From the Cellar

Wines for Short Rib Night (Ontario / California/ Spain / Italy)

16 Jul 2015

(March 21, 2015) ... A real mixed bag of wines came out on Short Ribs night, my parents were in town and my brother's family also stopped by so we had a full house for dinner ... But first I had to get the Short Ribs on and for that I needed some wine ...

I turned local for that and pulled a Lailey 2005 Zweigelt off the shelf, the recipe only called for a cup, and I down a half cup while putting it together - heck it was only 10 in the morning but you have to taste what you're cooking (or so they say). The wine was very pinotesque in its flavors with cranberry and sour cherry and a decent smoothness on the mid-palate while still retaining a good balance of acidity. For a 10 year old Zweigelt it showed amazingly well - I'll have to see if winemaker Derek Barnett is still making this.

When mom finally arrived (dad needed his afternoon nap) I opened a bottle we picked up during our adventures in and around San Francisco and Monterey a few years back and served it with a cheese tray of Irish cheeses (after all St. Paddy's Day had just passed) ... I kicked things off with a Kunde 2008 Red Dirt Red - a wine where Italy (Barbera and Sangiovese) meet California (Syrah and Zinfandel) in a pretty intriguing wine. Aromas are black cherry, mocha, and cassis while the palate has anise and spice with a touch of smokiness on the finish. Hard to badmouth a "brought back from ..." bottle, especially one that probably should have been drunk sooner to capture all the bright fruit, but its still pretty good.  My next piece of our California adventure to be opened was a Talbott 2008 Sleepy Hollow Vineyard Pinot Noir - now this wine was spectacular and still had plenty of life left in the bottle ... Nose doled out aromas slowly: earthy black cherry and sweet cranberry, and it was so worth the additional, and frequent, sniffs. Palate started off with great black cherry then layered in some white pepper and touch of spiciness on the finish - but what really stood out was the nice acidity (keeping it fresh), and its palate-pleasing juiciness ... A lovely pre-dinner Pinot paired with the appetizers.

Ribs_Breca2011 Ribs_LaileyZweigelt Ribs_Papale Ribs_TalbottPinot Ribs_KundeDirt

Of course the short ribs are going to require something a little heavier and that's where the next two wines come in. The Bodegas Breca 2011 Garnacha and Vigne e Vini 2010 Papale Lineo Oro. The Breca is usually a wine that delivers loads of flavour, and the '11 did not disappoint. Nose showed off tobacco, plum, and vanilla-smoke, while the palate had plenty of vanilla-plum and smoke along with good spice character along the lines of pepper and cinnamon. The Papale delves more into the sweet fruits range with plum, chocolate, and dark fruit, with a smooth, silky, mouthfeel where floral and vanilla crept in. The wine proves to be quite Zinfandel-esque, not surprising, but there is still good acidity on the finish for balance.

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