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If the restaurant is pairing sauces so overwhelming to the lamb, that it now would pair nicely with a Zin, I am very fortunate not to have eaten at any such establishment.

Red Bordeaux and Syrah make sense. MAYBE a subtle Zin, but it would have to be extraordinary and therefore I wouldn't recommend it as a good pairing with lamb.
Originally posted by joshtpa:
Most restaurants would disagree. We almost always recommended that in my former restaurant. If the Lamb has a spice to it, the Zin can be a strong match. Otherwise we would go with a French Syrah.

"Most restaurants" aren't particularly good-- I wouldn't base any opinion on what "Most" would do, but rather on what the very good ones do. In that vein, I don't think Zinfandel is what most good restaurants would recommend.

Northern Rhone Syrah loves the gaminess of lamb, as does Rioja. Chateauneuf-du-Pape works very well with rosemary, also. I would oven-roast potatoes with rosemary as a side dish, but I then I like rosemary quite a lot.
i don't know what price point you're looking, but i've had some delicious blends that could work well.

-Santa Barbara Winery ZCS
-The Other
-Pike's Luccio

and what about Oregon Pinot Noir? Some of them are light, but display alot of fruit, herbalness and earth.

i don't eat lamb, but imagine that the fruit in the pinot would do well with the heat of the BBQ, but also compliment the rosemary, and not over power the lamb.


(i'm partial to burgundy and OR pinot though. generally i find a way to serve it with everything, lol)
Side dishes for lamb:
1) Steamed green beans, just stir through a knob of butter a minute or so before serving.

2) Potato can be done in many ways. One of my favourity ways for a side dish of lamb is to cut the spuds into 1/2 inch cubes (or spheres using a melon baller if you want to be exotic).
Par boil these, best way is to put them in cold water, bring to a boil and then simmer for 5 - 10 minutes until they are slightly underdone.
Drain and let cool.
Shallow fry them in good quality olive oil with finely chopped garlic and finely chopped rosemary - you want about 1/8 of an inch of olive oil in the pan. You want to get the oil just underneath it's smoking point so that you get a little crust on the outside of the potato.
Sprinkle lightly with coarsely ground sea salt just before serving

3) For a third side dish I'd probably go with a fairly simple carrot dish, maybe even that old cliche of honeyed carrots.

As for a wine match:
I'm going to go completely different to everybody else and suggest a good new world cab sav with at least 10 years bottle age. The important thing is to go for a lighter more fruit driven cab-sav not not some huge tannin beast. A good 1996 CS from Coonawarra, such as Wynns John Micheal, Orlando's St Hugo or Zema Estate Family Selection.

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