Mediterranean Vegetables and Lamb Pasta … with a California Cabernet

Pairing:  Mediterranean Vegetables, Lamb, and Romano Cheese on Penne paired with 2011 Dutcher Crossing Taylor Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Food:  They say (though I’m not exactly sure who) that “necessity is the mother of invention”. And we need to deal with those leftover Mediterranean veggies (cubed and sautéed eggplant, zucchini, tomato, onion and a bit of garlic) and ground lamb … in the back of the fridge  … leftover from different meals enjoyed earlier in the week … before they go bad.  Hmmmm … what to do … ah … throw them all into some pasta. Grate a generous amount of Romano cheese, add some rosemary or thyme, and drizzle with a little olive oil. That was easy!

Pasta with Med Veg

Wine:  True confession … for years, I didn’t like Cabernet Sauvignon. How, you say, could I possibly not like the most widely consumed red wine in the world? Maybe it was my own little rebellion … who knows. Well, a few years back, we were driving through the Dry Creek Valley area of Sonoma wine country north of San Francisco Bay stopping at small, lesser known wineries sampling their wines. Dutcher Crossing winery turned out to be our very favorite. One sip of their Cabernet Sauvignon and I was hooked. It was terrific, and I have been enjoying Dutcher and many other Cabs ever since. What was I thinking? … (sigh) … one of life’s little lessons … don’t give up on a wine … it could surprise you!  Note:  Dutcher Crossing is a small winery and the best way to obtain their wines is directly from them through their website (see below).

Dutcher Taylor Cabernet

Tasting Notes:  On the nose one gets the delicate aroma of black currants similar to the smells you get when reaching into the currant bush while picking the fruit. Not surprisingly, on the palate you encounter a lush combination of fresh black currants combined with black currant jam … what a rush! Very soft tannins and the wine needed little or no decanting. The Cabernet Sauvignon proved to pair particularly nicely with the lamb, eggplant and Romano cheese ingredients of this dish. A worthy way to elevate the sometimes lowly status of leftovers!

Other Food That Pairs Well with Cabernet Sauvignon:  Pizza (made with blue cheese, leeks and chanterelles), Roast or Grilled Lamb, Eggplant Parmesan, Grilled Beef or Lamb Burgers, Steak

Other Wines That Pair Well with This Pasta Dish:  Bandol (Provence), Cote de Rhone (France), GSM (Australia), Cabernet Sauvignon/ Merlot Blend (Australia)

Enjoy the Views of Sonoma Wine Country:  sonoma county

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