Monday, June 29, 2009

Chilean and an American Zinfandel at a Rib Cook-off

It was rib night chez Mr. Dean Tudor. The debate has raged between me and Mr. Dean for a few months now about what tastes better, back ribs or side ribs. I fall off the bone on the "back" side, while Dean is a "side" man. So after a sit down tasting of over a dozen Ontario wines (see Dean's results here); Dean and I sat down for our rib taste off. My contribution was a couple of bottles of Zinfandel, a traditional wine to have with ribs.

First out of the gate was a Zin from Chile, TerraMater 2001 Zinfandel-Shiraz (85/15 blend), it had good plum and berry smells, but was soft and bland on the palate, sadly it got eaten up by the smoky bbq flavour of the ribs and sauce. Very disappointing.

Then came the one I was looking forward to, Rosemblum 2005 Zinfandel - San Francisco Bay appelation. I am usually a fan of Rosenblum Zins and the appelation series are usually very good. I was sad to see the wine under a plastic cork, I would think that wines of this quality would deserve a real cork, or at least a screwcap. On the nose there was nothing but acetone smells (nail polish remover) and the taste did not improve on what the nose was offering up. I found this wine even more disappointing than the Chilean offering.

My goal here was to offer up some "Porker Ratings" on these wines, based on their ability to pair with the ribs (expressing them in number of oinks); but alas between their faults and their lightness there were no marks to be given. I would like to thank Dean for not making me give back the ribs - I offered before we started eating, cause after I am not sure he would have taken them back even if I offered. Again, Dean was courteous enough to let me eat my ribs and not send me out to McD's for my supper.

As an aside, cause I don't usually put my Ontario wines on this blog, but the Alvento 2006 Sondra (Merlot/Cabernet Franc) saved the cook off, pairing nicely with the smokiness and bbq sauce flavour of the ribs. I'll have a review of this wine in an upcoming newsletter. Also working nicley, was a 2007 Reserve Baco Noir from Stoney Ridge - a little light in the alcohol loafers (11.7%) - but with enough umph to impress.

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