This week, the ultimate question arises once again: Which wine to pair with which dish?
As you may know, Israelis are very big on barbequing. If you can put in on a skewer, throw it on the grill and then stick it in a pita, the average Israeli will be happy.
When I arrived at my friend’s house last week for a festive BBQ, I couldn’t help but notice that most of the guests were clutching a cold bottle of Goldstar (a popular domestic beer). I looked around to see if I could find anyone drinking wine, and to my surprise, a corkscrew and wine glasses were nowhere to be seen. Not that I am complaining, after going through a platter of kebabs, indulging in a juicy rib eye steak and downing a couple of beers, I was more than satisfied.
Nevertheless, there is no reason why one shouldn’t enjoy a glass of wine alongside their favorite grilled meats. When pairing wine with grilled red meats, it is important to serve a relatively full bodied red wine which will hold its own and complement the dish.
A great way to start off your meal would be to serve a chilled glass of Cava accompanied by an assortment of traditional Spanish Tapas. Cava, a sparkling Spanish wine, is produced using the same methods as in French Champagne.
Once the meat is ready, I suggest uncorking a couple of bottles of red wine to start the show. Of course, budget serves as a key factor when deciding which wine to serve at the BBQ. The Galil Mountain, Cabernet-Shiraz blend, a full bodied red sold at around the NIS 50 mark offers lovely aromas of black berry fruits, herbs and a touch of wood. Try serving this red alongside grilled cuts of lamb.
With the kebabs, I would recommend trying a wine with some spice to it. Unfortunately the wines produced in Israel using Sangiovese grapes are less that impressive. Try asking your local wine vendor for an affordable bottle of Chianti (Italian) or a bottle of Rioja, which is red wine from Spain.
The rib eye steak is probably one of the most popular cuts of beef. However, in recent year, due to the increase in health awareness and the fact the people are trying to stay away from “fatty” foods, the tenderloin is also increasing in popularity. If you can still find a bottle on the shelves, try serving a juicy tenderloin steak with a glass of the 2003, Cabernet Franc by the Ella Valley winery. This full bodied red offers aromas and flavors of ripe berry fruits, spices and hints of wood all leading to a well balance and satisfying finish.