Unfortunately the Cork Dorks haven’t seen much of each other lately just due to work and life happenings, so this weekend my husband and I decided to spice things up and cook something fun together that would tie into my wine studies. For me, it was an opportunity to get him to taste more wine with me (because we all know wine tastes better when served with exceptional company and food).
Denver had turned rather cold over the weekend, in fact we were getting a decent amount of snow all around the city! The weather was undoubtedly the deciding factor on what style of meal we would be cooking that evening – hearty. After some debate we decided to make red wine braised short ribs with a side of tri-color roasted baby potatoes.
I chose to cook with Bodegas Olivares 2013 Altos De La Hoya from the Jumilla region of Spain. If you are unfamiliar with the Jumilla region, they are known for Monastrell. The varietal is heavy bodied, with characteristics of ripe blackberries, fresh ground black pepper, and sweet tobacco leaf. Fun fact about Monastrell, it is actually the same grape as Mourvedre from France. So if you like Rhone blends (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre) you will probably like wines from Jumilla. This is not to say they are the same wine just similar.
My husband took on the mise en place for our dinner that night so I didn’t have to which I thought was really sweet of him. For him, he saw it as an opportunity to continue perfecting his knife skills and kitchen skills overall. I don’t want either of us to stop learning and growing so if he wants to do all the prep and cook then I am all for it because that means I get to buy the wine and clean up after dinner which doesn’t bother me a bit.
After three hours, the time had come to open the lid on the Dutch Oven and see how our dinner was coming along. To our surprise, it was ready to eat! We let the short ribs simmer a little longer while Jake roasted the baby potatoes and made a light butter sauce to drizzle over them when they were done. For a garnish on the potatoes Jake chose freshly chopped chives and minced roasted garlic.
The wine I chose to pair with dinner was another Spanish wine, 2010 Bodegas Campo Viejo Reserva from Rioja. In Rioja, they produce mostly Tempranillo based wines that are typically blended with Grenache or sometimes Cabernet Sauvignon. I picked this wine in
particular because I knew its body and flavor profile would match that of the short ribs: smokey and full of lovely earthy flavors like mushrooms, oregano, thyme and wet soils. The wine paired beautifully with dinner, doing just what I expected it to do. But because I am still learning myself, I made sure to take note of how it changed the flavor of the food and the wine at the same time so I can use that information when I am on the floor at work.
This was a nice to change up my studying habits again, as I’ve mentioned before I tend to get bored quickly so I have to get creative. Plus when you are studying for any level of Sommelier, it is easy to get into the habit of just memorizing facts, regions, laws, etc. which is good but if you don’t have any personal experiences to reflect upon it makes it a lot harder to retain the information. Check out the final plating below and let me know what you think!
I would just like to say thank you for following me on my journey to become a Master Sommelier, it means so much to have your support. Please be sure to leave a comment and subscribe to my blog so you can stay up to date on all of my latest adventures!