Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Experts Weigh In!...Wine Suggestions for the Moroccan Apricot and Lamb Tagine

Pin It I have recently joined a wine group on Linkedin called Wines & Spirits.

After I published my post for the Apricot Lamb Tagine, I thought it would be fun to approach them for their suggestions on what wines to serve with the tagine. This is what they came up with. Keep in mind, these are not your average wine drinkers, but very sophisticated wine connoisseurs and collectors, so enjoy!

Jan De Ceuster
Experienced consumer PR consultant, with particular strong experience in travel & hospitality and wine & gastronomy

"I would suggest a Sicilian Nero d'Avola, a modern style Calabrase based on, a Puglian Primitivo or a sound Californian Zinfandel. "

Jim Ruxin
Owner, JKR Productions, Inc.

"I agree with Jan's suggestions. This dish might even take a late harvest zin with light to moderate sweetness, depending on the strength of the fruit presence in the dish. As a foil to that sweetness, you might go in the other direction with an Amarone, or even a negro amaro such as Feudi Serpico, 1998, 1999 and 2001 are particularly good. "

Mark Norman
Director of Marketing and Business Development at The Wine Societies

"I would go with an ancient vine (old vine) zinfandel or ancient vine (old vine) petite sirah...I make a lamp chop with a port and fig reduction and both go extremely well with that! I would suspect that your recipe is slightly spicy so the heavier (ancient vine / old vine) wines would stand up well! "

Greg Tuttle
Wine Operations Manager at Total Wine & More

"At a recent training meeting, our wine managers enjoyed both old vine zinfandel and elegant Russian River pinot noir with various Moroccan tagines. In spite of their rich seasoning, the pinot noir was not overwhelmed and compliemented the sweet spicing of the dishes and the flavors of the preserved fruits. I like Jan's Nero d'Avola suggestion as well – a medium-bodied tannat or tannat blend from Uruguay might also be a fun pairing. "

Mike Potashnik
Publisher, International Wine Review

"How about an off dry Riesling for a Chicken leg tangine? What about a Rioja for minted lamb kabobs? How about Chateau Musar for either "

Abby Wine
Southwest Wine Travel Examiner, Examiner.com

"Greetings, it is possible to get an Algerian wine. Be sure to consult a professional, as these wines can be highly acidic, not so well balanced. Of course, people have been eating North African food with French, Spanish, and Italian wines for centuries. You might consider a red blend from Corbieres, one of the largest and most southerly wine sub-regions in France. The vineyards of Corbieres hug the Mediterranean coast. The typical varietals in a Corbieres blend are the same as those in a Cote du Rhone, and the wines tend to be full-bodied. I love a good Corbieres because you can taste the Mediterranean sunshine, and it really stimulates the appetite. The French are experts at blending these wines to pair with all manner of Mediterranean cuisines, including North African style dishes. Several North African states were French colonies for centuries, so the cuisines and winemaking of both areas are intimately connected. Within my area of particular expertise, I would pair this with the 2007 Sangiovese from Village of Elgin Winery in the Sonoita, AZ AVA. That is a fantastic, natural wine with the same touch of sunshine. It is a little lighter than most Corbieres blends, very well balanced, with a hint of sweetness that will really bring out the dried fruit in this dish. Good luck! "

The final choice is up to you...but what a choice!

You can see more comments and connect to the Wine & Spirits Group in Linkedin by clicking:


1 comment:

  1. This was sent by email:

    In addition to the suggestions made, do consider Alsace wines tokay pinot gris, Riesling and gewurtztraminer for the restaurant as a general selection to go with the spicy cuisine. They have ample fruit, especially the gewurtz.

    Alsace has less acid than German wines, but always more than most regions, so it is enough to offset any sweetness left in the wine. The benefit is the sugar is soothing against the heat of the spicing, and this is the single best region to pair with Asian, Indonesian or Hispanic dishes where heat is a perpetual requirement in varying degrees. The lack of oak, tannin and moderate alcohol also help offset the heat, unlike higher alcohol wines like American cab whose tannins are not compatible with the spice.

    I am not surprised by the Rhone varietal suggestions, as well as Musar or the other Lebanese suggestions.The Beaujolais is a long shot though because so many are so polite and add no character to a meal. A big Moulin-a-Vent from a great year might do it, as the fruit would be compatible with the apricot tagine. Price point might also be great for a restaurant, but they are hard to find in this country, or at least on the West coast.

    I am a wine broker in LA and have attached a partial catalog with many Alsatian, Rhone and other wines that would go well with your menu. Please let me know if I can be helpful.


    Jim Ruxin
    Brentwood Village Wine
    310-471-7372 office
    310-617-7372 mobile


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