Tuesday, September 6, 2011

2007 Manos Negras Malbec

I don't have a whole lot to say about the 2007 Vino del Sol Manos Negras Malbec, Mendoza other than the fact that it is another in a long line of well-made, tasty, affordable Argentinian Malbecs. Nice color. Quite smoky for a Malbec (more on that later) with deep red and black fruits on the nose and palate. Medium-bodied with fruit, acid and tannin all nicely balanced. Turns a bit chocolaty on the finish. Like I said, nothing really jumps out here and screams "spectacular," but it's a perfectly satisfying wine that checks in around $15.

Last night's dinner was smoked/braised beef short ribs which I purchased from a local butcher shop (I'm being generous with the term "local" as Bichelmeyer's is damn near an hour from my house). I've been braising short ribs in the osso bucco style for 20 years now, but it wasn't until last year that I was introduced to the idea of lightly smoking them (this time over apple and hickory wood and pecan shells) before simmering them until fall-off-the-bone tender. Tip of the cap to Chef Renee Kelly for the inspiration. I braised them in onions, celery, carrots, garlic, red wine and home made chicken stock for 5-6 hours. The fork-tender beef was served over a mound of Yukon gold potatoes which were smashed with butter, buttermilk, fresh chives and a drizzle of porcini-infused olive oil. The smokiness of the wine really worked well with the meat. As I was standing in the cellar last night I was waffling between the Manos Negras a 2007 Dunning Syrah and I'm really glad I went with the Malbec.

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