Barbeque is a word of such significance: it can be used as an adjective, noun or verb and holds a premier spot in the Texan lexicon. I am a Yankee. A Northern native by birthright that has embraced the adage ‘I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could’ with zeal. My first taste of Texas BBQ was nothing short of an epiphany and I was quickly schooled about using the term barbeque for the grilling of any meat; a Midwestern faux pas.
I witnessed pleas for help on social media concerning the weight, cook time and heat ratio for smoked Brisket in verbal equations that held the same intense calculation as an exercise in quantum physics. In a moment of clarity I realized that this protein artistry demanded a liquid accompaniment that would frame every bite like a masterpiece.
A bottle oof Cinco Colmillos wine at ReRooted
When we eat, our palate fatigues very quickly. We are ‘chasing’ that first mouthwatering bite for the duration of the meal hoping to recreate its perfection. Whether you prefer your red meat with a charred exterior, tender pink middle or a flash of red that has barely been kissed by the fire, the most preferential decision will be the type of cut. The amount of fat, or marbling, in your cut of meat can be paired to your liking with the same expertise of a fine wine to a meal. Regardless of your porterhouse, rib eye or filet preference, one pairing springs to mind as a time tested and harmonious marriage: Red Wine.
The main tannin structure in red wines is obtained and measured by the contact of the juice with the seeds in the grape; tannins can also be added through the wine's contact with wood. It is likely that you have experienced tannins and their effect in multiple ways. The overall feel of tannins on the palate creates an astringent, bitter or ‘drying’ feeling that can leave you with a pucker or ‘bite’ to the back of your jaw. It is a misconception that tannins offer a taste in the wine though we perceive it as bitter. Other common ways that you have ‘felt’ tannins may be in a heavily brewed black tea, cranberry juice, walnuts, almonds or other nuts with skin, or my personal favorite chewing on a Popsicle stick. While chewing on the last remnant of that summer treat, did you notice that the moisture in your mouth began to dry and a bitter film coated your tongue and teeth? These are tannins from wood.
During your meal, the tannins in red wine bind the fat and protein that would coat and dull your mouth and leave you feeling cleansed. Tannins are a liquid ‘wet nap’ for the palate. Varietals (grapes) like Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petite Sirah, and Nebbiolo lead the pack with robust tannins but none exceed the powerhouse that is French native Tannat. And much like the saying goes, ‘Everything is Bigger in Texas’, this holds true for Texas terroir driven red wines!
The ultimate cheat-sheet rule to pairing food & wine is to pair regional grapes to regional cuisine. For example grapes that thrive in maritime regions most frequently pair well with seafood. In a state that leads the nation in cattle production and consumption, it is no accident that Texas wines can weather the heat of the grill. Grab a plate of Brisket, swirl a full bodied red and tip your hat to the ‘Texas Tough’ agriculture of this great state!
Reds For A Texas Sized Steak Available At RE:ROOTED 210 Urban Winery:
RE:ROOTED 210, RIVERWALK- A blend of 86% Tempranillo, 11% Sangiovese and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon that is sourced from the Texas High Plains. Bright black cherry and raspberry fruit stimulate the palate with a silky texture. Layers of white pepper, anisette, cola spices and delicate florals balance with a long fruitful finish. $36
2018 Bending Branch, Cabernet Sauvignon, Newsom Vineyards- The nose of blackcherry, leather and rose petal explodes in the glass, quickly developing the signature deep chocolate and bell pepper that Cabernet is known to display. A well-developed front palate of red fruit and baking spice finds perfect balance with the structured tannins and long earthy finish- A classic example for Cabernet. $44
Jennifer Beckmann and her husband John own the Re:Rooted 210 Urban Winery in Hemisfair
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