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Wine with ground beef
or lamb recipes

Ground beef and lamb are basic ingredients that are very wine-friendly, even when spiced-up a little in chile con carne or Mediterranean influenced dishes. It would be terribly posh to have wine with Scottish mince and tatties, but knowing that Wine Pages visitors invariably are posh, my suggestion is to forget subtlety and go for something with a robust personality and good fruity flavour. Lamb has an affinity with the red wines of Italy and Portugal which tend to have firmness about them and enough acidity to counteract any fattiness in the meat.

The spicier the dish, the more I'd look for depth of fruit in a red wine, and maybe some pepper and spice too. Look to Rhône varietals, as well as Zinfandel or Pinotage perhaps.

A full, fruity, intensely flavoured wine would be the best choice if you prefer to drink white. Perhaps a Chardonnay, lightly-oaked or unoaked wine. A possible alternative would be an Albariño (Al-bar-een-yo), the aromatically perfumed yet powerfully flavoured white variety that is a speciality of Galicia in the cool Northwest of Spain.

UK stockists and prices in pounds sterling are given. Approx £5=$8US.

Whites

Hardys Banrock Station Chardonnay 1998
This wine has a delightful nose of powdered ginger, cinnamon and wax over buttery fruit. On the palate the fruit is quite cool and lemony, with fresh melon and apple notes, the edges softened by a little sheen of vannilin oak. (Sainsbury £3.99).

Le Vigne Chardonnay 1998
There is a warm bread and butter pudding note to the nose of this unoaked Italian wine over melon and honeysuckle fruit. The palate is medium bodied and very fresh, with exemplary chardonnay characteristics of buttery fruit, some spice and good length. Clean and appetising. (Peckhams £5.79).

Lagar de Cervera Albariño 1997
From Spain's cool Northwest, gorgeous aromas of flowers, minerals and salts with a citrus tang, but also an oatmeally, almost creamy note. Palate is quite rich and alcoholic with fine pear, peach and lime fruit and a hint of sweetness. Good balance and length - and perfect with seafood burgers. (Sainsbury £6.99).

Reds

Tesco "Prestige" Grenache 1997
Sweet raspberry jam, liquorice and pepper on the nose, little hints of tree bark and cherry. Palate has earthy fruit that is quite concentrated and spicy. Medium bodied and dry, this French wine would be great with pasta, burgers, or mince and tatties! (Tesco £3.69).

Temple Bruer Shiraz/Malbec 1996
A dark chocolate, mulberry and eucalyptus nose immediately says Australia. There is a mass of sweet, ripe, Porty fruit and a treacle note. The palate is more savoury, dark and tannic than the nose suggests, but is well balanced with black fruit flavours. Very nice stuff with power to match spicy dishes. (Tesco £6.99).

Chaminé 1998
A Portuguese wine with an unusual nose of blueberries and blackberries with sweet brown-sugar nuances. There is a nicely concentrated character to the black fruits on the palate, firm tannins and a rich texture. Good structure and the finish is quite long. A good choice for lamb dishes. (Majestic £6.99).