Beef Rib Roast + Barbera = A Perfect Fall Evening

Do you feel it?

The Autumnal Equinox takes us by surprise almost every year. Maybe it’s because we are neck-deep in harvest, picking, sorting, crushing and trying to grab a few hours of sleep when we can. But it always seems that one day we look up and it’s Fall. No other season announces itself in such dramatic fashion. The trees turn a flame-red, the green vineyards start to turn gold, leaves cover the ground and finally, finally we get a little rain.

We love Fall. It’s the most beautiful time in wine country. We love the excitement of harvest and the sigh of relief when it ends. We love the cooler weather and we really love all the great fall recipes, comfort food and of course, wine. This time of year we set down our summer sippers and turn to red varieties to warm us and pair with our heartier meals.

We are kicking off this Fall with one of our favorite recipes from Food & Wine, Horseradish-and-herb-crusted beef rib roast. While this roast will certainly complement a robust Cabernet, we’re suggesting something just a bit lighter, our 2012 Sonoma Valley Barbera. Barbera is full-bodied with soft tannins that will stand-up well to red meat, while allowing the delicious flavors of horseradish, garlic and herb butter that grace this recipe shine through. Barbera is a great food wine, and is Joe Benziger’s favorite wine to craft year after year. Enjoy!

2012 Imagery Barbera

Horseradish-and-herb-crusted-beef roast – Paired with Imagery’s 2012 Sonoma Valley Barbera


2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1 head of garlic, cloves coarsely chopped

1 cup prepared horseradish

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped thyme

3 tablespoons chopped rosemary

3 tablespoons chopped sage

One 16-pound rib roast of beef

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 325°. In a food processor, combine the butter with the garlic, horseradish, thyme, rosemary and sage and process to a paste.

2. Stand the roast in a very large roasting pan. Season generously all over with salt and pepper and set it fatty side up. Spread the horseradish-herb butter all over the top. Bake for about 3 1/2 hours, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 125° for medium rare. Transfer the roast to a carving board to rest for at least 20 minutes or for up to 1 hour before serving.

active: 20 min

total time: 4 hrs 15 min

servings: 12

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