Spanish Wines Are The Clear Winner At Brazilian Steakhouses

It’s great to be a Restaurant Sommelier Again. As I notice the selection process of our dining guests without my guidance, I find that most still are NOT concerned with Pairing the Wine with the Food they are eating. Of course the best wine to choose is the Wine YOU LIKE no matter what the Sommelier or anyone else suggests. I am finding however, that your typical wine choices of Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignons, and Syrah is not doing the trick for my palate. So far Wines from Argentina are a nice match, wines from Chile do well and so do some United States Offerings and Italy and France. The Clear Winner with the Rich Cuts of Beef, Lamb and Pork at a Brazilian Steakhouse seems to be The Wines from Spain and Tempranillo based wines or Garnacha. I think the key is OLD VINES!! The Older the VINES, The deeper the roots go into the soil to obtain water and therefore the GRAPES are very small in size which equals more concentrated flavors and more Rich, Lusher Style with Riper Tannins which are the types of Wines that will cut through all that fatty, rich goodness of Meats, More Meats And More Meats at a Brazilian Steakhouse. It has been a delight to watch a Guest ask for my suggestion and usually ask for the familiar wines and re-visit them after a recommendation from Spain and they tell me it totally changed their experience because for the first time someone took the time to really MARRY THE FOOD WITH THE RIGHT WINE
Again, there is nothing wrong if you just want to order your favorite Napa Cab, or your California Pinot Noir however I truly believe when dining in a concept like this, there are better pairings that will make a great dining experience into a PHENOMENAL DINING EXPERIENCE
Here are some examples that have been tried and tested with great success so far and well received by dining guests who walk away with full stomachs and a HUGE SMILE on their faces.
From the Campa De Borja Region, another OLD VINES Wine from Spain that is part of the infamous Jorge Ordonez Selections. Ordonez is one of the largest importers of Spanish Wines and many vineyards are owned by him personally. Tres Picos is a very affordable wine that is made from 70 year old vines Garnacha (Grenache in France). Lush Blackberry Fruits, hints of blueberry pie, baking spices, vanilla, and a rich mouthfeel that cuts right through the richness of beef ribs to cajun ribeye.
Muga-Reserva-2009-Label (1)
Generations after Generations the MUGA family produces Classic wines in the Rioja Region of Spain. The 2009’s are off the charts right now. Mostly Tempranillo, with dashes of Garnacho (They use the Masculine form of Garnacha), Mazuelo and Graciano. They are Unfiltered wines that deliver the rich dark flavors and mocha notes that is a phenomenal match with Every Cut Of Meat. Their Reserva Selecta is a little bit more pricier but night and day between the regular Reserva vintage. Either wine depending on your budget will be a WOW.
Numanthia produces wines in the TORO region of Spain. When the Tempranillo comes from TORO they refer to it as TINTA DE TORO The Termes which is their entry level wine at Numanthia is a Big Bold Wine for A Big Bold Meal. Made from 100 year OLD VINES and huge black fruit flavors and some refined tannins which is the perfect example for this blog entry. Diners at first are a little hesitant when I first sample them on the bottle the tannins are a bit dry for them. Once I decant the bottle and they spend 30 minutes enjoying the Salad Bar and Appetizers and the Meat starts coming around, I revisit the table and they finally GET IT! They 100% so far respond “WHAT A DIFFERENCE WHEN THIS WINE IS DECANTED AND IT GOES SO WELL WITH THE MEAT” One guest said last time they dined at a Brazilian Steakhouse they went with a Familiar Merlot because they never had anyone advise them before. The Muga Reserva and the explanation I gave them made an always good experience into a MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE That kind of feedback is the reason I became a Sommelier
There are wines for just drinking, wines for chilling out and watching a DVD and then there are wines that enhance a Dining experience. For Brazilian Rodizio (Rotation of Cuts of Meat Served By Gauchos) May I have The Envelope please??? SPANISH WINES For Best Supporting Wine

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