BBQ Spaghetti and Zin

After what has been an inordinate amount of rain, and cooler than usual temperatures in sunny California, we finally had nice sunny weather this past weekend.  No rain, sunny, and close to 70 degrees both days!  I’d plan to watch some Championship Sunday football, and wanted some BBQ.  But I wasn’t motivated enough to take the cover off the grill, roll up my sleeves, and get busy cleaning.  In other words, I was in an “Easy like Sunday morning” state of mind.  I was looking for something with BBQ flavor, but easy to prepare.  After a quick review of the God-made database, I decided on BBQ spaghetti courtesy of the Food Network’s Neely’s (after all they are famous for their BBQ!).

As advertised, it was easy to prepare and delicious!  My only quibble is that was too sweet for my tastes based on the recipe.  After a bit of calibration we brought down the sweetness a bit.  Next time, I’ll probably use only half the sugar.  My only other deviation from the recipe as stated, was that I used ground beef rather than cooked, chopped BBQ’d meat (I refer you back to my “Easy like Sunday morning state of mind”;-)

Hmmm…what wine to serve?  What better wine to enjoy with football, the All American sport, than Zinfandel the All-American wine. No brainer there, Zinfandel and BBQ go together like peanut butter and jelly, especially a sweet and spicy BBQ sauce!

I chose the 2006 Rosenblum Cellars Annette’s Reserve Zinfandel (Click here for my review).

As I hungrily dug into my BBQ spaghetti, then took a sip of the Zinfandel, I was reminded of the best description  of wine and food pairing I’ve seen.  It’s from the blog of one of my favorite wineries Ridge Vineyards:

“As far as food & wine pairing goes, … there to be essentially four tiers:

1. The pairing is so bad it actually makes two independently tasty options taste terrible when tasted together.

2. The pairing is essentially neutral; they don’t clash, but neither do they harmonize, they simply co-exist.

3. The pairing is a good one; the two components interact effectively, and complement one another’s respective profiles.

4. The pairing is magic! A pure case of the total being greater than the sum of the parts; what you end up tasting is neither the wine nor the food per se, but rather, some new third taste that doesn’t independently exist without the cojoinment of the components. When, like true love, each independent entity dissolves and disappears into the other, and from this miasma emerges something ever more stronger altogether.”

The  BBQ Spaghetti and Zinfandel didn’t quite make it to #4, but was definitely #3!  The  Annette’s was fruit forward enough to balance out the sweetness of the BBQ sauce, while at the same time playing well with the acidity, and slight piquantness of the sauce.   Each made the other taste better.

While I really enjoyed this pairing, I’m looking to elevate my game for the Super Bowl.  Rather than ground beef, I’m going to braise a pork shoulder, shred it, then pan-fry the pork in olive oil until it’s well browned and a bit crispy.   I’m also thinking of trying it with a Petite Sirah.  I’m feeling a BBQ Spaghetti Zinfandel/Petite Sirah smackdown coming on!

As always, I look forward to your comments….

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