Aussie Red Better Pairing than Rioja with Turkish Lamb Stew

We enjoyed Rick Stein’s “From Venice to Istanbul” tv programme last year and we tried his Lamb Kleftiko. A couple of very good pairings with that dish can be found here.

This time we cooked his rich Turkish lamb stew with aubergine purée (Hunkar begendi).

Boned lamb shoulder is cooked with red pepper paste, tomato paste, onion, garlic, green chilli, green pepper, tomatoes, oregano and seasoning. The lamb stew is served on a bed of aubergine purée made from mashed aubergine, milk, flour, Parmesan, lemon juice and seasoning. We served with flatbread.

We opened a bottle of Baron de Ley Rioja Reserva from the Co-op.  A previous bottle of this medium-bodied Spanish red was very good with lamb chops.

There were black fruits on the nose, a vanilla sweetness with mocha and sweet black fruits on the palate. A good match with the meal, but we thought the flavours in the aubergine purée may have detracted a little from the pairing.2016-01-15 18.01.11

We finished off the leftovers with a bottle of Dark Corner Durif Shiraz 2014, a full-bodied Australian red from the Sunday Times Wine Club. We chose this wine because it had previously made a very good match with lamb meatballs in tomato sauce.

There were brambly fruits on the nose, vanilla sweetness on the palate, with blackberry fruit and a milk chocolate and coffee mocha finish. The Shiraz was a better match than the Rioja with this particular combination of Turkish lamb stew and aubergine purée.

An Australian Red Blend is Very Good with Lamb Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

We found an interesting recipe in the Slow Cook Book called Lamb Meatballs in a Tomato Sauce.

The meatballs are made from minced lamb, onions, chilli, garlic, chorizo, paprika and seasoning.  The sauce contains onion, garlic, red wine, tinned tomatoes, smoked paprika, Tabasco sauce and seasoning. We served with spaghetti and sprinkled over some Parmesan.

We paired this dish with a bottle of Dark Corner Durif Shiraz 2014, an Australian red from the Sunday Times Wine Club. 2015-10-16 18.47.09

We detected berry fruits on the nose with sweetness and black fruits on the palate.  There were vanilla and chocolate notes on the finish and we thought the wine was a very good match with the meal.

A Californian Red Blend is Good with Barbecued Jerk Pork

2015-06-11 18.04.04We visited Jamaica a few months ago and brought back with us some Island Spice Jerk Pork rub. The rub contains corn starch, crushed pepper, Jamaican pimento, garlic, onion, breadcrumbs, black pepper, salt, sugar, cumin and Jamaican scotch bonnet pepper.

We coated some pork chops in the rub, grilled them on the barbecue and served them with a mixed green salad.

We thought the pork was reasonably tasty, but didn’t think it was especially hot as indicated on the packet.

We paired the food with a bottle of Fetzer Crimson 2010, a medium-bodied Californian red blend from Tesco made from Zinfandel, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Durif and Petit Verdot.  An enjoyable, easy drinking wine that delivered mixed red and black fruits, with a warm spiciness.  It was a good match with the pork.

A Spicy Aussie Red – A Great Match with Barbecued Steak

The excellent April weather provided another opportunity for a barbecue.   We cooked some lovely rump steak with crushed peppercorns and paired it with one of our favourite barbecue wines – The Black Stump Durif Shiraz 2009 from Sunday Times Wine Club.  They describe it as black, brambly Durif given a spicy, blueberry edge by dark chocolate Shiraz and sweet oak.   Sunday Times recommend it with char-grilled steak and we completely agree.   The richness of the Durif and the spiciness of the Shiraz blended well with the meaty and spicy peppercorn flavours of the steak.