife had made in small celebration of fall's arrival in Florida:
- Approx. 2 lbs cubed beef for stew
- 2 - 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 2 carrots, chunked
- 1 lb potatoes, cubed
- 1 medium to large onion, chopped* 2 to 3 pounds cubed beef
- 1 carton low-sodium beef stock
- Water as needed
- salt and pepper to taste
Take the ingredients (minus the flour) and place them in a crock pot set for medium-low. Add beef stock, and add water until the ingredients are nearly covered. Let the ingredients cook over medium-low heat for approximately 6 hours. When the cooking time is done, remove the solid ingredients from the stew and slowly stir in the flour to thicken. When the liquid reaches your desired thickness, replace the beef and vegetables and serve with thick-crusted peasant bread.
The wine was a near-perfect pairing, its lithe tannins and subtle acidity providing a nice counter-balance to the stew's hearty flavors. Each bit enabled the wine's flavor to shine, and each sip prepared the palate to fully enjoy the stew's subtle, rich flavors.