Which wine for braising oxtails?

I found a braised oxtail recipe calling for ‘dry red wine’. Which wine would be the best for this purpose?

Pretty much anything that is at least drinkable. I don’t spend more than $5-$10 for wine I cook with. For braising, shit, a cabernet, a merlot, a shiraz, a zin, a pinot noir – they’ll all do just fine. Don’t overthink it.

If you really want a more specific recommendation, get a Cotes du Rhone. But you’ll really be fine with any of the above.

Got a Trader Joe’s? This is what two buck Chuck was meant for. Or box wine, that’s handy too.

I was doing a similar recipe recently( for lamb )that called for the same and they suggested a Petit Syrah, which I what I ended up using. Wasn’t a huge fan of the recipe ultimately, but the wine wasn’t the issue.

pulykamell said Cotes du Rhone.

Listen to pulykamell.

(Cotes du Rhone is good for this because it is typically a high quality wine @ good cost. Good choices for this use can be found for $8. The wines tend to be juicy and not very tannic. These are good qualities for a recipe where liquids will reduce. But I digress.)

When I buy wine (I like alcohol, but I never get round to drinking it so I don’t buy it often) I sometimes get Côtes du Rhône for drinking. (The last few years though, we’ve been having 14 Hands Hot To Trot red blend because Mrs. L.A. likes it. I do too.)

Sadly, it hasn’t been Two Buck Chuck since I moved from L.A. Up here, it’s three bucks! Actually, I don’t think it’s bad at all for a table wine (something you’d just drink at the dinner table without being snobbish).

Same here in Chicago. I don’t ever remember it being $2. By the time I went to Trader Joe’s, c. 2004/2005, it was three bucks here, though sometimes still referred to as “Two Buck Chuck.”

I’m going to Trader Joe’s at lunchtime today. Maybe I’ll pick up a couple of bottles. I’ve never made oxtails, so I won’t know the difference! :stuck_out_tongue: (I’ve used Charles Shaw Merlot – I think, unless it was Cabernet – for glögi, and it was good.)

The NYT did a “taste off” a few years ago, and found that even experts could not discern the difference between stuff cooked with expensive wine and stuff cooked with the cheap-o stuff. IIRC, the “experts” picked the version cooked with 2-Buck-Chuck as the best.

Another food thread that I didn’t see in time and you beat me to the right answer.

Cotes du Rhone is a blend, and rather than a single varietal, I’d suggest a blended red if not going with Cotes du Rhone. Keep it cheap.

NY liquor laws means no three-buck Chuck for us. No “drinkable” wines in grocery stores. Just beer. :mad:

Braising? That’s what they make Gallo Hearty Burgundy for! No, really. I’ve found that it’s the best cheap wine for cooking. It goes in the stew, it goes in the braise, it goes in the cook.

Most French reds are blends, and if you buy a CA Cab, that only guarantees it is at least 75% cabernet.

A lot of Americans seem to have this idea that single varietal wines are somehow purer and better, but blended is how you achieve balance in a wine.

Burgundy or Cabernet Sauvignon. Really any full body red wine will do.

Based on this, I bought some Charles Shaw Cabernet Sauvignon for the cooking. I also bought a blend for sipping on (I don’t recall the brand), as I was attracted by the ‘notes of licorice’ description.

Oops. I’m probably too late to give this advice, but oxtail is mightily improved if you do the preliminary braising the day before dinner, refrigerate overnight, and skim off the solidified fat the next day. Oxtail is quite fatty and can be unpleasantly unctuous unless you remove a portion of the cholesterol. Also, any meat stew tastes better if you let it rest a day before adding the rest of the ingredients.

I’m not making them until New Year’s Day. (Or maybe a few days before, for consumption on NYD.)

The correct answer is “whatever is at hand”.

All very true, but if you are doing it the day of, then a fat separator works fine.

John Mace, I wasn’t aware of the CA rules. Thank you. Is that only Cab, or is it all CA wines? I agree, good blends make good wines.

It applies to all California wines. Here is a handy run-down of the regulations.

Didn’t Robert Frost write a poem about that? :smiley: