Match of the week | Cecina (cured beef) and Mencia

Match of the week

Cecina (cured beef) and Mencia

Last week I was in Galicia (for three days. Without my suitcase. Thankyou Easyjet) visiting the denominations of Valdeorras and Bierzo where the star red grape is Mencia. (For years I got them confused periodically thinking the grape was Bierzo and the region Mencia but I’ve finally got it straight.)

Anyway Mencia is the most fabulously food-friendly wine, especially when it’s young and vibrant. More full-bodied (though less refined) than burgundy, riper than cabernet franc, to which it’s often likened the most helpful comparison I think is with Beaujolais which has a similar juiciness when young but can also be quite a weighty wine.

It’s particularly good with all things porky - and beefy, as I discovered from this pairing with some wonderful, home-cured, home-smoked thinly sliced beef called cecina* which was just insanely delicious. I now suffer from cecina withdrawal symptoms.

This particular combination was with Pittacum’s fresh, slightly funky (it’s organic) 2014 Petit Pittacum which is stocked by Les Caves de Pyrène at £9.10, L’Art du Vin at £11.40, and by Joseph Barnes at £11.66. A real match made in heaven. It would also be great for a barbecue.

* you can read more about cecina here

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