Hanger + Post-Grill Marinade + Potatoes With 2006 Amon-Ra Shiraz Barossa

Hanger + Post-Grill Marinade + Potatoes With 2006 Amon-Ra Shiraz Barossa

A test of whether a wine is good or great to you is if you can remember it a week after you drank it and then tried to write a pairing post on it. The mid-aughts ('04-'06) in Barossa were a quality string of vintages. Many Australian wines were emboldened by such things and flooded the American market with high-end wines at fairly ridiculous prices. That came crashing down rather quick-like as the bottles sat on the shelves with no seed to find a purchase (sorta forced that Raising Arizona reference there. meh). The result, though, after dust collected on the copious amounts of big-boy Aussie shiraz, was a fire sale. We swooped in and got our fair amount at heavily discounted prices. This is one. And it was quite delicious, if not something we'd shell out a Hamilton for to follow every year.

Food: Hanger steak with post-grill marinade, baked potatoes and arugula salad to finish

Unadulterated hanger, seared cast-iron style. Marinade of soy sauce, Worcestershire, balsamic vinegar, evoo, shallot, garlic and rosemary. This is post-grill marinade business. The stuff of the quick-cooking gods. You go here and see why. Sear off your meat (there's a joke there somewhere), poke it all over with a fork, dump it into the marinade, let it sit for 10 minutes, slice and serve (we learned not to tent the meat - too much of a balancing act on getting a great char, keeping it medium-rare and avoiding a continuous cook under a tent). See all those ingredients in the marinade? You taste every one without losing any of the meaty flavor. In fact, you get more, as the marinade doesn't change it like many marinades do, sometimes not so much for the better. Rogue Smokey Blue crumpled on top, because Rogue Smokey Blue and big-boy shiraz is delicious.

Potatoes, baked. Onions, hot-oven-roasted in evoo with sage. Basil dumped over everything. Arugula and parsley salad to finish.

For simple meat and starch dinner from here on out, I really don't think we'll be doing anything other than the way of the post-grill.

It's that delicious, fresh and quick.

Wine: 2006 Glaetzer Shiraz Barossa Valley Amon-Ra ($60 - Binny's)

$60, marked down from about $110. A wine with huge praise upon release (Parker revised his down from 97-100, if that means something to you). Universal praise and $50 off? Sure. Why not?

Happy texture and nice enough lift. Oodles of blackberry and coffee notes, offering more black cherry and herbs as it wandered to the finish (and it did wander). Not sweet. Ripe but not a sweet impression in the fruit. A good balance struck. Care was taken in the making of this wine, for sure. A two-part play emerged, but that was a tiny problem in a way. It transitioned so quickly to the second act, we were left a touch confused on how it got there. And no third act made it feel like reading a short story collection. This was a quality short story but one forgotten in short order as you moved on to the next short story. It's a well-made bottle that nonetheless didn't particularly distinguish itself among the glut of well-made but indistinguishable higher-end Australian shiraz, which tend to be varying degrees of loud in our world. We like loud. Loud can be good. I'm a bit loud at times. But it's gotta be thoughtfully loud. This was only that in small bursts, here and there.

Pairing: Worked, especially with the onions, Blue cheese and soy sauce

We liked this, it was pleasant stuff together, as the wine became all of the best part of itself with a bite of charred onions and falling it line with the soy sauce in the marinade, as riper Aussie shiraz tends to do. While Rogue Smokey Blue and any well-made Australian shiraz are BFFs. Always.

We just wouldn't rush out, buy another bottle and do this again by any means.


Quick Note For Record-Keeping Purposes: Leftover Sun Wah BBQ (Broadway) chicken (great place open on Mondays, people) made into sticky buns. Papaya, long bean and carrot salad for filler and crunch. Coconut water, coconut vinegar, fish sauce, jalapeño, shallot and garlic sauce for drizzle. Lotus leaf buns. Bowl of basil and mint to top. And mayo, because that's how we roll. Some similar ingredients in the papaya salad and drizzle made for a combo with too much sameness, but this basic, ad-hoc steamed bun spread thought up when the large orders of chicken and duck arrived at the table at Sun-Wah (that was a lot of meat!) worked. We enjoyed this. Served with a lychee, lime, sake and sauvignon blanc sangria, which was delicious by itself, delicate and lilting, but with not enough sweetness in the sangria to stand up to the spiciness in the food, this fell a bit flat. Lesson learned.

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