Food and wine pairing: Grilled lamb + syrah

This richly flavoured, Provençal-styled meal is highlighted by a cool bottle of memorable red wine.

Grilled lamb chops with ratatouille

Grilled lamb chops with ratatouille. (Photo, Sian Richards.)

Syrah (called shiraz in Australia) is a full-bodied, peppery and heady wine with flavours of sweet blackberries, cherries and plums. These intense qualities make it a natural match for weighty, rich meats — grilled lamb in particular — since the slight fattiness softens the syrah’s robust, mouth-drying tannins. In return, the wine’s rounded fruitiness gently curbs the lamb’s earthy character.

Along with its signature juiciness, syrah, especially from southern France, often has floral notes of dried herbs and lavender. These same flavours show up in Provençal cuisine, so the region’s hallmark vegetable dish, ratatouille, complements both the meat and the wine. Serving syrah barely cool, or just below room temperature, helps beat the summer heat and enhances the wine’s fruit.

Perfect pairing: Syrah + grilled lamb chops and ratatouille

Wine_The Footbolt Shiraz

Bold & balanced
D’Arenberg the Footbolt Shiraz 2011, Australia, from $22.

wine_Domaine des yeuses Shiraz

Spicy & sensuous
Domaine Les euses Les Épices Syrah 2012, France, from $16.

Wine_Burrowing owl syrah

Luscious & memorable
Burrowing Owl Syrah 2011, British Columbia, from $40.












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