At the intersection of my love of wine and my love of cooking is, of course, my love of cooking with wine. Some of my favorite recipes use plenty of vino—whether to deglaze, marinade, braise or poach.
Over the weekend, I tried out a new one—lamb shoulder chops seared before marinating them in red wine with some rosemary springs for a few hours. Then the dish is slowly braised in the wine marinade.
Lamb has such an intense flavor, I knew I needed something rich to stand up to it—both as a marinade and as a pairing. The Beckmen Syrah Santa Ynez Valley 2007 ($30) was a good match; its concentrated and detailed flavors absolutely stood up to the challenge. It was delicious, with plenty of herb, licorice and berry flavors and a firm structure on its own—and it infused the meat with a hearty red-wine flavor. 89 points, non-blind.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Beckmen Syrah Santa Ynez Valley 2007 (89, $30).
• Plus, get our quick list of Top Values among recently rated California Syrahs.