Several weeks ago, my phone rang and I was pleasantly surprised to hear one of my favorite marketing types on the other end. After the exchange of pleasantries, she asked me if she could send me a wine to sample. Normally that is really not an issue, but this time there was a bit of a twist—she wanted me to open the bottle and create a recipe that would compliment the wine.

As I was pondering her proposal she mentioned the name of the wine:


Fergalicious as in Fergie, the member of the Black Eyed Peas, who also has a solo career of note:

FergusonCrest_Fergilicious2011Now, I have had a few “celebrity” wines, and although I admit that most of them have been pretty good (Barrymore Pinot Grigio, Miraval Rosé), I am always suspicious—it just seems too gimmicky to me—a wine should be good enough on its own merits and not need the added attention that the celebrity provided.

Plus it is called Fergalicious for Pete’s sake.

As I mentioned, the marketing type in question had never steered me wrong before, so as I agreed to her pitch, I alerted her that I might not be able to avoid taking a few shots–at least at the name of the wine. She assured me that the wine was actually very good and she was sure that I would like it.

But the name of the wine is Fergalicious, for Pete’s sake.

Fergie and husband Josh Duhamel. Is it me, or does Josh seem less than thrilled?

Fergie and husband Josh Duhamel. Is it me, or does Josh seem less than thrilled?

Nonetheless, I decided to play along and tried to figure out what I would serve with the wine. In the end, I decided to pair it with Korean barbecue. Why? Good question–I have yet to find a wine that is a “perfect” pairing for Korean BBQ, but we have it all the time (my wife is Korean), so I am in a constant struggle to find a good wine pairing. Korean food is often rich, spicy, and sweet, all at the same time. There is the “Kimchi Factor” to address as well. For those of you unfamiliar with Kimchi, it is a fermented cabbage laced with copious amounts of spicy red pepper. Traditionally, the cabbage would be buried underground for six months as it fermented.



In my opinion, it is nasty–I am willing to go all-in on most Korean food, but I draw the line at Kimchi–I mean most “real” Koreans have an entirely different refrigerator for Kimchi so that its flavors do not infiltrate everything else in the fridge.

Yeah, scary stuff.

Other Korean food? I am all in. My favorite, though, has to be Kalbi (also spelled “Galbi”–the Korean “K” is pronounced halfway between the English “K” and “G”). Bulgogi is perhaps more widely known, but Kalbi, made from beef short ribs, is a more substantial cut and more flavorful, and thus gets my vote.

I finally, after considerable concessions on my part, finally got my wife to give up her Kalbi recipe. (I passed on the Kimchi recipe, naturally.)

Korean Shortribs (Kalbi) 

Grilling Kalbi is best done with a glass of rosé.

Grilling Kalbi is best done with a glass of rosé.

Marinade Ingredients (For every 2 lb meat):

5 Tbsp soy sauce

3-4 Tbsp sugar

2 Tbsp honey

4 Tbsp Chinese rice wine (Mirin)

2 tsp Korean toasted sesame oil

2 stalks green onion, minced

3 tsp chopped garlic (1 to 2 cloves)

2 Tbsp roasted sesame seeds

2 Tbsp water

1 small pureed onion



Mix all marinade ingredients together. Marinate short ribs for 8 hours or overnight. BBQ in gas or charcoal grill preferably. May broil if no grill available.


Korean Dinner

Kalbi (at the top of the picture), is just a part of the Korean BBQ spread. On my table? No Kimchi to be found….

2012 Ferguson Crest Fergalicious: Retail $40. 56% Syrah, 25% Merlot, 13% Grenache, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon. Initially a bit odd. A bunch of fruit and some mess. After the slightest bit of time this made a complete 180. Brambly red fruit and earth with a hint of vanilla. On the palate this might come close to a “whoa”. I love the Black Eyed Peas. I moderately like Fergie’s solo efforts. But this wine really rocks (or maybe it “hops”, or perhaps “hips”). I do not know if I have ever been more pleasantly surprised by a wine. Ever. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.

As a pairing with the Kalbi, this was as solid an effort as I have found–plenty of fruit to match the bit of sweetness in the marinade, but also plenty of tannin to cut through the richness of the meat.

But keep it away from Kimchi. Please.


About the drunken cyclist

I have been an occasional cycling tour guide in Europe for the past 20 years, visiting most of the wine regions of France. Through this "job" I developed a love for wine and the stories that often accompany the pulling of a cork. I live in Houston with my lovely wife and two wonderful sons.
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40 Responses to Fergalicious

  1. asueba says:

    Only shoju and beer will match with kimchi.


    • The only thing worse than kimchi has to be soju—my father-in-law had me try it on my first visit to their house (after we had been dating a while). I was not sure if it was some sort of test to see if I was worthy of dating his daughter, so I choked it down, saying it was “interesting” or something like that. Just as he was about to pour me some more, my soon-to-be mother-in-law stepped in and stopped it. I think she was concerned by the rapid change in color of my face.

      As for beer, you are certainly right, but I usually consider drinking beer as “giving up”, so the wine search goes on….


      • asueba says:

        Well, if my in-law did that to me, I will be absolutely fine because I love soju. But instead, my mom in law made dumplings on my first dinner there, and after one bite, I reached for mine, my husband, and my sis-in-law’s drinks. In the midst of minced meat and shrimp, there was one whole bird-eye chilli in the dumpling. So both of us had a change in hue on our first meeting with our in-laws. LOL

        Liked by 1 person

      • Really?!? “LOVE” soju? I used to have the utmost respect for you (notice the past tense). :mrgreen:


  2. You had me at Fergi . . .


  3. You’re making me hungry. Having Korean in-laws, I LOVE Korean food. I even love Kimchi. 🙂


  4. My daughter loves all things Korean (even K-Pop…YUCK). After spending 2 weeks in Korea this summer she came home and made us Korean BBQ (yum) with leek pancakes (yum) and Kimichi (Awful!). Did I tell you she changed her major at OSU from music to Intl Business; she wants to live and work in Korea! Wine sounds interesting. We have a huge Korean population in Dallas metroplex; lots of delicious Korean restaurants and huge Korean grocery stores. The grocers sell the best produce in town! Thanks for sharing. Happy Wine Wednesday Jeff!


    • We have a couple good Korean stores here, but once (I think it was for my son’s 100th day celebration—a big deal for Koreans), my mother-in-law thought it was a good idea to send me (the prototypical tall white guy) to the market by myself to buy the necessary items for the feast. Big mistake….

      BTW, did your daughter get any sleep the other night? Did she travel with TBDBITL to the game?!?


      • Funny story. Whenever I go into our huge Korean grocery stores I stand out like a sore thumb!

        You know we live in Dallas. But OSU classes began the Monday of the game sooo she had to go back to Columbus on Sunday. However, she watched the game with all her friends at a huge OSU watching party then celebrated all night on High Street. She is not in TBDBITL this year. She has been planning all along to march next year. She is doing really well academically and is now concerned band may hurt her GPA so now she is unsure if she will march or not. (I think she actually be Korean; even though shes looks just like me!) Ha!


      • Well, if she wants to be Korean, then she needs to be in the band. And join sixteen other clubs on campus, and worry about everything, but still maintain a 4.02 GPA


  5. ahughes553 says:

    Good workout song….. to earn the Kalbi. The wine is table dressing!


  6. Mmmmm delicious-looking ribs.


  7. I love Korean food, I can’t get past the name of the wine, It sounds great and would probably be very happy at a blind tasting but doubt I would buy it in the wine store based on the name alone. Its good you were open minded and gave a try and amazing it paired so well with the Korean food. They should consider changing the name of the wine,I really dislike kimchi but other Korean foods especially the BBQ is wonderful.


    • I know—the name of the wine is maybe a step above calling it “Fricking Awesome” or something like that. I get that “Fergalicious” is her “brand” but I imagine people that might be willing to pay $40 for a bottle of wine might be turned off by the name just a tad….

      Liked by 1 person

  8. linnetmoss says:

    It’s the kind of name that turns wine lovers away because we assume it will be crap. But maybe it will attract people who wouldn’t ordinarily buy wine, and they’ll love it!


  9. dwdirwin says:

    I think the word you are looking for is the wine really “humps”- haha- I’m ashamed to admit I know that song!


  10. The Korean food looks pretty delicious! I would try kimchi- but you don’t paint the greatest picture, haha. Nice to see that the Fergalicious wine tasted so great- though I don’t know how I’d feel about ordering that out.


  11. Holli says:

    Thanks for the recipe…it looks like something I might find on my plate this weekend! Glad to hear the wine was good but what an awful name!


  12. great story! really dumb name for a high end wine… and a very odd blend


  13. flippenblog says:

    I am also so not a fan of Kimchi! I keep on trying without any success.


  14. BerLinda says:

    I’ve never even heard of celebrity wine! Perfume yes, wine no! I would have been a bit iffy about drinking something called Fergalicious as well – glad it ended well! 🙂


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