We’re over half-way through National Grilling Month and over half-way through the winegrowing season. The winegrapes begin to change color (aka veraison) and warm sunny days transition into the most beautiful evenings.
This means we’ve been spending more time outside enjoying shared big plates of grilled goodies, pies, lots of laughs and, of course, Dry Creek Valley wine. For week 3 of National Grilling Month, we’ve got the perfect recipe from Ridge Winery for your next al fresco meal.
Ridge’s Wine Country Spiced Grilled Lamb Spiedini with Grapes
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced Italian parsley (divided)
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground lavender
- ¼ teaspoon hot chile flakes
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 ½ pounds boned leg of lamb, fat trimmed, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 pound red flame seedless grapes
- 10 bamboo skewers, soaked in water overnight
- In a large bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, 1 tablespoon parsley, salt, smoked paprika, cumin, thyme, coriander, lavender, chile flakes, and pepper. Add lamb and mix to coat thoroughly.
- Cover and chill at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.
- Thread cubes of lamb alternately with grapes onto 6 or 7 skewers.
- Lay skewers over a solid bed of medium-hot coals or medium-high heat on a gas grill (you can hold your hand at grill level only 3 to 4 seconds). If using a gas grill, close the lid.
- Cook, turning skewers as needed, until lamb is browned on all sides but still pink in the center (medium-rare: 5 to 6 minutes), or just barely pink in the center (medium: 6 to 7 minutes).
- Pair with Bold, full-bodied zinfandels. Try it with Lytton Springs (excellent with older vintages too).
Recipe provided by Chef Jesse McQuarrie of Feast Catering
Why this pairing works: Ridge Lytton Springs is an incredibly balanced wine that will please all of your guests. It has the rich, brambly fruit flavors you’d expect from a wine that’s 74% zinfandel but also structured tannins and balanced acid – making it a perfect complement to the spices like thyme and lavender in this grilled dish. If you choose a vintage that has been in the bottle for a few years, you’ll find more complexity and a softer style of red blend. Check out Ridge’s website for more pairings specially crafted to pair with their variety of wines.