Posted: Feb 17, 2011 3:50 PM
Updated: Feb 17, 2011 4:04 PM
Pairing Chef Savage's Colorado Rack of Lamb with Wine
At the Triple A 4 Diamond rated Cliffhouse Restaurant in Manitou Springs, Executive Chef Scott Savage prepares a classic lamb dish, delicately influenced through long experience and personal taste. The purpose of this article is to help you, the diner, enjoy this dish to its fullest, through attractive and complementary wine pairings.
Chef Savage has chosen to use the rack from a Colorado raised lamb for this meal. Known for its delicate flavor and tender consistency, the Chef has stuffed the lamb with Fuji Apples, dried apricots, and fresh mint before grilling. Sautéed spinach, rosalee potatoes, light, aromatic micro-greens, and a drizzle of reduced balsamic vinegar complete the dish.
When I think of pairing lamb with wine, two main grape varieties come to mind: Pinot Noir and Syrah. For lighter preparations crafted of milder lamb, Pinot Noir (with its earthy, seductive, and fruity flavors) will usually provide an approachable and delicate compliment to the dish. Try the Four Graces Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley in Oregon. The 2007 vintage is a smooth, velvety wine with blackberry and black plum flavors, as well as delicate aromas of violet and fresh turned earth. For a leaner and brighter option you might try Nicolas Potel's 2007 "Cuvee Gerard Potel" Bourgogne from France. This wine has fresh and crisp acidity, spicy raspberry and strawberry fruit flavors, and the delicate essence of white mushrooms.
For bolder lamb dishes, Syrah often provides the last step towards a truly memorable dinning experience. With its deep, brooding flavors, and smoky qualities, Syrah is sure to enhance the rustic flavors found in braised, grilled or roasted lamb. Try Jim Barry's 2007 "Lodge Hill" Shiraz from the Clare Valley in Australia for a full bodied and plush wine that tastes of blueberries, blackberries and smoked meat, with enticing aromas of cedar and lavender. Also recommended: the 2006 L'Ecole #41 Syrah from the Columbia Valley in Oregon. This lovely Syrah has a fine, silky texture with fresh raspberry, cranberry and red plum flavors, and a spicy black pepper and mint finish. When enjoyed alongside Chef Savage's Colorado Rack of Lamb - yum!
These wines may or may not be on hand at your local wine store, however, all of them can be special ordered in Colorado, and all of them can be enjoyed at the Cliffhouse Dining Room in Manitou Springs. Enjoy!