Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Of Steaks and Brothers

Whenever we go to Paris, we have dinner at Le Relais de Venise, a small restaurant that serves nothing but steak, salad, and frites. The only question they ask you is "How do you like your steak cooked?"  They smile broadly when My Beloved says one of the few French words he knows, "Bleu."  Which means he likes his steak briefly seared and still "blue" in the middle. My response is "Sanglant," (bloody), but not as raw as his.  They give a little shrug and a moue of disapproval, as only the French can, when a customer says "Bien cuit," (well done).

My brother Jay, who has extensive experience in Paris having been posted there twice in his career, advised us to order the house red wine when we went there and, as usual in wine matters, he was right.  The wine arrives before the steak and, as a sipping wine, it's a little rough around the edges, astringent and slightly harsh.  But, paired with the steak, it sings! It cuts the richness of the steak while the steak itself gentles the wine. It's about as close to heaven as one can get this side of death.

Fast forward to last weekend when My Beloved's brother and his wife were in town to visit their newest grandchild, the so-adorable NoaJane. They had a day out together at a couple of wineries and brought us home this bottle, which we served with a Black Dragon (bleu-to-sanglant) for dinner.  I was transported back to the Relais de Venise when I tasted this wine - a little craggy and raw. But, drunk with the tri-tip, it was perfect, rounder and fuller than the wine is by itself.

I don't know a great deal about wine pairings, but I do know when one works perfectly, as this one did. If you can scare up a bottle of this, I'd recommend it with your next slab of beef. It's great with steak!


Blogger Greg said...

Steak,salad,fries and wine. What's better than that?

Wednesday, November 06, 2013  
Blogger Buzz Baylis said...

Greg - I am sure there was salad however the other offerings of the evening have blotted out that part of my memory!

Wednesday, November 06, 2013  
Blogger Diane said...

I'm adding your Paris recommendation to our list! And the wine too.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Diane, it's also called "EntrecĂ´te." Shall I send you my brother's Paris list? He and his wife are true gourmets, so their faves are wonderful.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013  
Blogger kudzu said...

I'm very fond of Murphy-Goode wines. Spent some time at the winery during one of the Sonoma auction weekends. They seem to love gambling terms -- Liar's Dice is another of their labels. This summer I found a white by them, a 2009 Pinot Grigio, which has just the right balance I like.

Thursday, November 07, 2013  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Kudzu, I will look for the Pinot Grigio - it's hard to find just the right white. Easier with reds.

Thursday, November 07, 2013  

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