Part I: Defining a Problem

Entree selected  – Braised Beef Jardiniere and Duchess Potatoes


Braised Beef Jardiniere and Duchess Potatoes is a very hearty and rich dish, that if paired with a blend of Red wines, will symphonize and balance well, with the meatiness of the beef and the butteriness of the potatoes. In search of the perfect wine, we decided to go to a few spirit stores and test wines that we felt would be the missing link.  The first wine that we came across was a beautiful bottle of Italian wine.  It was a Nero d’Avola 2013 produced by Epicuro.  The Nero d’Avola grape loves the heat, and is mostly located in Sicily where the vineyards are “heat-trained” so they are resistant to high winds. With most older wines they tend to be a bit more robust, and this wine is no exception to that. Nero d’Avola has a very clean smell, with a refreshing taste of cherries, berries, spices, and doesn’t leave you with a bitter taste in your palate, instead it has a very nice finish with peppery notes.  A clear winner when it comes to pairing with our dish.

Even though we found the Nero D’Avola to be a great pairing, we came up with a couple other wines as well.  One of the other wines in particular would be the Argentinian Malbec.  The clay-like sandy soils, located at the foot of the Andes, is what gives its sweet tannic, smooth, silky, earthy, and tobacco flavors.  After doing a bit of investigating we found that the 2012 Altocedro Año Cero would be an excellent choice.  This wine is 100% Malbec, and is grown in the Mendoza region, which represents 85% of all Malbec grown in the country.  It is a full-bodied wine with flavors of black cherry, cedar, pepper, and subtle hints of toast, which are sure to pair with such an elegant dish like the Braised Beef Jardiniere.

The last wine on our list is an easy drinking wine that has the full-body needed to stand up to this dish, it’s the Red Zinfandel.  One Zinfandel that stands out is 2012 Zinfandel from Cakebread Cellars in California.  This wine is rich and filled with flavors of dark cherry, blackberries, and plum.  It also has a long finish with lingering flavors of spices and chocolate.  Those flavors in mind this is still a very balanced wine with refreshing acidity, the secret seems to be due to the mountains where these grapes grow.  These grapes come from the Red Hills appellation of Lake County found north of Napa Valley in high elevation vineyards.  This area has rich, mineral, red volcanic soil, with lots of sun during the day, and cooling winds at night.  It’s because of these conditions the grapes ripen evenly and give you the best flavors available.

Here in this list we have three amazing wines that all have similar qualities, yet speak for themselves.  We have compiled a list that is sure not to disappoint with this dish, or any other braised beef you may encounter.

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1 Response to Part I: Defining a Problem

  1. You had great ideas for your initial intent.

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