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Get tips on what pairs well with Red Wine, plus how to make a tender grilled lamb with herb pesto. 

Get tips on what pairs well with Red Wine, plus how to make a tender grilled lamb with herb pesto. 

Grilled Lamb+ Herb Pesto {Red Wine Pairing}

I love wine! There I said it! And I don’t have a problem admitting it either, and I imagine I am not alone. I mean, what’s not to like about wine? The nectar of Dionysus is cherished for all the things it is and for all the things it isn’t. Or maybe that’s my way of giving myself license to be as adventurous as my near constant wine exploration allows me to be. It also means I don’t have to settle, commit or lay a definitive claim to a particular kind of wine to take my pursuit of the good vino seriously. In the simplest of terms, it also means I can roam. I can choose a buttery Chardonnay or fill my glass with a robust and earthy Malbec. Or I can do an about face and savor the aromatic and fruity aromas of a delicate Riesling without losing any much-cherished sleep.

Red Wine and White Wine Pairings

Recently, I tried and enjoyed the joys and deep pleasure of tasting a bit of what’s been happening in Walla Walla, Washington. And although Walla Walla may sound whimsical, upon drinking the varietal offering produced there you’ll find the wines coming out of the Charles Smith vineyards evoke, if not immediate prestige, then full-bodied and respectable vines that do a luscious sashay upon your palette.

Grilled Lamb + Red Quinoa Salad

A good wine shouldn’t break the bank, but when the bottle is finished, it may just break your heart

Although I do appreciate a good craft beer every once and awhile, and I’ve recently discovered the joys of an above par dram of good bourbon whiskey. But, it is a wine that is the most interesting and fun. Because with a wine glass in your hand, you’re straddling sophistication and playing it cool, more bougie than boozy. Wine has been around for ages (or so I’ve heard), and I would venture to say wineries out produce both beer breweries and spirit distilleries combined by quite a large margin. Almost anywhere you go, more than likely you will discover there is a good wine to be had. Recently, I had an opportunity to discover and enjoy a couple of bottles from Washington State’s Charles Smith Winery. Mr. Charles set up shop in the state of Washington not so long ago, and now produces wines to be enjoyed without pretense.

Get tips on what pairs well with Red Wine, plus how to make a tender grilled lamb with herb pesto. 

The devil is in the details, for instance, there aren’t corks jammed into the black and white labels bottles, they’re screwtops. Twist and pour, no looking for a wine-opener, this accessibility denotes a philosophy that puts the emphasis on accessing it when and where you are because life doesn’t wait and neither should you.

Top Cabernet Sauvignon

If you know anything about the Pacific Northwest then you know it’s no accident, and certainly, no mistake to situate a winery within this near ideal geography. The cool climate, the just-so altitude, the more-here-than-there precipitation, and lovelorn sunshine which kisses the grapes like a nearly committed lover. From the wines offered by Charles Smith Wines, I selected their Kung Fu Girl Riesling 2015 and the lusciously sturdy Chateau Smith Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, both excellent choices. I am primarily a red wine guy, and the Cab Sauv was a varietal I thoroughly enjoyed with its mid tannins and rich berry taste, this was a very smooth wine and I really liked it a lot. The Chateau Smith Cabernet Sauvignon is very highly regarded with four years of 89+ scores.

Top Red Wines Under $30

I really enjoyed pairing this wine with Grilled Lamb + Red Quinoa Salad. Tell you what, you grab the bottle of Charles Smith and I’ll show you how we prepared this excellent meal. Also, stick around because I also enjoyed the Riesling too.

The best wines to pair with lamb

A good Cabernet Sauvignon pairs well with foods with deep flavors. Venison comes to mind, but so does duck, rich cheeses with plenty of character, and one of my favorites, grilled lamb. This past weekend I prepared French-cut lamb with red quinoa summer salad. I also made a herb pesto with lots of basil, thyme, rosemary and purple sage. I also added garlic and rich extra virgin olive oil. This was my way of slathering the lamb with the bounty and vibrancy of summer.

Grilled Lamb + Red Quinoa Salad

The key to cooking lamb over direct heat is to sear the bone-side for 3-4 minutes, then move to indirect heat and finish after 15 minutes. Remove the lamb from heat and place on a room temperature plate. Let the lamb rest for 10 minutes. Serve.

Red Quinoa Salad

 

Our Red Quinoa Salad is a thing of so much delicious beauty…

Grilled Lamb + Red Quinoa Salad

Enjoying slightly chilled Kung Fu Girl Riesling is kinda like putting summer on ice and sipping sunshine

 

Grilled Lamb + Red Quinoa Salad

Diggin’ in and a glass of Chateau Smith Cabernet Sauvignon. Perfect!

Grilled Lamb + Herb Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 2 French Cut Lamb Racks
  • 1 tablespoon freshly cracked black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 cup fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 large fresh sage leaves
  • 10 basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly cracked black peppercorns

Directions:

  1. Allow the lamb racks to come to room temperature.
  2. Combine ingredients for the Herb Pesto into a food processor and pulse until the mixture is well combined.
  3. Add olive oil a little at a time; the mixture should be spreadable but not runny. You may not use all of the olive oil.
  4. When finished reserve two tablespoons for serving.
  5. Spread the remaining herb pesto on best sides of the lamb racks and allow them to sit for 15 minutes. 
  6. Once the coals are hot, brush the grill with vegetable oil and place lamb racks bone-side down and sear for 3-4 minutes. 
  7. Then move the lamb 10 inches away from the coals and cook indirectly for 15 minutes. 
  8. Remove the lamb from heat and place on a room temperature plate. Let the lamb rest for 10 minutes. Serve with reserved Herb Pesto. 

**Use a full chimney of charcoal, you want high to sear the lamb on the bone-side, then cook the opposite over indirect heat.

 

What pairs well with White Wine

The Kung Fu Girl Riesling was inspired by Charles’ personal love of Riesling but found the German Rieslings intimidating due to their labels being hard to understand. This semi-dry white wine boots of citrusy flavors intermingled with mineral notes. It’s also named in the Top 100 Wines by Wine Spectator. I would pair this wine with sushi, duck and Asian food. 

 

Get tips on what pairs well with Red Wine, plus how to make a tender grilled lamb with herb pesto. 

You can learn more about Charles Smith Wine collection by visiting their website. August is Washington State Wine month! Washington State has more than 900 wineries and 350 vineyards. #WAWineMonth calls on you to explore and support local award-winning brands that put Washington winemaking on the map. To learn more, visit www.WaWineMonth.com

Get tips on what pairs well with Red Wine, plus how to make a tender grilled lamb with herb pesto. 

Grilled Lamb + Red Quinoa Salad
 
Ingredients
  • Ingredients:
  • 2 French Cut Lamb Racks
  • 1 tablespoon freshly cracked black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 cup fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 large fresh sage leaves
  • 10 basil leaves
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly cracked black peppercorns
  • Directions:
  • Allow the lamb racks to come to room temperature.
  • Combine ingredients for the Herb Pesto into a food processor and pulse until the mixture is well combined.
  • Add olive oil a little at a time; the mixture should be spreadable but not runny. You may not use all of the olive oil.
  • When finished reserve two tablespoons for serving.
  • Spread the remaining herb pesto on best sides of the lamb racks and allow them to sit for 15 minutes. 
  • Once the coals are hot, brush the grill with vegetable oil and place lamb racks bone-side down and sear for 3-4 minutes. 
  • Then move the lamb 10 inches away from the coals and cook indirectly for 15 minutes. 
  • Remove the lamb from heat and place on a room temperature plate. Let the lamb rest for 10 minutes. Serve.
Instructions
  1. Directions:
  2. Allow the lamb racks to come to room temperature.
  3. Combine ingredients for the Herb Pesto into a food processor and pulse until the mixture is well combined.
  4. Add olive oil a little at a time; the mixture should be spreadable but not runny. You may not use all of the olive oil.
  5. When finished reserve two tablespoons for serving.
  6. Spread the remaining herb pesto on best sides of the lamb racks and allow them to sit for 15 minutes.
  7. Once the coals are hot, brush the grill with vegetable oil and place lamb racks bone-side down and sear for 3-4 minutes.
  8. Then move the lamb 10 inches away from the coals and cook indirectly for 15 minutes.
  9. Remove the lamb from heat and place on a room temperature plate. Let the lamb rest for 10 minutes. Serve.

 

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