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Posts Tagged ‘Syrah/Shiraz’

Rating: 4/5

A quick and dirty, Aaron Berdofe branded version of Coq Au Vin (Translated: rooster with wine) made with braised chicken thighs, leeks, yellow onion, golden beets, crimini and oyster mushrooms, shallots, cajun chicken sausage, tomato paste and of course, red wine.

Wine: Charles Smith’s Boom Boom Syrah 2009

Notes:

Most of the time I prefer to buy wine that’s restricted to a particular region.  This generally ensures that the quality will be acceptable.  However, occasionally I break from tradition if the winemaker behind the wine knows a thing or two.  Enter Charles Smith; the guy out of Washington state that makes quirky wines with iconic b&w labels that make hipsters swoon. You might have passed by his Velvet Devil Merlot in the wine shop a few times, but now you’ll be able to spot it as a Charles Smith wine from afar just by the label.  Boom Boom, I believe takes grapes from three different areas in Washington thus giving it a Washington State designation and not say a Walla Walla designation.  Anyway,  I can’t really use the word “explosive” with this wine like every other regurgitated wine review you’ll see on this.  I can however, tell you that the experience you’ll get is much more akin to taking a dose of Pop Rocks in your mouth, sans soda pop of course. This wine bursts at irregular intervals with blackberry, spices, roasted meats and violets which makes you take a moment, let out a sigh and say, “Cool.”  The oak on this wine is nice and smooth which makes me think it was French. In other words, it was a delightful accompaniment to my updated Coq Au Vin.  I really didn’t know what to expect from either of them so the unpredictable-ness of the whole thing just kind of worked out into something warm and fuzzy.  The only reason I didn’t give this a full 5/5 rating was because I had some thoughts on a few other wines that I would pair with the dish that would be enjoyable too while experiencing the Boom Boom Coq Au Vin. Speaking of Boom Boom, I had to listen to Sean Hayes’s “Boom Boom Goes the Day” while enjoying this.  Here’s an acoustic (and less upbeat) version of the song:

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Rating: 5/5

A nice thick Ribeye Steak marinated and seasoned then put on the grill with a side of steamed broccoli and wheat berries.

Wine: Errazuriz Single Vineyard Syrah 2007

Notes:

Holy buckets was this steak delicious!  100% pure grass-fed beef and grilled to the cooked side of medium-rare.  The meal itself was fairly simple and the marbling on the steak softened so nicely that it didn’t require an overly tannic red to enjoy.  A great piece of steak that is cooked to that melt-in-your-mouth perfection really doesn’t need a Cabernet Sauvignon with it no matter what you’re friend’s cousin thinks who claims to know everything about wine.  Tannins, those polyphenols found in the solid parts of grapes (and thus in red wine) and from oak aging help break down the fatty parts of meats.  Too much tannin and too little fat results in that cottony feeling in your mouth and too much astringency.  Too little tannin and too much fat results in you chewing on that gristle and hoping you don’t choke.  Given the prevalence of bad steaks cooked in America, I believe the over-generalization of having a Cab. Sauv. with your steak came about.  While you certainly want a big Cab. Sauv. with a big, tough steak, my ideal piece of red meat lays in succulence.  Marinade and/or slow cooking is the only way to go if you have a good cut.  However, if you’re invited to a backyard BBQ and you’re uncertain of the hosts grilling skills, bring a varietal Cabernet Sauvignon.  You can at least cover the taste if you have to choke it down.  However, the Single Vineyard label from Errazuriz produces a delicious Syrah with a bit of complexity behind it and a decent finish to add to the succulence of a perfectly cooked steak.

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Rating: 5/5

Roasted venison loin (medium-rare) marinated in red wine, pepper, sage and gin (which apparently makes a nice Juniper Berry substitute).  On the side: Minnesota wild rice with cranberries and sauteed green beans in lemon and garlic.

Wines: Château de Ségriès Cuvée Réservée 2008, Domaine de la Ville Julienne 2007, Yoakim Bridge Zinfandel 2006

Notes: No, I didn’t drink all three bottles by myself.  If you know a hunter, which you inevitably will if you live in Minnesota and you have some venison lying around in the freezer, you have to cook it for them.  I think it’s a rule or perhaps just a good idea.  Marinating the roast made this venison extremely delectable.  To boot, the wines were mind-blowingly delicious mixed with this meal.  I think I’m still speechless from how enjoyable this all was.

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Rating: 4/5

1/8″ thick slice of fresh mozzarella wrapped in prosciutto and then flashed fried on the skillet in some olive oil.

Wine: Owen Roe Sinister Hand 2009 – 70% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 3% Mourvedre, 2% Counoise

Notes:

This wine was so tasty on a brisk fall day.  Peppery, earthy, balanced tannin and a wild strawberry punch to knock you into submission.  It has enough body and just enough tannin to take on the fat (prosciutto) on fat (mozzarella) on fat (olive oil) delight, break it down in the mouth and make for a satisfying stay in your stomach.  I maxed out at 4 of these, but I was in love. The more health-conscious eater might stick to just 2.

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Rating: 2/5

Baked rainbow trout with fresh ginger, garlic and cayenne.

Sautéed Chard.

Risotto with dried Porcini mushrooms hydrated in white port and water.

Wine: E. Guigal Cotes du Rhône 2006

Notes:

Talk about a heavy dish!  Although the Syrah is wonderfully earthy and definitely took on this meal.  It was just too heavy overall to have more than a few bites.  Next time, the mushrooms should be left to soak in water or perhaps use some bellas.

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