Mahogany Glazed Spare Ribs Paired with Landmark Vineyards Steel Plow Syrah 2008


If your mouth isn’t drooling already you have serious issues!

I don’t know why I don’t make Ribs more often, they are so easy! This recipe for Mahogany Glazed Spare Ribs was no exception. For side dishes, I just threw some baked potatoes and corn on the grill. My grill hasn’t seen much action since the weather has been cooling down, so I thought it only fair to dust it off and fire it up. The recipe itself only calls for 8 ingredients and only took about 30 minutes start-to-finish to prepare. My kind of recipe!

Landmark Vineyards may have been founded in the Windsor area of Sonoma County in 1974, but its roots stretch all the way back to 1838. It was in Grand Detour, Illinois of that year that John Deere invented the steel plow and now his great great great grandson Michael Deere Colhoun and his wife Mary are the proprietors of the vineyard. It’s therefore not hard to see where the Landmark Vineyards Steel Plow Syrah gets its name!

The wine was fairly subdued on the nose, needing a little time to open up. The taste was big in the way of plum, blackcurrant, pepper, spice, tobacco and leather. Full in body and very chewy on the extensive finish. Certainly benefits from decanting and another year or two in the bottle to show what it can really do, with potential for even longer cellaring.

The problem with this pairing was that the fairly high spice content in the glaze for the ribs really killed the flavor in the wine. Likewise, the 14.7% alcohol content clashed with the spice. Don’t get me wrong, the wine was awesome, the recipe was awesome, but maybe I had a little too much of a heavy hand on the Chinese chili-garlic sauce!
If I had a second bottle of the Steel Plow I would probably try this pairing again holding off on the spice, but the lesson learnt from this pairing is that you should always consider the alcohol content of a wine when pairing with spicy dishes. With these particular Ribs I should have probably chosen a white with a low’ish alc content, Riesling, Gewurz, Gruner et al

I’m going to rate this pairing as a…

Neutral MatchNeutral Match






~ My Food & Wine Pairing Guide ~


Bad Match

Bad Match

The interaction of wine and food when tasted together has a negative impact on the senses. This is common when the food item is high in acidity, salt, bitterness, or spiciness.

Refreshment Match


Many times wine serves simply as a satisfying refreshment to accompany a certain food choice. The refreshment match may be appropriate when the food severely inhibits a good or synergistic wine choice.

Neutral Match


These pairing situations are average and pleasant, but are missing an element of individuality and thus cannot provide a superior gastronomic experience.

Good Match

Good Match

In this situation, you have found a wine that matches the food item’s basic components (sweet, sour, bitter, salty) and overall body.

Perfect Match

Perfect Match

This essentially means the combined effect of the wine and the food paired together is superior to the sum of the individual parts.

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