The Wine Connection: A Spur and a Flat-Iron

Hello Friends,

Depending on how old you are, you may remember classic television game shows like The Dating Game and The Love Connection. These shows sought to connect compatible people and entertain those of us who watched. Here at My Vine Spot, I’m marrying food and wine on the blog show -- The Wine Connection. Generally speaking, food and wine should complement one another; bringing out each other’s best traits to create a pleasant dining experience. Food and wine can also be a not-so-pleasant experience, producing off flavors and bringing out the worst in both food and wine. Last week I participated in a Murrieta's Well, BBQ-themed, virtual tasting with Fifth Generation Winemaker, Karl Wente, and special guest, Executive Chef Matt Greco. Murrieta's Well, not too far from Wente Vineyards, is a historic winery (founded in 1883 by Louis Mel) in Livermore, California. The property was purchased by the Wente family from the original owner and eventually resurrected in 1990 by Phillip Wente. Today, Murrieta's Well specializes in small-lot wines and estate blends made from Livermore Valley fruit.

Murrieta's Well 2009 The Spur

One contestant for today’s show is a 2009 estate-blend from Murrieta’s Well named The Spur. The Spur consists of all five Bordeaux varieties (32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Malbec, 21% Petit Verdot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 4% Merlot) and a small amount (6%) of Petite Sirah. The potential match is a spice-rubbed flatiron steak recipe provided by Chef Greco. The flatiron steak (aka chuck) is a lesser known and relatively inexpensive cut that’s fairly tender, but usually used for roasts or ground beef.

Grilled Flat Iron-Steaks

Following the chef's recipe; I rubbed the steak with smoked paprika, ancho powder, ground cinnamon, star anise, ground allspice, ground cloves, salt, sugar, and then grilled it over charcoal. For what I paid for the steaks (approximately $6 each), they came out flavorful and more tender than expected. As for the wine; The Murrieta’s Well The Spur (SRP $25) displays a deep ruby color with inviting aromas of dark cherry, mixed berry, cocoa powder, and hints of vanilla, cedar and baking spice. The aromas carry through to the palate, with a nice overall richness, good acid balance, a velvety texture, and supple tannins, ending in a pleasant lasting finish. The steak and wine complemented each other well, with the wine bringing out [highlighting] the spices rubbed into the steak. The thinner cut of the steak worked well with the savory aspects of the wine. I close this episode out by saying we made a good (and delicious) match!

Click here to visit the Murrieta's Well website.

Disclosure: This wine was provided as a media sample to participate in an online event. Thoughts are my own.

Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned ...more to come.

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