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Winter recipes to pair with Malbec, Zinfandel, Merlot, Petite Syrah or BOXT Profile Six

The heat from the chili and spices in the ribs is tempered nicely by the slight sweetness of this wine, and the boldness of the chocolate in the pie are just the right combination for our number six. 

If the number five pairings are for the coziest night ever, these pairings are our idea of a perfect game night combination. These dishes are all about fun and playfulness and enjoying being inside together on a cold winter’s night.

We love a bold cheese like a toscano or a rich Gorgonzola.
Editor’s note: toscano not capitalized. 


Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Serves: 4 

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups onion (diced)
  • 1 Tablespoons medium jalepeño (seeded and finely diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 lbs ground beef, turkey or plant protein
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger (peeled and grated)
  • 1 [14.5-ounce] can of diced tomatoes 
  • 1 [15-ounce] can of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup beef broth, vegetable broth or water
  • 3 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne 
  • 1 [15-ounce] can of chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (or greek yogurt)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  1. In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil and add onion, jalapeño, garlic, salt and pepper. Stirring occasionally, cook on medium heat until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. 
  2. Add all the spices, fresh ginger and ground meat or meat substitute. Cook for 5-7 minutes, breaking up meat/substitute until it is cooked through. Spoon out any excess grease.
  3. Pour in tomato sauce and broth or water and add the diced tomatoes. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat. Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes. 
  5. Add the chickpeas and stir to combine. Cover and cook for another 5-7 minutes. 
  6. Salt and pepper to taste. 

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and cilantro.


Prep Time: 2 hours and 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes, plus overnight marinating time
Total Time: 2 hours and 25 minutes, plus overnight marinating time
Serves: 6-8

Spoiler alert: These ribs want to marinate overnight, so if you’re not normally a meal planner (we’re so not) you’ll want to plan at least one day ahead for these. 

  • One 3-pound rack pork spareribs
  • 4 cups brown sugar
  • ¾ cup apple juice
  • ½ cup ketchup¼ cup Bragg’s amino acids (soy sauce can be used as a substitute)
  • ¼ cup Hoisin sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients, besides ribs, until combined.
  2. Place ribs and half the spice sauce into a ziplock bag. Seal the bag well, rub the sauce into all sides of the ribs. Put remaining sauce into a sealed container and overnight with the ribs.. 
  3. When you’re ready to cook your marinated ribs, preheat the oven to 300°F and line a baking sheet with tinfoil. Place the ribs directly on your oven rack and place the baking sheet on the rack below. Cook for 2 to 2 ½ hours, basting with the reserved marinade every 30 minutes, until tender when pierced with a fork.
  4. Remove from the oven and set the oven to broil.
  5. Transfer ribs to a cutting board and separate. Line them up on the baking sheet you used to catch drippings and baste with the rest of the marinade. 
  6. Broil, flipping once, until the marinade caramelizes and the ribs are golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side. 
  7. Transfer to a plate and serve.


Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 55 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Serves: 8

  • 1 9-inch pie crust, homemade or store bought
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 1/2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 5 ounce can evaporated milk
  • Whipped cream for serving (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and cocoa powder. 
  3. Vigorously whisk in the eggs (one at a time), butter and evaporated milk until completely combined and smooth (batter will be thin).
  4. Pour batter into the raw pie crust and bake for 50-55 minutes or until the filling sets and there is a thin crust on the top. Like brownies, the center may be slightly wobbly, but that’s okay. The pie will set up more as it cools.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool completely. About 5 hours. 

Serve with whipped cream and chocolate shavings or mini chips.

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