2013 Owen Roe Sinister Hand – An Evil Good Wine

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IMG_2439Owen Roe Winery ? 2013 Sinister Hand (Columbia Valley)
64% Grenach, 16% Syrah, 12% Mourvedre, 8% Cinsault

Each year, Sinister Hand proves that French Rhone-style wines can be made in true Northwest fashion with strength, beauty and consistency. Using the same fruit, varying only the percentages, each vintage promises enjoyment. The 2013 is no different, and might just be one of the best Sinister Hand vintages I?ve yet to taste.

The satisfyingly dense garnet color first captures your imagination, hypnotizing you, as you get lost swirling in the depth. Ripe and juicy plum, succulent blueberries take over your mouth with the first sip, followed by a pleasant stony minerality on the mid-palate and a delightful lingering finish of raspberry jam, cherry cola and baking chocolate.

There is absolutely nothing evil about this wine, except maybe the label, which particularly appeals to the dark part of my personality. When the wine shelves are fully of wines?featuring cute critter labels, a bloody hand is sure to catch your eye. Yeah, you?ll look twice, and be glad you did. Legend has it, back in 11th century Ireland, a rowing competition for land took place between the O?Neil and the O?Reilly families. The first person to cross the lake and touch land would lay claim to the contested land. As the O?Reilly boat was in the lead, Owen Roe O?Neil used?his own sword to cut off his hand and threw his?severed limb onto the shore, winning at nearly all costs. The O?Neils were declared the rulers and still own the land today. The label, which has become part of the family crest, shows the hand of the legendary Owen Roe O?Neil, the wine is made by winemaker David O?Reilly?how?s that for keeping it all in the family?

Wine that’s perfect for Halloween, blustery autumn days and stormy winter nights. Really, the wine is just perfect. And it would be positively sinister if I didn?t encourage you to go buy a bottle.

Angel Vine 2012 The Hellion

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IMG_23512102 Angel Vine
The Hellion (Columbia Valley)

A super-structured wine full of?juicy, ripe blackberries, dark?plum, black cherries and pie spices. It teases your palate with baking chocolate,?leather, licorice, moist earth, black pepper?and vanilla, all of which?contribute?to the delight and the complexity of this wine. Its full body makes it fun?to pair with food; the primitivo and zinfandel make it a no-brainer with grilled meats, like lamb and beef, but the solid structure, balanced tannins and bright acidity allow it to pair?beautifully with rich recipes like?my crockpot barbecue brisket.

A big and beautiful?blend of primitivo (43%), petite sirah (28%) and zinfandel (29%). The grapes for this wine were sourced?from four vineyards in four different regions of the Columbia Valley in Washington State???Stonetree Vineyard (Wahluke Slop AVA), Alder Ridge Vineyard (Horse Heaven Hills AVA), Avery Vineyard (Columbia Valley AVA) and Les Collines Vineyard (Walla Walla Valley AVA).

Winemaker Ed Fus shows a passion for terrior-driven zinfandel and primitivo, which is clearly seen in this wine. The Angel Vine wines can be found in the market or at their Urban Portland winery and tasting room Urban Crush.

Not Your Mama’s Brisket

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bridketHands down, brisket might just be?one of my most favorite meals; growing up Jewish, it was?served at practically every holiday. For me, it’s the perfect?combination of nostalgia, taste and comfort food. And while my mother?s recipe is tried and true (to be posted at a later date), I?m always on the hunt for a good brisket recipe. Throw in the crockpot?element and this dish goes to the top of my favorite list.

Slow cooked and simmered for 10 hours in a sauce of sweetness and spice, the complex flavors leave you with a meal that?s as comforting and tasty?as it is easy. When you walk in the door at the end of a long day to a house smelling of this BBQ Beef, you?ll be rewarded with aromas of what I sometimes call ?beef candy.? Serve it sandwich style, atop?traditional pub buns?or gluten free focaccia, alongside a cool and refreshing cole slaw (recipe to follow) with?a side of roasted potatoes. And just try and save some for leftovers?I dare you.

INGREDIENTS

BARBECUE SAUCE
1 1/2 cups?ketchup
1/2 cup?water
1/2 cup?packed?dark brown sugar
1/4 cup?finely chopped?yellow onion
3 tablespoons?cider vinegar
2 tablespoons bourbon (optional, but recommended)
3 tablespoons?Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon back strap molassas
2?chipotles peppers in adobo?sauce, finely chopped (seeds, sauce and all)
3 cloves crushed garlic
3/4 teaspoon?freshly ground?black pepper

BRISKET DRY RUB:
1/4 cup?Hungarian paprika
1 tablespoon?chili powder
1 tablespoon?ground cumin
1 tablespoon?packed?dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon?kosher salt
1 teaspoon?cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon?garlic powder
1 teaspoon?freshly ground?black pepper
5-pounds of untrimmed?beef brisket

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Add all of the barbecue sauce ingredients to a 3-quart or larger slow cooker and stir to combine.
  2. Place all of the brisket dry rub ingredients except the brisket in a small bowl and combine well.
  3. If roast is whole, cut brisket in half widthwise so you have 2 pieces. Evenly coat it with the spice rub and place the 2 brisket pieces in the slow cooker, fat side up.
  4. Cover and cook on low about 10 hours.
  5. Remove the brisket from the slow cooker, trim and discard excess fat, slice meat against the grain into ? inch slices and return to slow cooker.
  6. Turn slow cooker to high, and cook in the barbecue sauce for an extra 20-30 minutes.
  7. Remove meat gently and build sandwiches to your liking.

Use your imagination for leftovers (if you have any). I love them over hashbrowns with an easy over egg atop, equally deeelish with steamed rice.

WINE PAIRING:

Angel Vine 2012 The Hellion -?a satisfying blend of primitivo (43%), petite sirah (28%) and zinfandel (29%). Click here for the complete review.

Slow Cooker Barbecue Brisket
Print Recipe
Slow-cooker brisket recipe coated in a sweet, tangy and spicy barbecue sauce.
Servings Prep Time
8 30 min
Cook Time
10 hours
Servings Prep Time
8 30 min
Cook Time
10 hours
Slow Cooker Barbecue Brisket
Print Recipe
Slow-cooker brisket recipe coated in a sweet, tangy and spicy barbecue sauce.
Servings Prep Time
8 30 min
Cook Time
10 hours
Servings Prep Time
8 30 min
Cook Time
10 hours
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