"True wine enthusiasts don’t collect wines.
They collect memories of wines shared with friends and family."

-Dario Zucconi

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Delicious Braised and Glazed Pork Spareribs

If you are like me and don't know how to, or don't like to grill (that's what my husband is for!), or even if you are a grill master, the recipe of "Rubbed, Braised and Glazed Pork Spareribs" from Food and Wine Magazine (http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/rubbed-braised-and-glazed-pork-spareribs) is sure to impress!  And, to me the best part (besides the fact that it is mouth-watering good) is braising, which means that you have time to do other things while the food is cooking like play with your kids, do chores around the house, run errands, or (as I did today) work!  The honey glaze on the spareribs gives it a delicious sweet flavor that even my little picky eaters tried a few bites.  And, the roasting at the end (in a 500° oven) gives it a wonderful smoky flavor that one could never tell you didn't stand over a hot grill all afternoon.

As a side dish, we a homemade red potato salad -- dressed with a homemade Meyer lemon and honey vinaigrette instead of ranch dressing.  

For the cooking wine, I used a bottle of Kenwood Vineyards Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley, Sonoma, CA) to braise the ribs with -- Yep! A whole bottle.  Don't worry, the alcohol totally cooks off during the 3+ hours of cooking. This Pinot is full-bodied and a little fruity, which is a great option for braising the ribs.  

To drink, we had a glass of Toasted Head's Untamed Red.  This wine is a really good every day dry, full bodied, red red wine blend of Syrah, Zinfandel, and Petit Sirah.  This wine pairs well with the spareribs that are both sweet and savory.  The characteristics of each grape varietal complement the ingredients in the ribs really well. The Syrah adds a subtle peppery spice to the palate.  The Zinfandel contributes a somewhat jammy dark fruit character and sweet, fragrant spices like cinnamon.  The Petit Sirah grape adds some beautiful color (deep, dark, inky purple), more rich ripe fruit and silky character.  As for taste and flavors, you will find hints of deep fruits such as blackberry, black cherry, and plum; earthy and fragrant spices such as cinnamon, cloves, thyme; and a little smoky aromas like cedar planks and hints of dark chocolate. Although this wine is inexpensive (about $10 at Safeway), it is a deliciously intense wine with a long finish. 

Until next time . . . Cheers! ZinAdel

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