We enjoyed the remainder of the Rioja-braised Lamb Shanks from the previous evening (see 5th November). We thought we could improve on the wine match and this time looked to Australia. We opened a bottle of Plantagenet Samson’s Range Shiraz/Cabernet 2008 from Waitrose. This red is 14% alcohol, yet medium-bodied. The wine is described as “typical bright berry-fruit character and soft spice” on their website, which we thought might work with the meal. We certainly thought the match was an improvement over the previous evening. We found the wine oaky, smooth, spicy, with black fruits and with semi-sweet chocolate notes coming through with this particular dish. A great pairing with a somewhat tricky flavour combination.