Challenging Wine Pairing: Spicy Sweet Oven Roasted Spareribs

By LaGayle ~ January 12th, 2011.

The Wine Peeps love barbeque…the kind that takes hours to smoke. However, this kind of cooking is usually done in the spring and summer when the time for outdoor cooking is the best! When I came across a recipe for spicy sweet oven roasted spareribs, I couldn’t resist trying it for this month’s challenging wine pairing. As with most of the recipes that I use, I did do some tweaking to incorporate the flavors that we enjoy. I prepared a rub that included brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, and celery seed. Along with the rub, I liberally coated the meat with meat tenderizer and black pepper. Then I slow roasted the spareribs in the oven, wrapped in foil, for approximately seven hours.

The complete menu for this meal included the ribs, corn on the cob, broccoli slaw, tomato slices, and a mixed fruit salad of papaya and mango. Of course, the final step was to determine what wines to pair with the spareribs. Once again, I referred to my favorite book, What to Drink with What You Eat by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page, and selected Gewurztraminer and Pinot Noir. We enjoyed the 2008 Phelps Creek Oak Ridge Gewurztraminer and the 2008 Erath Pinot Noir. Both Phelps Creek and Erath are Oregon wineries but the grapes for the Phelps Creek Gewurztraminer are sourced from Oak Ridge Vineyards in Washington State. We thought both wines were good, but all four of us preferred the Gewurztraminer, by itself and as the best pairing with the spareribs.

We’d love for you to share in the comments what you would have paired with this meal. And, as always, we welcome your suggestions for challenging wine pairings for us to try in the future.

Bon Appétit!

2008 Phelps Creek Oak Ridge Gewurztraminer (Oak Ridge Vineyards, Columbia Gorge, Washington): Pale, greenish yellow in color. Very aromatic with gorgeous pear, apple, and white peach notes on the nose. More pear, apple, and white peach, as well as honeysuckle flavors come through on the palate. Slightly off-dry and medium-bodied with crisp acidity. Well-balanced and refreshing with a long finish. Residual Sugar: 1.25%
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Fred Meyer (Seattle, Washington), $14.99

2008 Erath Pinot Noir (Oregon): Medium ruby red. Aromatic with strawberry and bubble gum aromas that lead to flavors of strawberry Kool-Aid and Red Vines. Light to medium-bodied with lively acidity, very soft tannins, and a long finish.
Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Fred Meyer (Seattle, Washington), $15.99; Available elsewhere, $14 to $24

Filed under: American Wine, Challenging Wine Pairing, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Food & Wine, Gewurztraminer, Oregon Wine, Pinot Noir, Red Wine, Washington State Wine, White Wine, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25

Reader's Comments

  1. Mike Veseth | January 13th, 2011 at 7:30 am

    I think the Gewurtz is an inspired choice — makes my mouth water! Yum.

  2. Kori | January 13th, 2011 at 9:50 am

    Thanks, Mike. It worked well. Yum, indeed. Cheers!

  3. Terry | January 17th, 2011 at 6:54 am

    Will look to break some gewurtz out next time I smoke ribs. Have mostly tried syrah and petite syrah and rhone blends with bbq in my limited wine experience.

  4. Kori | January 17th, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Hope you enjoy the pairing as much as we did. Let us know what you think when you try it. Cheers!

  5. Calories in Alcoholic Drinks | January 20th, 2011 at 3:55 am

    Nothing like some spare ribs, think i’ll go for this choice tonight!!