By LaGayle ~ December 8th, 2010.
Now that we are into the winter season, what better meal on a cold, rainy or snowy night than chili? Of course, the official name is chili con carne, which comes from the Spanish language and means peppers with meat. Chili is actually just a spicy stew. There are almost as many versions of chili as there are cooks that prepare it. The main ingredients are beef stew meat or ground beef; however, today there is even vegetarian and turkey chili. While meat is the most common main ingredient, the other ingredients usually include onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and tomatoes or tomato sauce. Some people like to add beans; however, I prefer my chili without beans.
Since I’m a Texan, I found the origin of chili to be interesting. Spanish Canary Islanders first invented chili in San Antonio, Texas. And, by the way, chili is the official dish of the state of Texas.
The menu for this month’s challenging wine pairing was very basic. It included the chili, a salad of lettuce, tomatoes, and avocados with a cilantro lime dressing, and Fritos corn chips.
Now, what wines to pair with this meal? The fact that wine is probably not what first comes to mind to pair with chili only added interest in doing this pairing. I hope this series proves that wines can be found to pair with just about anything. Once again, I referred to my favorite book, What to Drink with What You Eat by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page, and selected Malbec and Syrah. We enjoyed the 2007 Andrew Will Annie Camarda Syrah and the 2007 Milbrandt Vineyards The Estates Malbec. While both wines were good, all four of us thought that the Syrah paired best with the chili.
We’d love for you to share in the comments what you would have paired with this meal. And, as always, we welcome your suggestions for challenging wine pairings for us to try in the future.
2007 Andrew Will Annie Camarda Syrah (Washington State): Dark, inky purple in color. Very aromatic with ripe, jammy black fruits, oak, earth, and eucalyptus on the nose and palate. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity, medium tannins, and a long finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Esquin Wine Merchants (Seattle, Washington), $22.99; Available elsewhere, $23
2007 Milbrandt Vineyards The Estates Malbec (Wahluke Slope, Washington): Deep, dark purplish red. Nose is a bit tight at first then coffee, licorice, and waxy aromas come through and lead to flavors of black plum and olive. Medium-bodied and smooth with soft tannins and a long finish.
Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 2 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Full Pull Wines (Seattle, Washington), $17.99; Available elsewhere, $20
Filed under: American Wine, Challenging Wine Pairing, Food & Wine, Malbec, Red Wine, Shiraz/Syrah, Washington State Wine, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25