Challenging Wine Pairing: Beef Lettuce Wraps

By LaGayle ~ February 22nd, 2012.

Recently, I came across a recipe for beef lettuce wraps with wowee sauce. This sounded delicious and seemed like a great prospect for one of our challenging wine pairings. Seasoned ground beef topped with shredded carrots and sliced water chestnuts garnished with wowee sauce was fabulous wrapped in the Boston lettuce leaves. Wowee sauce is a blend of crushed pineapple, orange marmalade, and soy sauce. Additional sauce was served for individual preference. We rounded out the meal with Szechwan green beans and fried rice. The meal tasted wonderful and looked great on the plate as well.

Since we were eating beef, we decided to try two different varieties of red wine to see which paired the best. We enjoyed the 2009 Owen Roe Ex Umbris Syrah and the 2008 Watermill Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. Both wines were very good; however, the consensus favorite both before dinner and paired with the meal was the Syrah.

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 Owen Roe Ex Umbris Syrah (Columbia Valley): Deep, dark purple. Aromatic with dark black licorice, black fruits, spice, and a touch of oak on the nose. Very vibrant fruit, blackberry, black cherry, black plum, licorice, spice, and a hint of leather come through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with crisp acidity, and medium to high, silky tannins. Well-balanced with good complexity and a long, lingering finish.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $24; Available elsewhere, $22 to $33

2008 Watermill Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Walla Walla Valley): Dark, dense red. Nose is a bit tight at first, and then oak and earth aromas come through. Very jammy on the palate with loads of blackcurrant and black cherry. Medium to full-bodied and lively with medium to high tannins and a long, viscous finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery $29.75; Available elsewhere, $37

Filed under: American Wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, Challenging Wine Pairing, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Food & Wine, Oregon Wine, Shiraz/Syrah, Washington State Wine, Wines Over $25, Wines Under $25

Reader's Comments

  1. Alissa | February 22nd, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Lamoreaux Landing T23 Cab Franc-unoaked-Earthy gig fruit, clean light finish 14.99