Drink the Cuisine

Drink the Cuisine

When it comes to the rules of wine and food pairing, the simplest rule to follow is to match the wines of a region with their cuisine.

As the grapes that create a region’s wine and the ingredients that compose the cuisine are innately connected by the land on which they grow, it would be surprising if the two didn’t express gastronomic symmetry. As expected, the terroir expressed in a region’s wine forms a natural bridge between the wine and food.

The wine and cuisine of Greece is a prime example. Although many Americans are stuck with antiquated ideas about Greek wine—remembering the over-resinous wines of the past—this ancient wine producing country has recently marketed cleaner, fresher wines, which still heavily rely on indigenous grapes.

A favorite Greek pairing is serving Lamb Kapama with the medium-bodied red Agiorgitiko. The red cherry, berry and spice flavors of Agiorgitiko intertwine famously with the savory qualities of Lamb Kapama—a version of braised lamb shank that’s slowly cooked with wine, tomatoes and spices.

Recipe: Lamb Kapama

¼ cup olive oil
1 pound lamb shank
½ cup red wine
1 cinnamon stick
2 garlic cloves
2-3 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
8 ounces tomatoes, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 carrot, thinly sliced
2 celery sticks, thinly sliced

Heat oil in a large pot. Place lamb shank in pot and brown on all sides. Add wine, cinnamon, garlic, salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes, onion, carrot and celery and place enough water in the pot to just-cover the lamb shank. Cover pot and braise on low heat for 2 ½ hours. Serves 2.

Published on June 20, 2011