Friday, October 14, 2011

Rudy's BBQ and the Great Wine Taste Test

I like to do little experiments to reinforce what I read about food.  It was Saturday evening and we were getting hungry so I ran out to get some BBQ.  Brisket to be exact.  Half moist and half lean to be even more exact.  Now I know this will be received by the foodies with disdain but I like Rudy's BBQ.  They are consistent, fast, friendly and they have that good Red Flash soda pop.  I skipped the soda since I was taking it home.  The whole trip took about 20 minutes.  Now for some fun.

Steph told me about a thread she was reading where foodies were arguing over which wine went best with BBQ.  It sounded like they decided on Zinfindel and Prosecco.  I immediately thought of a wine we loved to drink with steak called Wrongo Dongo.  It's made from the Monastrell grape in Spain.  Back then it was marketed as the only bottling of wine using only the Monastrell grape.  Until that time the Monastrell grape was always used in blends.  The vintage that hooked us was 2004.  We happened to have a 2006 and a 2008 in the cabinet so it was decided we'd do a side by side taste test of the same wine from different years.  Let the games begin!

The biggest difference I noticed was the 2006 was considerably lighter in color, it's peaks were weaker and overall it's taste was less bold over the 2008.  They both had that dark fruits, dark cherries palate and were a bit on the acid side.  What jumped out at me was how the 2006, while it was thinner, played better with the smoky meat flavor of that Rudy's brisket.  And after two glasses I think I'll stand on that statement.  My understanding is a wine is more apt to be thin, or watery, when there is more rainfall than usual.  This makes the grapes plump and in the end "waters down" the wine.  That makes sense but it's usually said in a negative tone.  Given the thinner Wrongo Dongo actually tasted better with the brisket I now understand a little more about wine.  And I have no idea how a Sommelier can remember all those little facts.  On to the brisket.

If you've ever tried Rudy's brisket, and who hasn't?, then you know their flavor.  It's smoky, the bark is full of black pepper and it's not too juicy.  Some people complain about their brisket being dry but I guess I'm the opposite.  If I get a brisket that's too juicy and reminds me of roast beef then I'm not as happy.  That's just personal taste.  One thing that I knew but hadn't thought about in a while is the difference in flavors between lean and moist cuts of brisket.  Rudy's lets you choose and I always get lean.  I'm the guy that cuts all that "good fat" off my steak while I'm eating it and leaves it behind.  I take it home to my dog so it doesn't go to waste.  I just felt a few people cringe.  My aunt used to tell me I was a "lazy eater" because I wouldn't eat the fat.  Maybe you should call me Jack Sprat.  OK, back to the brisket.  This is what I'd forgotten, the moist brisket with all that juicy fat in between the meat really holds in the smoky flavors.  It's just an extra level of flavor I was used to missing but I can see why people like it.  So my suggestion here is to get a little of both.  And some jalapeno sausage.  And some potato salad and cream corn.  And don't forget a big cup of red soda.

Steph also blogged about Rudy's.  She her take and pictures too.  Click Here to go to

See ya tomorrow.

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