Eat Garlic Stuffed Pork Roast with Syrah
By Lisa J. Pretty
The Syrah grape originated in the Rhône region of France. In Northern Rhône it is typically the main grape used in wine production while in Southern Rhône it is often found in blends. Australians produce a very fruit forward wine from the grape and there it is known as Shiraz. American producers may use either name but it is indeed the same grape. Syrah became very popular in the early 2000s when it made its way to be one of the top 10 varieties planted worldwide. The dark grape with concentrated flavors and high tannins can be a very good wine for aging, or depending on how it is made can be very fruity and meant to be consumed young. In any case, the one thing you can count on is that the wine will be loaded with flavor.
There are some incredible Syrah producers spread throughout California. The wines tend to be dark, have loads of berry flavors, a fleshy fruit on the mid-palate and a little pepper or tobacco on the finish. I think Karen MacNeil’s description of Syrah in the Wine Bible is perfect for describing this wonderful wine “Syrah reminds me of the kind of guy who wears cowboy boots with a tuxedo. Rustic, manly, and yet elegant – that’s Syrah.”
I often pair Syrah with spicy food or grilled meats and vegetables. You don’t want to overpower the food so you need something that will hold up to the bold Syrah flavors. At this time of year I am still more into cooking indoors and for the lean protein and price point you can’t beat a nice pork roast. One of my favorite ways to serve pork roast is stuffed with garlic and rubbed with herbs – needless to say that is my recipe choice to go with a nice bottle of Syrah. Garlic and Syrah – a flavor combination sure to get the “wow” response.
Garlic Stuffed Pork Roast Recipe
4-5 pound pork loin roast
5 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375F.
Using a sharp knife make small incisions all around the roast. Insert garlic slices into incisions and then place pork in roasting pan. Pour wine, apple juice and olive oil over the roast so that the bottom of the pan is covered in liquid (approximately one half to one inch deep). Rub the rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper on the roast and then place pan in pre-heated oven. Baste roast with liquids after one half hour of roasting and again fifteen minutes later. Remove roast from oven when a meat thermometer indicates an internal temperature of 155ºF (approximately one to one and one half hours). Let roast rest for 10 minutes before carving – roast will increase in temperature to 160ºF while resting.
Lisa’s Favorite: 2006 La Crema Syrah “A Syrah with aromas that are rich in blackberry, cocoa and pepper. Flavors continue with blueberry, cassis, black licorice and hints of smoke leading to a plush middle and broad sturdy finish.” Retail $25, lacrema.com
Paso Pick: 2007 Calcareous Reserve Syrah “Upon opening up, the nose is filled with plum and lavender. The upfront fruit is surprisingly light and fresh, quickly building into a weighty mid-palate of blackberry, then ending with a lengthy soft finish.” Retail $42, calcareous.com
Value Pick: 2007 Robert Hall Syrah “An inviting, well-balanced wine, the 2007 Syrah expresses aromas of blackberry, chocolate and caramel with a touch of smoky, sandalwood spice.” With 90+ point ratings and a few gold medals, this wine is a bargain offered at retail for $18, roberthallwinery.com