I’m Game

I awoke this morning with a hankering for deer. Perhaps this was because I like deer or maybe it was the impetus for finding a suitable food match to go with my ten newly acquired bottles of Sainsbury’s TTD Barbaresco 2009? Who knows (clue: it’s the second one).

Well having trailed around three separate farm shops in search of the elusive venison steaks my good wife I found ourselves in the local Co-op (they did well to get the only guy who can make ‘good and ‘food’ rhyme perfectly to do the voiceovers for them) and lo, there were two pieces of farmed venison crying out to be popped into my basket.

After a little internet trawling (for recipes) I decided to whip up a sauce which would usually go with duck. It’d based on using port to deglaze the pan post-venison sear and then adding a splash of red wine vinegar and a generous dollop of cherry jam (Aldi’s is good). As the venison continued to rest I added some richness and sheen to the sauce with a fat knob of butter. A nice watercress salad and some chunky chips completed this ahem, masterpiece.

Having opened the Barbaresco an hour before serving and decanted it I got my nose right in there and the wonderful rose and rich cherry aromas of the Nebbiolo grape encouraged me that I’d made the right choice of sauce. The wine appears very light and may appear thin but that is very deceptive when it comes to drinking. On tasting there was a mouthful of rich red fruit and smooth cherry flavour with an almost aniseedy hint in the background. I hate blackjacks but this just seemed to enhance the flavour of the wine which went on and on, a great indicator of quality.

With the food the cherry flavours of the sauce and wine went together extremely well and the rich, complex flavours of the wine lifted the venison to new heights by bringing out its savoury qualities.

I declare this wine a hit and, having been reduced from £9.99 to £7.49 with an additional 25 % off if you buy six or more bottles, the ‘double discounted’ price of around £5.60 per bottle is an absolute steal for a wine of this quality. This is particularly true when many people will pay around £15+ for a bottle of Barolo (the neighbouring region also making their wines from Nebbiolo). So if you wish to try something new and interesting or just like Barolo but don’t want to spend a fortune, get this wine into your basket.

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