A Scruffy Shiraz with Urban Smoked Short Ribs

New South Wales Wine Regions. Map courtesy of australianwine.com

World Wine Travel Group Learns the Hard Lesson of Australian Wine
This month, our World Wine Travel writers are scheduled to write about the glories of New South Wales Red wines. No doubt there are lots to choose from somewhere in the world, but we are finding New South Wales wines to be particularly poorly distributed in the US. Scroll down to the bottom of this post to see links to my fellow writers who were able to source a wine. Not what I wanted to write, but there you go.

New South Wales contains the major cities of Sydney and Canberra. Most of the wine regions are protected from the Pacific influence by the Great Dividing Range, leaving the wine regions with a hot & dry climate. This region has traditionally been the source for very large volumes of grapes for the big brands.

Nugan Estate
One of Australia’s 20 largest wineries, Nugan Estate is still family owned. They farm in multiple Australian regions including Riverina. They are taking efforts to minimize their carbon footprint, focusing on energy usage and water conservation. The label notes explain that “Scruffy” is their vineyard manager, with an accompanying story about his shenanigans.

Nugan Estate “Scruffy’s Shiraz” from the Riverina wine region in New South Wales

Nugan Estate “Scruffy’s Shiraz” Single Vineyard, Riverina 2017 ($18 at wine.com) 14.0% abv
Eye: Deep ruby
Nose: Medium plus intensity aromas of ripe, fresh strawberries, red cherries, blackcurrants, vanilla, toasted oats, touch of black pepper.
Mouth: Dry, high mouthwatering acidity, medium very fine-grained tannins, full body, high alcohol, medium plus flavor intensity, medium plus finish. Flavors follow the nose with emphasis on ripe red and black fruit, black pepper, vanilla and toast.
Observations: Very enjoyable example of Australian Shiraz with nice fresh ripe fruit alongside generous oak.

Smoking Ribs and Drinking Shiraz on the Hottest Day of the Year
Since I set out the actual schedule for our year, I have only myself to blame for New South Wales Red Wine in June! I also happened to pick the hottest day of the year to smoke our ribs and drink Shiraz. I did try to think cool thoughts, though. This was my first attempt at smoking on our tiny patio at our apartment in downtown Minneapolis. I was hoping I wouldn’t hear complaints from neighbors on either the smoke or the several hours of slow roasting beef rib aromas. Luckily, we heard nothing. Phew!

Once we were inside with the A/C on, all was well. These short ribs are from a favorite recipe from our friends Sean and Mary at Vindulge. While you can find many recipes on their website, I can recommend their excellent Fire and Wine Cookbook to keep them ready to go, all in one place. These red wine braised short ribs are smoked, then braised on the grill. No need to turn the oven on, which is good news on a hot summer day! Taste wise, they are very meaty and spicy, very nice with a rich full bodied Shiraz. Smoke extra ribs as you’ll want leftovers!

Scruffy’s Shiraz with spicy smoked beef ribs

Fellow World Wine Travel Writers New South Wale Reds Discoveries
Take a look below, we’re a small but might group of wine writers this month!

4 Responses to “A Scruffy Shiraz with Urban Smoked Short Ribs”
  1. culinarycam says:

    Thanks for joining in! You seem to be adapting well to your apartment life…and cooking on that tiny patio. You are inspiring me! I poured that wine as well and paired it with some lamb sausages braised in tomato sauce.

  2. Beautiful food and photos of urban living! And interesting story about sourcing. Looks like you could have gotten this question on your D3 exam: “Evaluate the potential of New South Wales to increase the volume of wine that it exports to the US”!
    It took us a completely random running into a wine shop in Hong Kong to see a completely different side of Australian wine, one that specializes in low intervention wines from Victoria that rarely make it outside. It’s run by a French guy naturalized Australian citizen! ozterroirshk on Instagram if you’re curious.

  3. Wendy Klik says:

    I’m going to look up that cookbook Jeff. Thanks for the tip.

  4. I totally empathize with your issues of smoking the ribs and drinking Shiraz in the heat –– I found myself with similar issues using the oven and drinking Shiraz in the heat as well. But it looks like those ribs were delicious! Seems like a delicious combo though!

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