So, for the past few years, I’ve been really into pairing the perfect wine with the dishes I cook up. Sometimes it’s not always just about the type of wine (Zinfandel, Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, etc…) but the specific label and year can have a major impact on the pairing as well.
After recently joining Twitter, I connected with Jill Silverman Hough (@JillSHough), author of “100 Perfect Pairings: Small Plates to Enjoy with Wines You Love”, and discovered her recipe for Lamb Chops with Fig and Orange Tapenade on her website. I’m a huge fan of lamb and an even bigger fan of sweet & savory dishes: her lamb chop recipe looked so inventive and just jumped off the page. I couldn’t wait to try it out. When I mentioned to Jill that I was going to try it out and blog about it, Jill seemed very happy. However, she warned me that the suggested wine pairing wasn’t quite as perfect as she had hoped… I took that as a challenge!
I decided to invite some close friends over and try it out with 3 wines (all reasonably priced and 2 of them were my staple pairings for most of my red meat dishes). Per Jill’s blog post, I knew the wine had to have a touch of sweetness to balance out the sweetness of the orange and fig tapenade. So, I selected a Clos du Bois Zinfandel 2006 and Chateau Ste. Michelle “Indian Wells” Cabernet 2008. The latter was definitely a gamble that didn’t pay off (great wine though). But the one that took the prize and had everyone jumping in their seats was the La Cabotte 2008 "Colline" Cotes du Rhone. It added just the perfect balance and enhanced the orange elements on the dish, really making the perfect pairing.
Overall, the dish was absolutely amazing and everyone loved it. I can’t wait to try it again!