Match of the week |  Saperavi with slow cooked wagyu beef

Match of the week

Saperavi with slow cooked wagyu beef

Continuing the exotic vibe of last week’s pairing the standout combination this week was a Georgian Saperavi with Welsh Wagyu beef!

The beef, which is raised in Montgomeryshire, is part of the tasting menu at Ynyshir, a Michelin-starred restaurant on the edge of Snowdonia national park I enthusiastically reviewed for Decanter a couple of months ago.

It’s a regular feature on their tasting menu - on this occasion brined for 4 days and cooked for 3 (I seem to remember the chef who presented it telling us) and finished on the barbecue which gave it a slightly smoky edge which was reflected in the wine.

Saperavi is one of Georgia’s indigenous and most widely planted red grape varieties and - for the geeks among you - a ‘teinturier’, a variety which gains its colour from the flesh of the grape not just the skin.

This particular example was a 2015 from Ibereli and is imported by Les Caves de Pyrène. It’s relatively light but has sufficient character to stand up to the intensely flavoured meat.

Although Ynyshir doesn’t do pairings as such, the sommelier Amelia has a knack of picking wines that will go well with her partner Gareth’s food. Another standout - and surprising - pairing was a dish of pork belly with pickled cherries and a richly flavoured ‘natural’ chardonnay called Wind Gap from Mahle in Sonoma. (That's stocked by Roberson)

Pickled cherries, pork and chardonnay? Hard to replicate but believe me it works!

The picture of of Wagyu beef was taken by HL photo. It wasn’t the beef in the restaurant which was cooked for considerably longer. (The light was too low to take a good shot)

© HL photo at

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