Odd Pair: Venison Jerky and Pinot Noir

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We love deer hunting season - venison sausage, venison chili and venison jerky. Everything just tastes better with venison. Yes, we know there are people out there cursing our name for promoting the hunting of Bambi. But we can't help it. And in honor of our obsession, this week's Odd Pair features venison jerky. (Thank you, Pete's Fine Meats.)

This jerky is meaty and full of smoky flavor. It's not your over-processed gas station Slim Jim. You're not going to be chewing on it for hours. Just opening the package of Pete's jerky, we could smell the wood smoke - and as we munched away happily, we could taste it, too.

We decided to pair it with the Yealands Marlborough Pinot Noir 2008. We are big fans of New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs, so when the Pinot Noir was recommended to us, we jumped on it.

If you like a spicy, red fruit wine with almost a hint of smokiness, this is your wine. Alone, it wasn't our favorite. The spiciness of the wine begged for red meat. But when we paired it with the jerky, it was a different story. The wine nicely complemented the smoky flavor. In fact, it would probably pair well with any red meat dish. Maybe we'll keep it around for our venison chili. Our mouths are already watering.

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