A Spanish Red Beats a French Red with a Beef Stew

We had some friends round and Teresa did her favourite recipe – Bifteck Marchand de Vin.  This beef stew in red wine contains mushrooms, thyme, tomatoes and shallots.  Last time we ate this dish (see Wed 2nd Feb 2011) we had a bottle of Australian Cabernet/Merlot, which was a pleasant if not outstanding match.  This time we opened two bottles – La Tour de Marrenon 2010 Reserve and Marques de Carano Gran Reserva 2004, both from Tesco.  The first bottle was a Southern French red blend made from Grenache and Syrah with summer fruit flavours, which was pleasant enough, but it was juicy to the point of being a bit cloying. Easy drinking and OK with the stew, but something a little more complex would have been better. The second bottle was a Spanish red from Aragon and a blend of Garnacha and Tempranillo.  This was a richer, weightier wine with cherry and raspberry fruit and some spice. A far better match with the stew.

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