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Beef stew or beef casserole – is there a difference? It matters little. We cracked open two wines to accompany beef slow-cooked in stock and red wine, tomato and onions plus chopped carrots, mixed herbs, a few porcini mushrooms and a dash of Beneden sauce. The whole house was filled with the most delicious, mouth-watering aromas as the stew bubbled gently on the hob for a few hours. It was worth the wait. And the two wines? Both delicious with the meal and distinctly different too.

Maurel Verdeau Minervois.


Wine Tasting Note: Maison Maurel Vedeau Le Minervois, 2003, Minervois, France.
Waitrose normally £5.99 now 20% off at £4.79.
A mix of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault – a typical southern French blend. Gravelly tannins, chalky almost, perhaps mirroring the chalk terraces of the Montagne Noire. Peppery aroma, a little disappointing, more action on the palate. Like the slow cooked stew here the flavours are all mellow and melded together. Deep black fruits, a twist of juicy acidity and those gravelly tannins complete an excellently priced wine. Alcohol 13%.
Scribblings Rating – 90/100

Domaine du Fraïsse Label


Wine Tasting Note: Domaine du Fraïsse Fleur de Cuveè, 2001, Faugères, France.
Handfords £7.99.
No details of the exact composition here but Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah are the usual blending suspects. A gorgeous aroma with a floral edge, more intense than the Minervois, a touch of herbs and an inky edge too. A richer, fuller palate, juicy, licorice nuances adds to the full flavours. This is lovely.
Scribblings Rating – 92/100

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