Perfect pairings for the year's best wines

What to serve with the best wines of 2009? Sunset wine editor Sara Schneider has the matches

Salt- and herb-crusted prime rib with fresh horseradish sauce

With Abeja Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Special Occasion Red of the Year (Columbia Valley, $43; available to winery mailing list)

Perfect pairing:  Salt- and Herb-crusted Prime Rib with Fresh Horseradish Sauce

Why it works:  The firm structure of a great Walla Walla Cabernet thrives in partnership with a well-marbled cut of beef to cushion the tannins just a little. Think of it as a feathertop on a firm mattress.

We’ve added earthy herbs to this beef to lock into Cabernet’s foresty quality. And fresh horseradish punches up its mint factor. Christmas menu solved.

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