Posts Tagged ‘Shiraz’

Red wine and steak

Monday, August 25th, 2008

For the reward given – cooking steak is probably one of the best things you can do to entertain guests. It’s so easy and there’s really no better accompaniment for steak than red .

I like to buy a whole Angus fillet and cook it first before cutting it into fillet steaks, this way you can keep the juices and really preserve a lot of the flavour. It also presents a perfect opportunity to do what any male wine , or any male for that matter – likes most… marinade. Like making hot-sauce, there is perhaps no time more satisfying to a man than when given the chances to marinade something. There’s a certain feeling of alchemy in preparing the meat that really doesn’t come with other pre- chores like peeling potatoes or rolling pastry flat.

The ingredients for getting a steak ready are quite simple: rock salt, English mustard, lemons, pepper, red wine, olive oil, chopped garlic and mixed spices. Adding lemon helps seal the steak and within minutes the pinkish colour will disappear and the fillet will start to gain a more cooked sort of colour. At this point I roll the fillet in a bed of rock-salt before smothering it in a healthy dose of English mustard mixed with spice and crushed garlic. Once done, leave it to soak in a pool of red wine on top of a bed of diced onions allowing the blood and fermented to comingle.

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The Butcher’s Tree Shiraz Cabernet Merlot 2004

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

willy-willy3.jpgNow here’s a great name for a Rugby . After all, if one is to be watching this blood-sport at a bar amongst beer swigging friends, there is a lot of merit in being able to lean across the bar and order three large glasses of Butcher’s Tree. Especially in this day of overly feminized labels that perhaps border on the ridiculous – its good to have something that leans on the other extreme of unbridled and extreme masculinity.

Indeed, this wine is an apt metaphor for the front row of a Rugby Scrum, with a triage of big shot varietals – a slender Merlot squeezed twixt a big Aussie and a forceful Cab. This wine punches out with flavour and pushes forward with forceful fruits, bar-smoke and hot sweaty gamy notes. A perfect wine to compliment eating dried meat whilst watching a competitive and invigorating sport.

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Posted in Wine, Wine Review | 1 Comment »

Allesverloren 2003 Shiraz

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

A nose reminiscent of a freshly lit fireplace burning pine needles and cedar… a strong Northern Rhone characteristic. About two years ago, my friend Tom and I fallesverloren.jpgfinished a magnum of Allesverloren 1980 over a boozy celebratory lunch, and it drank beautifully. So I imagine that the 2003 could perhaps lie on its side for years to come and only grow from strength to strength, but in the short run this gives plenty bang for the buck and is a really serious Shiraz. A great asset to our country.

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Backsberg Elbar, 2005

Monday, September 3rd, 2007

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Anything associated with ‘Back’ be it Charles Back, Backsberg, Fairview, MAN Vintners or Senga Wines is tipped for greatness. I’m out of my league drinking such a , as it runs circles around my 5 year old palate being predominately , with lashings of , a dollop of Mourvedre, essences of , a taste of Petit Verdot and smatterings of and . This wine is a melange of wine in one wine and thus is one to drink with intrigue and wonder, a wine of such integration is a symbol of the new and a pleasure to drink.

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The Beginning

Thursday, February 1st, 2007

Let us take a walk down memory expressway and find ourselves a thousand years or so before Christ. Right now I’m thinking of the time of the Greeks, when the Mediterranean was the intellectual capital of the world and Persia was a super-power filled with successful Sultans, a bustling metropolis of village markets and traders from afar. America as we know it was not even a glint in civilization’s eye, and what is currently thought of as the ‘middle-east’ was not east of anything, because it was the centre of the civilized universe.

Referring to this time brings me to an interesting point: the first traces of grape cultivation and -making are found in Persia. And before anyone has the intention of going to check their map for Persia, or perhaps looking for an inside sticker or a return-to address on their Persian-carpets, Persia is what is today known as Iran. Who would have thought! Ha, how the world changes can boggle the mind.

The wine of the ancient world was undoubtedly drunk by figures like Plato, Aristotle, Heraclitus and Pythagoras. In this way, we owe it to wine for geometry and the modern thought which raises us above being mere beasts. There can be no doubt that wine was celebrated by Sultans, nobles and traders of the time. So many of the philosophers, poets, politicians, warriors, lovers and artists one finds in the studies of classic civilizations were no doubt occasionally inspired by wine from Persia. As wine became engrained in ancient culture the vines spread into what is now Iran to Lebanon, Crete, Cyprus and finally into Rome, Portugal, Spain and France.

The wine that all men share dates back to a time when many of the religions we know today weren’t even cults. Dionysian bacchanalias pre-dated any beliefs of turning wine into blood and drinking it every Sunday. Before certain Arabic civilizations knew of Islam and drinking was not allowed; in the time when Jewish and Arab people were all Semites and fervent pointless blood-feuds did not exist, we all drank from the same cup, and shared in the harvest of the same vines. If wine can be said to be analogous with a place, then remember that no matter whether you are Jewish, Arabic or whatever other complex cultural mix there was a time when all of our skins were dark; we all spoke a similar dialects of the same tongue; racism was yet to be practiced; war was honourable and noble and importantly, all men shared a passion for the same wine.

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