Tarima Monastrell Elevates the Lowly Beet to Royalty

Peel the mud-colored, wrinkly skin from a beet and its vibrant, garnet-hued color shines!  Cooking the beet further brings out its true character of deep, earthy sweetness.

 

The lowly beet can be a forgotten gem, but in this Beet Bourguignon recipe from Vegetarian Everyday by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindalh, it is elevated to royalty.  (Check out the authors’ blog also—Green Kitchen Stories.  Their photographs alone will make you throw out every candy bar stashed in your house and swear you will eat only whole foods from here forward!) 

The sweet, earthy beets are slowly simmered along with carrots, mushrooms and pearl onions, then ladled over mounds of lentils. 

 
Hearty and filling, this dinner required a wine also full of earth and character. 

Tarima Monastrell from Bodegas Volver utilizes 100% Monastrell grapes from Spain’s historic Alicante region.  Monastrell is the Spanish name for Mourvedre, the “M” in the more well-known Rhone GSM blends.  Typically higher in alcohol and tannins, the grape is known for blending.  Here, however, it appears solo and shows a great balance of characteristics. 

The color is dark, intense and is followed by intense aromas to match.  Dark fruits along with leather, dried herbs (thyme, in particular) and chalky earth fill the nose. 

Juicy ripe blackberry and plum flavors are on the palate along with some dried fruits and the same dried herbs that were found on the nose.  The finish is a bit textural and flavors linger so pleasantly. 

Tarima is sensational, and particularly so since it is priced, unbelievably, in the $10 range! 

Together with the Beet Bourguignon, Tarima was quite possibly one of the greatest wine and food pairings EV….ER. 

The intensity of the wine matched the intensity of flavor in the bourguignon.  Flavors of sweet fruit, earth and herb in the wine were also found in the sweet, earthy beet dish.  It all came together for a royal experience.  Now if I could only find my tiara…

 

About the author: Sue Navratil

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