Buy Your Beef Like You Buy Your Wine

by Julie Divis February 13, 2019

Buy Your Beef Like You Buy Your Wine

When it comes to food and drink, I love a good pairing. Here in Chicago, pairing menus are all the rage. Serve 5 different courses and offer a new taste (or glass cough) of wine that perfectly enhances and compliments each dish? Sign me up.

During these dinners, the waiter or sommelier will go into great detail about where the wine comes from, even pinpointing a specific valley in the countryside perfectly located to provide ample sunlight. But do we ever hear that level of detail regarding the food we are eating alongside it? Isn’t it important to know where our food came from too and why it tastes so good?

So why does Pre beef taste distinctly different andmore delicious, than the other beef I find in the grocery store? Just like with wine, region matters. In order to grow individual varieties of grapes, you need a certain level of rainfall, a specific mineral content found in the soil, a particular amount of sunlight, and different temperature requirements to achieve the perfect vintage. The same strict standards are needed for beef.  



At Pre, we source our beef like we would source our wine. We chose specificcountries that provide the perfect environment for raising cattle. And within those countries, we dial it down to specific regions. All of our beef comes from New Zealand and the south-eastern regions of Australia(specifically Tasmania, Victoria, and New South Wales). The ample rainfall and mild climate of these areas allow for nutritious grass to grow and thrive so cattle can be pasture raised year round. Farmers in these regions also utilize sustainable farming practices, combining sheep and cattle on the same pasture, for example. Sheep like to eat just about anything(weeds included!) so this lets the cattle munch on the grasses they prefer to enjoy. Fun fact: Did you know that sheep and cattle both outnumber the human populations of New Zealand and Australia?



The breed of cattle we source plays a big role in our Pre difference. We like to compare this to the variety of grape used in different wines. Each variety is going to taste different, thrive in certain growing conditions, and yield different size and color fruit. The breeds we use when sourcing our beef are calledBritish breeds.  Examples of these includeAngus, Hereford, Red Devon, Murray Grey and any cross-breeds. We use British breeds, as opposed to Tropical breeds such as Brahman, because British breeds are smaller, gentler animals that provide high-quality beef.  



And finally, just as aging is important in fine wine, beef needs to age too. Lucky for us, our beef can wet age in the time it takes totravel halfway across the world. Wet aging is the process of beef aging in a vacuum sealed bag. This allows for the enzymes in the beef to tenderize the cut and enhance its flavor.  When it arrives to us in Chicago, we are ready to cut steaks, grind the beef, and send it off to astore near you!  
Just like with wine, region matters.  In order to grow individual varieties of grapes you need a certain level of rainfall, a specific mineral content found in the soil, a particular amount of sunlight, and different temperature requirements to achieve the perfect vintage. The same strict standards are needed for beef.  


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Julie Divis
Julie Divis:

Julie is really into food. Some might argue too much (we wouldn’t though, she is a Food Scientist after all). She’s our Quality Manager and we are very happy about that. Whether she is conducting a food quality experiment, testing new products (and we don’t mean JUST taste testing) or overseeing our production process, her goal is always the same: deliver the highest quality product and taste every single time. She knows how things work, why they work, and how to make them work better. And she can tell you all the reasons why bread tastes better toasted. Julie has been named one of Progressive Grocer’s 2018 GenNext Award winners and has worked in the food industry for companies like Hillshire Brands and Tyson Foods before finding her way to Pre. Outside of work, Julie loves cooking, doing yoga, hanging by a fire pit (master of s’mores) or spending time with her husband and new baby daughter (lovingly referred to as nugget).

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