OUR ST. PATRICK’S DAY TRADITION … LAMB STEW WITH RIOJA

St. Patrick’s Day is a day for many people to celebrate their Irish heritage. Traditional foods are often part of the celebration. When I was growing up, my mother would always serve corned beef and cabbage, never a favorite of mine. Instead, in our household, our family always enjoys lamb stew and Irish Soda Bread to help comemorate this special day. (sorry, Mom)

Wine: Vina Ardanza Reserva ‘La Rioja Alta’ 2004Vina Ardanza

Rioja, one of the best-known wine regions of Spain, is located in the northern part of country but west of the Pyrenees. Tempranillo is the most widely planted grape variety, followed by Garnacha (called Grenache elsewhere) a distant second. Two other varieties of grapes are frequently added to Rioja wine in very small quantities, Mazuelo (called Carignan elswhere) and Graciano.

Grapes in Vina Ardanza = Tempranillo 80%, Garnacha 20%

Tasting notes: Nose has notes of leather, black currant, cloves, and mushroom. On the palette: black currant, earth, cedar, leather, and a hint of spice. A very nice level of acidity, reminiscent of the best of Old World wines. Full-bodied wine with 13.5% alcohol. Delicious with the lamb stew.

Food: Lamb stew from Salute to Healthy Cooking, served with peas and Irish Soda Bread. For the stew, cubed lamb shoulder is baked in a covered oven-proof casserole with sauteed onions, thyme, bay, and water for 45 minutes. Adjust oven heat [around 350 degrees] so that the stew does not boil. Carrots are added for 15 minutes, then potatoes are added and the stew is baked, covered, another 45 minutes. This is all done the day before. Adjust the seasonings. Glazed baby onions and glazed, sliced turnips are added when the stew is reheated before serving. Bake the Irish Soda Bread, cook the peas.Lamb Stew w: Irish soda bread, peas

Read more: http://www.riojalta.com/en/

A source: wine.com