The recent dining out restrictions meant we had to give more thought to dining at home and Bistro in the Burbs was born! Delicious home cooked meals with fabulous matching wines – what could be better? Sometimes modest, other times grand and not always perfect. But perfect fun.

This month it’s herb-crusted lamb rack with Queen of the Sierra Red 2017



For the herb crust – combine a quarter of a cup of grated parmesan, 2tbsp dried thyme, 1tbsp dried oregano, 1tbsp paprika, 2 crushed garlic cloves and 2tbsp olive oil in a bowl.

Sear the lamb rack (fat side down) until golden brown. Remove from pan, allow to cool slightly and then press the herb crust onto the seared side.  Place a sliced onion in the roasting pan and then add the lamb. Bake in hot oven (200c) for 25 mins, allow to rest before carving.

For the red wine sauce – leave the roasted onion in the lamb pan and deglaze with 2 cups of dry, red wine until reduced by two-thirds. Add a litre of beef stock. Simmer until reduced by two-thirds again. Thicken to suit with cornflour mixed with cold water.

Serve with mashed potatoes, steamed greens and a large glass of Queen of the Sierra Red 2017

And the match?

The lamb rack has a mild, delicate flavour, whilst the reduction is pretty rich. Lamb pairs well with many red wines, but we didn’t want a “typical” match such as Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2017 Queen of the Sierra is perfect. Elegant and pure in flavour, working well with the delicate texture and flavour of the lamb. The herb and parmesan crust provides crunchy texture, fragrance and depth of flavour, suggesting the need for a red wine with a bit more body and depth, the reduction reinforcing this need. The wine’s complex herb-scented fruit profile fitted perfectly with the tumbling flavours and texture of the dish. The bracing acidity cut through the juicy, fatty and mouthwatering lamb.


Magnificent! Takes a while to open up, but this has all the sinewy and athletic muscle of great nebbiolo (!), tannins of such, Italianate flavours in herbs and sweet earth and sour cherry. Fantastic. Long, lean and tightly wound, again, it’s words about tannin and structure that ring loud here. Such a good, detailed, interesting, layered wine. It drinks like best of fine dry reds, with pizzazz of the unusual parts. Yewww! 95 Points – Mike Bennie, The Winefront

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