A Rioja Crianza is an Excellent Match with Jamie’s Lamb Fricassée

It had been a while since we cooked Lamb Fricassée from Jamie Does.  The lamb cubes are cooked with onions, garlic, lettuce, dill, seasoning and Greek yoghurt.  The lovely rich Greek flavours are enhanced by mixing in avgolemono (egg yolks and lemon). We served this with little roast potatoes.  We love this meal and by the time I remembered to take a photo we’d eaten half of it.

See here and here for previous pairings with this recipe. We’ve also tried a bottle of the Sunday Time’s Wine Club‘s The Hundred Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2011 with it and that was a very good match.  (See here for another food pairing for this wine.)

This time though we opened a bottle of The Society’s Rioja Crianza 2009, a medium-bodied Spanish red from the Wine SocietyIMG_0534. We detected red fruits on the nose followed by flavours of red fruits, vanilla oakiness and a creamy smoothness, with soft tannins.  This was an excellent match with the meal and probably the best we have achieved so far.

A Disappointing Spanish Red is Rescued by a Greek Lamb Stew

We had the remainder of the Greek Lamb Stew from the previous evening and decided on another Spanish red – Monasterio de Santa Cruz 2008, Tarragona, a full-bodied blend of Monastrell with a little Tempranillo and from the Sunday Times Wine Club.  Last time we had this wine with Roast Beef (see 26th Dec 2011) and we were not impressed.  We hoped this wine-friendly Lamb Stew would be a better prospect.

Whilst it was a good match with the food, with black fruits, plums and a spicy dark chocolate sweetness, we found that on its own it lacked depth and was quite disappointing.

White and Red Wines from Spain Are Good with a Greek Meal

We had friends round for the evening and served them a Greek meal.

We started with Stuffed Vine Leaves (Dolmades), accompanied by a Yoghurt Dip, Pitta Bread, Salad and Olives.  We opened a bottle of Torres Vina Sol 2010 from Costco.  This is an aromatic Spanish white made from the Parellada grape.  It was creamy, fresh with citrus and apple notes.  An enjoyable pairing with the starter.

The main course was one of our favourites – Greek Lamb Stew.  This lovely stew contains tomatoes, shallots, potatoes, almonds, lemon juice and feta cheese. It goes with a good variety of reds.  (See 17 and 18 August 2011 for some examples).

We opened a bottle of Rioja Antano Gran Seleccion 2009 from Tesco.  This is a medium-bodied Spanish red blended from Garnacha and Tempranillo with a good acidic sharpness that coped with the tomatoes.  There was also depth, vanilla warmth and spicy red fruits.  We were all very pleased with this pairing.

A Chilean Carménère Good with a Tesco Moussaka

We have just returned from holiday at the Grand Palladium White Sand Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico.  If you want to read our thoughts on the place, including the food, check out our Tripadvisor Review.  Most of the house wine included in the all-inclusive package was pretty average, especially the red,  although one or two of the a la carte restuarants were OK.

Anyway we were jet lagged and had a busy weekend, so we ate convenience food and take aways for a few days.

Tonight we had some Tesco Finest Lamb Moussaka, which we find reasonably tasty.  We last ate some on 4th Feb 2012 and paired it with an Aussie Shiraz.  This time we opened a bottle of Casa Porta Carménère 2009 from Costco that we had enjoyed previously on 21 December 2011 with a Beef and Pork Chilli.

We thought the wine was mellow with black cherries and plums and had a herby affinity.  An acceptable match and nice to drink decent everyday wine again without having to pay a premium for it.

A Gentle Aussie Shiraz Very Pleasant with a Moussaka

We were in a bit of a rush and didn’t have time to cook anything from scratch, so we reached for Tesco’s Finest Lamb Moussaka.  Whilst this is not as good as home-made, it is reasonably tasty.  As indicated in previous posts, we have found Moussaka wine pairing at times tricky.  We opened a bottle of Blaxland Estate Shiraz 2009, a medium-bodied Australian red from Tesco.  This Shiraz is not as big and bold as many from Australia and we enjoyed a restrained blackberry spiciness. We thought it paired very pleasantly with the food.

Another French Red Works with Stifado

We finished the Beef Stifado off from Friday (see 16th Dec). Our previous experiences with finding really good pairings with Stifado have made us somewhat wary, so we played safe with another Southern French Red, this time a bottle of Seigneur de Salvanhiac, Saint-Chinian Special Reserve 2008 from Tesco.  This is a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan that delivered plenty of red fruits with smooth tannins.  A good match with the meal.

A Corbières Red Fine with Beef Stifado

We decided to do Beef Stifado from the Slow Cook Book.  Not as much involved as Jamie’s Stifado (see 24th and 25th August 2010), but still quite intense flavours through slow cooking.  We opened a bottle of Château de Caraguilhes Rouge 2010 Corbières from Waitrose.  This Southern French red is a blend of Carignan, Grenache and Mourvèdre and had hints of tobacco on the nose, a sweetish juicy beginning of black and red fruits, with a plummy finish.  We thought the powerful flavours were intensified further by the pairing.  A good, if not stunning match.

A Superb Torres Spanish Red Brilliant with a Lamb Stew

We finished off the Greek Lamb Stew from the night before (see 17 August) and selected a bottle of Torres La Plaza Real Garnacha Syrah 2008 from Sunday Times Wine Club.  Torres are a major Spanish wine producer and we have enjoyed other wines from them over the years.  This wine certainly enhanced their reputation still  further in our eyes.   So easy to drink.  Juicy and brambly with plenty of berry fruits.  Incredibly food-friendly and brilliant with this stew.  One of the more enjoyable reds we have tasted recently.  It was produced in tiny quantities and we understand it is unfortunately now out of stock.

Aussie Shiraz/Cabernet Has the Edge Over Spanish Red with Greek Lamb Stew

We had the family round for a meal and we enjoyed the Greek Lamb Stew from Supercook that we had on 5th August 2011 so much that we had it again.  This tasty stew contains tomatoes, shallots, potatoes, lemon juice and feta cheese. We opened two reds – a bottle of Heredad del Baron Yecla 2005 from Sunday Times Wine Club and a bottle of Talking Heads 2010, an Australian Shiraz/Cabernet, also from Sunday Times Wine Club, brought round by our daughter and her husband.   The Spanish Yecla wine is made from Monastrell (Mourvèdre) and the last time we had this was with Roast Lamb (see 21 October 2010).  The wine has intense spicy plum and blackberry favours and was very pleasant with the stew.  However, we preferred the Talking Heads with this dish.  There was an affinity between the rich, spicy, blackcurranty, savoury flavours and the stew that made it a very good match.

Spanish and Aussie Reds Excellent with Greek Lamb Stew

We had guests and served Greek Lamb Stew from Supercook – a delicious stew with tomatoes, shallots, potatoes, lemon juice and feta cheese.  First, we enjoyed a bottle of Stork’s Tower Tempranillo/Shiraz 2008 from Tesco.  This unlikely-named wine is a Spanish red from Castilla y Leon.  It is smooth, full-bodied with spicy black fruit flavours and was an excellent match with the lamb stew.  The second bottle opened was a Rawnsley Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre 2010, an Australian Red also from Tesco. Quite a contrast with the previous bottle, but still a good match with the stew.  Softer but still smooth, this wine had plenty of red berry fruits and Tesco describe it has having complex chocolate and coffee characters on the finish.  All in all, the Greek Lamb Stew was a very wine-friendly dish.