Saturday, February 22, 2014

Waterloo - Perfect Beef Wellington and 3 different red wines

Anne has rightly been famous for her Beef Wellington or as the french say with a bit of post Waterloo bitterness "Boeuf en croute", which has become a signature dish in the family, BUT  to our consternation she has improved  on perfection after having read the Guardian article on the perfect Beef Wellington.
Firstly the beef has to be wonderful and we got fillet from Fawcetts in Ingleby Greenhow ( as his meat is the best we have had anywhere in the world! As you can see Anne cooked it to the point of rarity so it required some decent red wine and given our guests this meant some different wines to cater for taste.  I chose a 2006 Ribera Reserva  from Spain - an oaked Tempranillo it has a lighter blackberry fruitiness with spicy undertones that I got from Laithwaites a couple of years ago on sale.  Then from France a 2005 Gros Caillou from Chateau Le Chabrier south of Bergerac (  which is a fairly classic St-Emilion blend of Merlot, Cab Sav and Cab Franc (but at half the price).  This wine is made by a lovely guy called Pierre Carles whose family also owns property in St-Emilion.  Both wines required decanting as they had thrown some sediment and I washed the bottles out with plain water and poured the wine back in to breathe slowly for a couple of hours.  The Bergerac is like a cru bourgeois  claret in style with perfumed aromatic oak on the nose but deep tangy black fruit lingering forever in the mouth. Both wines were a bit challenging without food but were released with the meat.
The final wine was a sweet fruity Amarone which I just bought from Lidl this week as it was on special offer at £9.99 reduced from an earlier price last year of £20. Much more approachable but quite alcoholic at 16% however lacking the subtleties and complexity of the other two.  Which wine went best with the Duke of Wellington`s beef? Of course by a mile it was the frenchie!!  Waterloo all over again!!
ps you can get the Gros Caillou and other Le Chabrier wines from the French Wine Project (

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