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Wines to pair with prime rib

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    Wines to pair with prime rib

    Hi folks, we'll be doing a prime rib roast for our Xmas feast this weekend. I have some choices for what wine to pour with the meal and would love some feedback.

    I've got a couple of cabernets, a syrah, several zinfandels and zin-based blends, and a 2012 Rioja Reserva. I've read discussion about whether a roasted (as opposed to smoked) rib roast needs something as assertive as a cab, and that perhaps a zin would be a good match. Of course, as always in the world of writing about wine, the use of adjectives that have no agreed meaning is pretty widespread... happy to hear any suggestions/experiences. Probably can't go wrong with any of these, but hey, one geeks out as one must.

    I like Yellow Tail Shiraz, it’s smooth and rich. I’m no expert, but Ive been pairing it with beef for several years.


      Any bold oaky red works in my book, I even like ports with beef. Tastes vary greatly, I always advise people to just drink a wine that they like.


        You’ve already gotten the best advice: drink what you enjoy. For me, that means a hearty zin, cab, merlot, or Malbec. If offered, I won’t turn up my nose at something lighter like a Pinot noir. A decent white? I would feel obligated to roll my eyes while graciously accepting such a barbaric offering … but I would never admit to enjoying it to my friends.


          Thanks folks, appreciate the input. To be clear, I'm not going out to get anything else, just working with what's in my little wine fridge. It's Beyond Thunderdome out there in the world of retail so I ain't movin. That means it's a choice between the four varieties I listed: cab, zin/zin blend, syrah, rioja. They're all very good wines, have had them all before, so there's no question on that front, it won't be bad. Just curious if there is enough variation from one to the other in this kind of pairing worth talking about, and I think a defensible early conclusion is, probably not!

          Being the good scientist I am, there is a distinct possibility that more than one of those varieties will be tested... More Data are Always Needed. It's a question of research integrity, you understand. *solemn nod*


            Those wines could all be good. Pick the best one.


              We're going with Wayne Gretzky No. 99 Cabernet Merlot.
              Don't forget a well chilled ice wine for dessert.


                cboss approves of any of those choices for prime rib.

                Her comment is that you want full bodied and high acidity to cut through the fattiness of the prime rib.

                She prefers Zin paired with grilled meats over a roast, but admits that's a personal preference. And a central valley Zin should be avoided with the prime rib in favor of the other choices you have.


                • DaveD
                  DaveD commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks! All my zins are Paso Robles, but I do have one zin blend that's out of Sonoma county. The Syrah I have I actually only just received as a gift from my eldest sister, who knows my wine tastes well, out of the Santa Barbara - Santa Maria area, and that one is starting to edge out of the pack. And to be clear: this is a GREAT problem to have, total first-world!

                • gboss
                  gboss commented
                  Editing a comment
                  "Syrah from Santa Barbara - Santa Maria" got two thumbs up from her, so that should definitely be one of the ones opened if it's already edging out the rest. Report back after!

                Personally I may lean toward the Rioja. But please open at least two to try with your beef and share your findings with us


                  I have a couple bottles of a 2008 Rioja that I will be serving for Christmas Dinner. A Rioja with a little age on it can be as fine as a good Bordeaux. For my preferences, I would rather have a really good wine than worry so much about the perfect pairing. All the wines you suggest will be just fine with a big beef roast. So pick the one you are going to enjoy the most.


                  • smokin fool
                    smokin fool commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Agree about not worrying about the pairings.
                    Find a wine you like, un-cork/un-screw it and serve.
                    True friends will shred you on the car ride home not at the table.

                  • DaveD
                    DaveD commented
                    Editing a comment
                    No worries there, it's just my lovely bride, our dog, and myself. And as a practical matter, my wife rarely has more than one glass of wine, so it will be up to me to carry on and collect all the needed data.

                  Big and Red....preferably new world


                    All are good choices but at this moment, I would chose the Syrah. I would actually think about the profile of the rub you are using and imagine what would pair well


                      Any of those would work. Depending on seasoning, I might go one way or the other but I'd lean to what you like (if you've had any of them before) or perhaps what you want to try if you or your guests haven't had, say, the Rioja or the Syrah before)


                        Agree with all of the above advice: drink what you'd like, and any of the wines you mentioned will be fine.

                        if it's a proper evening, you'll go through all those bottles in random order anyway

                        Slightly related: don't cook with a wine you wouldn't drink normally.


                          We'll have no guests; just the missus and me and our beloved pooch.

                          The rib will be seasoned simply, with butter, salt & pepper, garlic, bit of thyme (after dry brining for ~6 hr).

                          I'll take DTro 's suggestion and open two bottles even if I can't drink it all tomorrow (I'll be givin it all she's got, cap'n!)

                          I think the Syrah will definitely be one of the two, and the Rioja is a contender for the other...

                          ...for Science!



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