Zinfandel and Ribs: a perfect fourth of July

(photo by Flickr user barron)

Happy Fourth of July to everybody! And in the quest for the ultimate summertime fare, keep in mind the wonderful combination of ribs (beef, short, pork, baby back, St. Louis style, Texas style, doesn’t matter!) and red wine, especially Zinfandel. Particularly good this year are the 2005 Seghesio Old Vine, and the 2006 Ridge Geyserville. Both are showing great expression and personality. Absolutely outstanding wines to have with ribs. Below are some great links regarding ribs and wine.

Wine Review Online: Wine with baby back ribs

Daniel in NYC: Short Ribs with Celery Duo recipe

Newswire article: Zinfandel makes a patriotic wine pairing with ribs

And finally, here is my own pork rub formula, guaranteed to increase your enjoyment of ribs. Rub generously on the ribs (or any pork cut) at least three hours before smoking. (A little hint as well: marinate the ribs in Italian salad dressing overnight before smoking them!)

We call this the ‘family rub’ because everybody in my household loves it. All quantities are in parts to make it easy to make as little or as much as you want.

3 parts Kosher salt
4 parts granulated garlic
1 part granulated onion
4 parts Spanish paprika
1 part fresh ground black pepper
2 parts raw cane sugar (don’t use regular brown sugar – too much water content)
1/2 part dried oregano
1/2 part rubbed sage

The mix can be stored in a tight jar, in the dark, for up to four months.

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