Sunday Supper with Kendall-Jackson Merlot

Sunday dinners are a tradition in my house. My Mamaw always made huge, home cooked meals on Sunday for the family. Sunday “supper” was a requirement if you were in town. Ham, pork chops, collard greens, and soft fried potatoes. Mamaw’s soft fried potatoes were legendary. Must have been that 30 year-old cast iron skillet seasoned with bacon grease!Grandmother

Sunday supper is a Southern tradition that never left me. This past week we decided to BBQ brisket and vegetables. The hubs and I have experimented with several different BBQ seasonings and techniques, but never quite found the right combination. We wanted Franklin’s quality, but kept getting dried out, over seasoned meat. This week we kept it simple: salt, pepper, and 18 hours in the pit over low heat. It was finally hug-yur-Mamaw good! Simple is always better!BBQ Brisket

And of course, Sunday supper in my house is not complete without wine. I’m sure you have realized that I like the Kendall-Jackson brand, but there are three reasons why I keep KJ wines at my house:KJ Wine

1. Affordability-I don’t believe that wine has to be expensive to pair well with food or provide an interesting addition to the table. I like quality and value.

2. Flexibility- I like that some wines can be very complex and distinctive, but they do not always lend themselves to the modern table.  New world wines like Kendall-Jackson are flexible and can be paired with a variety of food. KJ has a good balance of fruit and spice.

3. And gosh darn it, it just tastes good! You should always drink what makes you happy!

I thought the Kendall-Jackson 2010 Merlot would pair nicely with smokey BBQ. I picked a Merlot over a Zinfandel or Cabernet because I thought the mellow fruit would balance out the spicy BBQ. I did not want a smokey Zin to cover up the 18 hours we spent on the brisket! I don’t usually pair bold wines with bold food. With food, as in life, I need balance.

The berry notes and dark cherries of the wine tasted like a light cherry wood smoke added to the pit during the last few hours. Not too fruit forward, but enough to appreciate its fragrant presence. I was afraid the more exotic spice of anise would taste strange, but paired with the wine’s slate minerality, it allowed the brisket to take on a woody flavor. Dark and earthy. Natural and organic. Just the way good Texas BBQ should be prepared. I think the KJ Merlot could also be paired with my Smoked Honey Dijon Rack of Pork!KJ Wine and brisket

I served grilled corn-on-the-cob and yellow squash which provided an interesting dichotomy to the spicy BBQ. The summer vegetables were sweet and the wine enhanced the fresh, garden flavor.

Overall, I think the Kendall-Jackson 2010 Merlot is a great value and flavor for backyard BBQ’s. Because I was serving up Mamaw’s Sunday supper, I thought a reliable wine would be the best choice. Every meal is a feast when you have good wine at the table!Wine and Flowers

*Disclaimer: All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own. I was not provided samples or compensation so it is all about what I think!

Meaty Goodness at Live Fire Austin

Live Fire SaltlickCome on baby light my fire! Last night I attended the Live Fire meat extravaganza. Live Fire is sponsored by the Austin Food and Wine Alliance and held at the world famous Salt Lick Pavilion in Driftwood, Texas. Sixteen chefs, numerous cocktail and wine tastings, and plenty of meaty goodness to go around!

I started the evening at Sway’s booth to try the Thai chili beef with coconut cream and vegetables. It was burn-your-face-off great! I don’t eat spicy food that often, but wow it was worth it! Good thing they were passing out Prosecco when you entered the pavilion. It was a nice way to cool down!

I sampled wines by Becker Vineyards, Pacific Rim, among others that escape me. I moved on to Dai Due’s flatiron steak tacos, flank steak rouland by Homegrown Revival, brisket by Franklin’s, and my favorite of the night-oxtail ramen with beef tongue chashu by Ramen Tatsu-ya. I dreamed of beef tongue and woke up smiling. My husband was very suspicious, but it was THAT good.Food for Live Fire

This is one of my favorite events of the year. I discovered I liked beef tongue, pickled strawberries, and espresso BBQ sauce (separately, but might prove to be an interesting combo!). I love trying new food combinations and you just can’t go wrong with lots of Texas steer!

Beef–it kicks chicken’s ass any day! Moo!