Sommelier Speak

Diamond John


Jesus and I are group 4 of our wine project. Our menu item is Beef Jardiniere and Duchess Potatoes. This is a braised beef stew that is fatty and savory. The potatoes are creamy and smooth, and soak up the juices of the stew. This is a dish that will typically be eaten during the winter. This dish is something that is filling and warming on the palate. To balance the slight heaviness of this dish we would need to cut the fat with a slightly acidic red wine that is medium bodied. The three wines that I thought best would suit this menu item are:


2016 Paso Robles Meritage blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot.

2011 Livermore Valley blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.

2018 Napa Valley Zinfandel with a blend of Malbec


The wine that sticks out to me the most for this dish would be a Paso Robles 2016  meritage wine of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and a bit of Petite Verdot. Cabernet Sauvignon naturally has thicker skin and pungent acidity. To balance out this acidity, there is the benefits of adding Merlot to the blend. Merlot is a larger grape which has thinner skin and more “fruity” tendencies. This wine would be the perfect balance of acidity, fruit aromas, tannins and body. This specific wine has been aging since 2016 therefore it should have picked up some viscosity but just perfectly enough to highlight the stew. Paso Robles, Central Coast, California is southern in the state. The climate of Paso Robles would be continental. However, with climatic influences from the St. Lucia Range, the pacific ocean and the Salinas river, Paso Robles is ideal for growing Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Cabernet Sauvignon can withhold the californian sun due to it’s thick skin and, Merlot is a juicy grape that thrives off of the sun to increase the sugars. Grape blend to pair with our menu item.

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