Blinded by the Wine

January 24th, 2010 by Jeff

Wines featured in today’s show:

  • Yellow Tail Shiraz 2008  (~$7)
  • Bodega Del Desierto 25/5 Syrah 2005  (~$18)
  • Blacksmith Syrah 2004  (~$20)

Recommended food pairings from The Som:

Honestly, aside from a few exceptions, I’m not too sure that “New World” Syrahs will ever set the world on fire.  I keep hoping and trying but, as we say in the wine retail world, they are hand-sells.  Sometimes that is not a bad thing.  But if they stay that way over time and few people come back to buy more, it gets really tough to maintain their sales long-term.   Know what I mean?  But I keep up the good fight because I think good Syrah is worth the battle.  They’re full bodied with lush, dark fruit notes and often with a hit of peppery spice.  That is right up my alley.

When it comes to food pairing, the one thing I would be wary of is the higher alcohol percentage in Syrah.  It can get up there pretty easily and as I’ve cautioned before:  spicy food and alcohol don’t team very well together.  Noticeably high alcohol in wine can enhance the heat in spicier foods.  If that’s your thing, cool.  If not…be warned.

That being said, I’m often flummoxed by the BBQ/Syrah suggestion.  BBQ ribs, chicken, brisket with Syrah makes little sense to me.  Sure, a burger on the grill and Syrah sounds great.  But anything with dry rub and/or sauce, it’s best to get some beer, or Sauvignon Blanc, or even a Sparkling wine.

For the perfect recipe, lets go Old World.  They tend to have a little higher acid and more vegetal notes.  I’m thinking of stuff from the Northern Rhone valley, but those prices tend to get crazy.  If you pick something from St Joseph (the largest N. Rhone region) or Crozes-Hermitage (the most bastardized N. Rhone region), you can cut the price down to the high teens or low 20′s.  With that in mind, and having a very prolific deer hunter in the family, I present to you a pretty fool proof and simple venison roast recipe that would do well with a bottle of Northern Rhone Syrah.

As Chef Tell would say, “very simple, very easy.”

Now, where did I put my bow?

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