Wine Review – Central Co-Operative – Bio Bio Valley Malbec

It’s Saturday evening, the oven is on and the smells of a rich & spiced Lamb Tagine is filling the kitchen.  The red wine I’ve chosen to go with tonight’s dinner is the Bio Bio Valley Malbec from Chile.  Specially selected and imported by the Co-Operative, it’s a dark, dense and robust wine, perfect with tomato based meals such as casseroles, quality burgers, sausages and red meats.
The Malbec grape wines sit between a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Merlot.  It’s detailed as having a mix of sweet blackberry and boysenberry fruits laced with incense and cigar box.  We found it to be dark in colour with ample tannins, smooth on the palate and silky in texture.  It complemented the flavours and spices of the tagine and certainly wasn’t intimidated by the bold meal with which it was served and was equally enjoyable on it’s own with a second glass after dinner was finished.

This review was carried out on behalf of the Central England Co-Operative.  You can find other wine reviews on the We Like Wine Blog and by following them on Twitter @we_like_wine.

I was sent a voucher with which to purchase the wine and was allowed free choice of the bottle that I chose and meal that I paired it with.

Venison Tagine

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We love venison as its such a rich and lean meat that’s full of flavour and I was lucky to have been given a 3kg haunch of venison a while back by a colleague in exchange for making her daughter’s Christening cake. Her husband shot and butchered the venison, so I can be sure of it’s provenance.

 After boning the joint of meat, I divided it and used one portion to make a tagine in my slow cooker as follows:

500g Venison, cubed (you can use beef or lamb if you prefer)
30ml Rapeseed oil
2 Onions, sliced
2 Cloves of garlic, crushed
1tbs Ground coriander
1tbs Ground cumin
2tsp Ground ginger
1tsp Ground cinnamon
250ml Beef stock
400g tin Plum tomatoes
100g Dried apricots, chopped
2tbs Ground almonds
400g tin Chick peas, drained and rinsed

1. Heat the oil in a heavy based frying pan and fry the venison in batches until browned.
2. Transfer the venison into the base of your slow cooker.
3. Gently fry the onion & garlic in the pan for 5 minutes until softened, then add the ground coriander, cumin, ginger and cinnamon and fry gently for 2 minutes.
4. Add this onion & spice mixture to your venison in the slow cooker.
5. Pour your stock into your frying pan to deglaze and heat until just boiling.
6. Pour this stock mixture over your meat and spice mixture.
7. Add the plum tomatoes, chopped apricots, ground almonds and chick peas.
8. Stir well then place the lid on top.
9. Cook in the slow cooker on low for 12 hours or on medium for 8 hours.

Serve with cous cous and a little fresh, chopped coriander to garnish.