Slow roast lamb shoulder with autumn vegetables:

Autumn vegetables; carrots, potatoes, courgettes are in season now and we think would make a great companion with slow cooked lamb with a few bunches of rosemary. But what wine to have with this dish….

You’ll need to find a wine that has moderate tannins. Tannins mainly come from the skins and seeds in the grapes as well as the stems. Hence white and rosé wines, which spend less time in contaact with skins and seeds, have less tannins. Tannins can taste bitter and give a ‘drying’ sensation on your tongue. Think of the taste of a well brewed tea bag in your mug……

With lamb you’re not looking for a big and bold and tannic wine like Malbec or other single variety wines like big blockbuster Shirazes as this will overpower the meat dish. A blend of, Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvèdre offer some wonderful textures and flavours. Pinot Noir is another option, some tend to have more moderate tannins and texture than others; depending on how they’re made. We’ve also found that some Cabernets with its slight herbal and mint notes can pair quite well with lamb and mint sauce. Here are our recommendations, all of which are in the latest issue of On the Vine chaired by Rod Properjohn:

John Duval 2013 Plexus SGM (Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvèdre): from the warm Barossa. As Rod describes; “Here’s a ripper example of this red blend (shiraz, grenache, mourvèdre) that does so well in the warm Barossa. John Duval, erstwhile Grange winemaker, has the name, the experience and the wherewithal to make quality reds. This middleweight wine rocks with blueberry, spice, pepper and sandy tannins.”

Currently $37.99 as a single bottle or down to $33.99 each in any six.

Dandelion Vineyards 2013 Menagerie of the Barossa GSM (Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvèdre): “Another easy-drinking young GSM,” adds Rod. “It smells of freshly-baked fruit cake with cherries, currants, cinnamon, anise and roasted nuts. The palate is forward, voluptuous and seductive and the finish is gentle. Enjoy with the biggest, fattest, spiciest, sausages you can buy. Short-term aging only.”

Currently $20.99 single bottle price or down to $18.99 each in any six

Howard Park 2013 Scotsdale Cabernet Sauvignon: Closer to home, from Denmark is this well-balanced wine. We agree with Rod when he describes the wine as, “a firm well-structured young cabernet from the Great Southern with a deep brooding ruby colour and blackberry, chocolate and cedary oak cascading along the palate. Ripe tannins and acid add necessary grip. A quality wine that has a promising future in the cellar. Serve with barbecued lamb.” So maybe instead of slow cooked roast lamb, we might try this as a barbeque option!

Currently $39.99 single bottle price or down to $35.99 each in any six

Tamar Ridge 2013 Pinot Noir: “We’ve had some exciting Tasmanian pinots over the last year and here’s another. Bright garnet and almost luminous in the glass, this has classical sour cherry aromatics and a super-long silky palate of ripe berries, sweet earth, a dunk of sweaty socks and a lifted acid finish. Superb with roasted quail.” (We’ll need to look for a recipe for quail in the future!)

Currently $29.99 single bottle price or down to $26.99 each in any six

Nanny Goat 2014 Pinot Noir: From New Zealand, we’ve found this wonderful and interesting pinot. Rod expands, “typical rich Central Otago style of pinot noir with great colour, a voluptuous nose of soft ripe cherry and raspberry and a generously-fruited palate, sarsaparilla-like, but with a savoury edge and fine tannins and acid to balance. Pan-fried duck breast in a red-fruit sauce with this.” So if you don’t have lamb….go for some duck instead!

Currently $33.99 single bottle price or down to $29.99 each in any six


John Duval 2013 Plexus SGM
John Duval 2013 Plexus SGM