Lamb and red Bordeaux wine were made together. I could cite numerous parings over the centuries to illustrate my case. But why bother when this is easy to make and you can taste for yourself?
Being in Bordeaux at the moment, I’m being presented with lamb and red Bordeaux wine prepared in numerous, different ways. At the end of the day, the simplest methods remain the best. You want the rich, fatty, gamy quality of the lamb to interact with the sweetness and tannins of the fruit. Too many ingredients do not make it better, they actually take away from the natural flavors found in the already perfect pairing.
Bring the lamb to room temperature. Sear the lamb in a piping hot pan. Get a nice, brown crust on all 4 sides. Next, slather the lamb in crushed garlic and olive oil. Add salt, pepper and the herbs of your choice. Anything works, but Rosemary and Thyme are two of the most popular herbs to use. Finish in the oven to the desired degree of doneness. Medium rare works best in this house. Allow it to rest for at least 5-7 minutes before slicing and serving.
Potatoes, mushrooms, eggplant, as well as a myriad of other choices pairs perfectly with the lamb. Let your taste dictate what you place on the plate. The next choice is the simplest, what to wine to pour? What to open is only limited by the wine you have to chose from. Lamb has enough fat and flavor to work well with young, rich, tannic Bordeaux wines, or the subtle, earthy, qualities encountered in mature, Bordeaux wine.
So many wines, so little time. Pauillac is an obvious choice. But so is Margaux, St. Julien, St. Estephe or Graves/Pessac Leognan. The wines of Right Bank work equally well. Why not open a Pomerol or St. Emilion? For this dinner, as there were a few of us, we went with one of each!
1998 Troplong Mondot – Still young, fresh and vibrant, but maturing at a slow and steady pace, a beautiful nose of licorice, boysenberry, black cherry jam, truffle and mocha appear. Round, soft and plush, the wine ends with a dark chocolate covered plums and spice. This is showing well today and should continue to evolve and offer pleasure for at least another 15 or more years if well stored. 94 Pts