Challenging Wine Pairing: Peppered Beef Brisket



By LaGayle ~ December 21st, 2011.

Beef brisket is usually associated with barbeque; however, at this time of year, cooking outside is not always feasible or enjoyable. Having been in the cattle business in Texas for many years, I’m especially partial to the Texas Beef Council whose website offers some great recipes. For this month’s challenging wine pairing, we had two wines that we wanted to include in one of our pairing challenges—both of which were Mourvedre. So, rather than having the usual two different varieties to compare with the meal, we tasted the same variety to determine which particular wine paired best with the brisket.

I found a brisket recipe on the beef council website that is baked in the oven rather than prepared with the more common outside cooking method. Once the main entrée was set as peppered beef brisket, I decided to round out my entire menu from recipes found on the site, including Texas caviar (made with black-eyed peas and corn), garlic flan, and kickin’ slaw (made with Napa cabbage). As you might expect from a group of Texans, we thought the meal was fabulous.

The two Mourvedres that we paired with the meal were the 2009 Rasa Vineyards Vox Populi Mourvedre and the 2008 Hollywood Hill Vineyards Mourvedre. Both wines were excellent, and we went back and forth trying to determine which we believed paired best with the peppered beef brisket. The final tally had the Vox Populi in front by a 3 to 1 margin. Really, though, you can’t go wrong with either of these wines.

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.

Bon Appétit!

2009 Rasa Vineyards Vox Populi Mourvedre (Columbia Valley, Washington): 100% Mourvedre. Deep purple in color. Very aromatic with plum, game, leather, and earth on the nose. Pepper, spice, black cherry, and plum come through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity and medium tannins. Well-balanced with a long finish. Gets even better with food.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $45; Available elsewhere, $45

2008 Hollywood Hill Vineyards Mourvedre (Horse Heaven Hills, Washington): 90% Mourvedre and 10% Syrah. Deep, purplish red. Nice nose with a lot of red fruit and floral aromas. Fruit-forward with black cherry and spice on the palate. Medium-bodied and smooth with medium to high, drying tannins. Well-balanced with a long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $34; Available elsewhere, $34


Filed under: American Wine, Challenging Wine Pairing, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Food & Wine, Mourvedre, Red Wine, Washington State Wine, Wines Over $25

Reader's Comments

  1. Amber Lind | January 29th, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Awesome article post.Really looking forward to read more. Will read on…

  2. Kori | January 30th, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Amber,
    Glad to hear it. Cheers!

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