Lamb Vindaloo: Carmenere
Carmenere is arguably the star red grape of Chile, next to Merlot. It was once a variety used in Bordeaux blends, but is slowly being phased out due to its insignificance as a player in the French market. This may have something to do with its inability to consistently acheive full ripeness, a problem that doesn’t seem to exist in Chile. Chilean carmenere has a distinct spiciness to it that begs for a dish that echoes this. Additionally, wine from this varietal has notes of smoke and herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and tarrigon making this wine the perfect partner in crime for gamey meats such as lamb.
One dish that echoes the flavor lexicon of carmenere rather well is lamb vindaloo. A traditional Indian dish, lamb vindaloo is seasoned with cayenne pepper and garlic with variations including coriander, cinnamon, and sauteed onion. The gaminess of the lamb combined with a supporting cast of herb and spice make the dish an intriguing pair for those seeking a change of pace from everyday fare.