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Malbec Wine Pairing

Malbec grapes produce wines that stylistically fall between Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with more plummy richness and roundness than Cabernet but firmer tannins and structure than Merlot. Malbec is one of the five grapes in Bordeaux wines, especially in the districts of St. Emilion and Graves. Malbec adds a deep dark red hue and rich dark fruit aromas to the blend. Malbec is called Côt in Cahors, where it's the most widely planted grape, or Auxerrois in other regions of France. Malbec actually goes by more than 400 names. Malbec was originally named after the Hungarian peasant who first planted the vine in southwest France several centuries ago.

Malbec, a thin-skinned, mid-season ripener, is sensitive to frost. Most other regions that grow Malbec also use it as a minor blending grape except for Argentina, where it stands alone as the country's flagship red. Malbec is sometimes called Fer. Malbecs from Argentina are richer, rounder and fruitier than the European versions. Malbec thrives in Argentina because it gets the necessary hang time on the vine to ripen those lush plum flavors. Malbec that is unripe is green and stemmy.

Malbec alone or as the dominant part of a blend is best enjoyed young even though Bordeaux blends can age for decades. Malbec's signature aromas include plums, blackberries, black cherries, spices, earth and wood smoke. Malbec pairs well with these foods:

Malbec Wine with beef:

     • beef
     • beef cooked in red wine
     • beef ribs: barbecued
     • beef stew
     • beef wellington
     • beef with stout
     • beef: roast
     • beef: roast rare
     • bison steak
     • brisket
     • casseroles & stews
     • casseroles: full flavored meaty
     • fondue: meat
     • hamburgers, meatloaf
     • liver
     • meatballs
     • meats: barbecued
     • pot roast
     • rib roast with a coffee & pepper rub
     • sausages
     • steak
     • steak & kidney pie
     • steak, grilled
     • steak, prime rib
     • steak: peppercorn
     • steak: rare
     • tenderloin

Malbec Wine with cheese:

     • Ardi-Gasna
     • cheddar

Malbec Wine with chicken/poultry:

     • chicken with truffles
     • chicken: herb-rubbed roast

Malbec Wine with desserts:

     • chocolate: bittersweet

Malbec Wine with ethnic dishes:

     • Adobo de Cerdo: spicy pork chop: Peruvian
     • steak fajitas

Malbec Wine with game:

     • game: roast
     • venison

Malbec Wine with lamb:

     • lamb
     • lamb chops,grilled
     • lamb chops,steaks
     • lamb shank
     • lamb shanks: braised
     • lamb: herb-roasted
     • lamb: Irish stew
     • lamb: leg
     • lamb: rack
     • lamb: rack with rosemary
     • lamb: roast
     • lamb: roast & grilled
     • lamb: spring

Malbec Wine with pasta:

     • macaroni & cheese
     • spaghetti & meat balls
     • stroganov: beef

Malbec Wine with pizza:

     • pizza: combination

Malbec Wine with pork:

     • pork spareribs: barbecued
     • sausage: mild
     • sausage: spicy

Malbec Wine with sauces, spices, herbs:

     • cayenne pepper
     • peppercorn

Malbec Wine with soups & stews:

     • stew: beef

Malbec Wine with veal:

     • veal
     • veal shanks/osso buco
     • veal: breaded cutlets

Malbec Wine with vegetables & salads:

     • eggplant: baked or grilled
     • mushroom dishes
     • vegetable: hearty soups & stews


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