Food and Wine Pairing:
Grilled Rib Eye Steak and California Syrah

January, 1st 2007

food and wine pairingA food and wine pairing with a gift bottle from a friend over the holidays! Nothing beats getting a free bottle of great wine! I decided to pop this on the night after New Years with a nice steak to make a nice relaxing occasion of it.
Classic grilled steak demands a bold and rich red wine. It is one of the best pairings on the planet. People often think Bordeaux or other Cabernet or Merlot based wines with a simple grilled steak. I like peppering my steak well and I think that spicy pepperiness works beautifully with a wine that has some spiciness to it as well. For that reason I think Syrah works splendidly as a barbecue wine.

For those that don't know, Syrah is classically grown in the Rhône Valley in France, particularly in the Northern Rhône. It is most famous from appellations such as Hermitage and Côte Rôtie but is also grown in others like St-Joseph, Cornas and Crozes-Hermitage. Growers in California have been producing Syrah for some time now and some are quite good!

Here was the food and wine pairing:

Ojai Vineyard Santa Rita Hills Melville Vineyards Syrah 2003

I don't care for some California wines which are too ripe and alcoholic without much varietal or unique character. Happily this was not the case here! The nose of this Syrah was smokey and stoney with creosote and asphalt laden blackberries, cassis and black pepper.

The mouth was dense with pepper black fruits and some meaty animal tones. This is young but the tannins are ripe and well integrated.

I really like this and it went beautifully with my grilled rib eye steaks. The rich juiciness of the steak stood up nicely to the powerful structure of this young wine. Another great food and wine pairing!

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