As spring continues to play coy, it’s still time for stick-to-your-ribs cooking. And few dishes have more rib-stick-to-it-iveness (no, that’s not a word) than Beef Stew.
And as this article in the New York Times points out, there are more variations and versions of beef stew than you can shake a stick at. So if you’re making recommendations to shop customers, make sure they’re just that – recommendations. You don’t want to offend someone’s grandmother’s ingredients or methods. Better to ask about the meal and make wine recommendations based on that, and to offer recipe recommendations only if asked …
As for the wine, I’ll let Eric Asimov take it from here as he’s got it completely right:
Conventional wisdom would suggest that you drink the same wine used to marinate the beef. But a modest bottle would be best for the marinade, and this stew offers an opportunity to drink an excellent red. The ideal accompaniment would be dry, intense and structured enough to stand up to the rich beef, but not powerfully fruity or oaky. I think first of a red from the Northern Rhône Valley, like a Cornas or a Hermitage, both with the depth to match the stew. You could try an aged Barolo or Brunello di Montalcino, or perhaps even an older Bandol. A good cabernet sauvignon from the Santa Cruz Mountains would be delicious, as would a restrained Napa cabernet.
Tough to beat that advice!