On Saturday night, our neighborhood wine club held its monthly gathering where each couple brings a bottle of wine and an appetizer. This month’s theme was South African wines. I went to AJ’s Fine Foods, the best hope for something other than the limited mass production options at the local big box stores. (This is where I’m tempted to go off on a rant about the lack of wine shops in areas, especially here in AZ, where wine can be purchased in grocery stores and then big box stores, eliminating boutique wine shops with interesting finds, but I digress.)
I was fortunate to find a bottle of Protea Chenin Blanc which I’ve reviewed in the past, and also this week’s Wine Wednesday feature, the 2014 Ernie Els Big Easy Red. I chose to take the Chenin Blanc to the event because I was familiar with it, but also because it paired well with the Cucumber Salmon Canapés I brought as an appetizer.
I decided to open the Big Easy Red on Sunday and as I suspected, it paired perfectly with the Grilled Lamb Chops I had planned for dinner.
Big Easy as the label states, is “big in stature, gentle in character”. A blend of 61% Shiraz, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Mourvedre, 5% Grenache, 4% Viognier, and 4% Cinsaut. On the nose, notes of black raspberry, ripe cherry, and baking spice. On the palate, slightly herbal, with ample fruit and noteworthy pepper on the finish. This dry wine features moderate to slightly assertive tannins.
As I mentioned, we enjoyed this with Grilled Lamb Chops, try also with Braised Beef Tips and Mushrooms. Click the links below to print or save the recipe pairing suggestions.