Match of the week | Fillet of beef with 2009 Pio Cesare Barolo

Match of the week

Fillet of beef with 2009 Pio Cesare Barolo

Beef and red wine is a blindingly obvious match but it gets more interesting once you think about the cut and the way that it's cooked.

Last week my fellow judges on the 2016 Louis Roederer awards and I had a slap-up lunch at Chez Bruce following a lengthy but unusually amicable judging session. I say unusually as these discussions can sometimes get testy when people disagree about who should be on the shortlist but while vigorous views were expressed we didn’t (fortunately) fall out over them. (You can find the shortlist here)

The main course was a beautifully cooked rare fillet of beef with Lyonnaise fondant potato, carrots, girolles, and what were described as ‘thyme meat juices’ - basically a very light jus. From past experience of matching fillet with lighter reds like pinot noir I was expecting it to work with the 2009 Pio Cesare Barolo with which it had been paired and it totally did showing off the gorgeous fruit and silky texture of the wine to perfection.

I know many Barolo fans like to keep their wines longer than this - and it obviously would age - but it struck me as a lovely moment to drink it, particularly in high summer when you want fruit flavours rather than autumnal notes to the fore.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, yes we did have a glass (or two) of champagne to start with. 1997 Cristal in magnum which was both voluptuous and still astonishingly fresh. And some very delicious warm, crumbly cheese sablés to nibble with it. I'd happily wade through several thousand words for that. Come to think of it, we did . . .

For more wine and steak pairing tips see 5 things you need to know about matching steak with wine

And for more food matches with Barolo The best food pairings with Barolo and Barbaresco.

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