Malbec is a newly discovered grape, for me. It’s only in the last year or so that I’ve learned about it, and it’s rapidly becoming one of my favorites. It’s become a popular wine in Argentina, and is growing in popularity in California. In the 2008 Zolo, it’s a medium-bodied taste, which I think it would lay down well, as it has some some solid structure behind it, though the tannins are not at all overwhelming.
Like many Malbecs, this wine has an inky darkness to it, a deep, deep purple on the edges, almost black as it pools, with a strong plummy or jammy taste. It is the perfect companion to many meals, including tonight’s, my first use of my new Big Green Egg.
I haven’t spoken of my Big Green Egg yet, as it’s only a couple of weeks old, and, other than a test-firing to make sure it “works”, I hadn’t used it before tonight. What is the Big Green Egg? In few words, it’s a ceramic outdoor griller and smoker, shaped, yes, like a big, green egg. I bought it for an absurd amount of money after a few friends swore how good it was. I’d been wanting to buy a new grill to replace my crappy $40 metal bowl, and I’m not a big fan of gas cooking.
(The Egg has a “following” that seems as “cultish” as that of Mac users. No surprise, then, that I’m drawn to it. I’ll have unboxing and set-up pix shortly.)
Tonight, as I pondered dinner, and despite the fact that I went to Forbes Grill Steakhouse on Saturday and I’m going to 5A5 next Saturday, I felt the need to fire up The Egg and sizzle some steak on it.
The economy has done some bad things to a lot of people, but one of the good things its done is made good steak cheap. How cheap? How about Prime grade New York and Ribeye steak for under $10 a pound? Thanks to Costco, I was able to stock up on three or four pounds of each, for less than the cost of one 12 oz. cut of each at a high-end steakhouse.
Tonight I fired up The Egg, and in 20 minutes it was at a roaring 600 degrees. Whew! I sprinkled a New York steak with some kosher salt and fresh ground pepper on both sides, and let it sit while The Egg came up to temperature. Then three minutes on each side with the flames caressing it, and then a couple of minutes “baking” with the fire dialed down, and it came out slightly north of “medium” on the edges.
The uncut steak shown here isn’t slathered with sauce; that color comes from The BGE, which produced a fantastic crust, while remaining moist and juicy. The steak was chewy without being leathery, and despite my initial fear that it had been overcooked and ruined, it was only slightly above temperature.
(Next time, I’ll limit it to two minutes on each side, and two minutes “baking”, so it’s pinker. I know, for a steak lover, I still don’t like it to far below medium. Better than a decade ago when I wasted a good cut at “well done”. Shudder.)
The 2008 Zolo Malbec was in fact the perfect companion to the New York steak. It neither overwhelmed it, as a Zinfandel might, nor succumbed to it, like a wonderfully subtle Pinot Noir might do.
In all, it was a enjoyable meal, and I’m looking forward to more pairings of Big Green Egg and my wine collection.