Patlican Kebabi and Reds from the Pays d’Oc

We would call it Aubergine Pot Stew; in Turkey it is the much more exotic sounding Patliçanli Tençere Kebabi. This is aubergines and lamb, which anyway go together perfectly, plus onions, potatoes and carrots that blend in beautifully. Despite being a rustic dish, the tastes and textures are subtle and just asking for a Mediterranean red wine. I tried two from Languedoc that I was judging as potential house wines, hopefully versatile vin ordinaire.

Domaine Laborie Vin de Pays d’Oc, 2009 which the Wine Society describes as “Delicious fruityLanguedoc red made from Carignan, Syrah and Grenache, round to the taste and characterful.” It is 13% alcohol and just £4.95. It was an honestly made wine, but tending to be inoffensive rather than interesting. Carignan is famously short of character and using it as the main grape carries risks. Here the Syrah and Grenache are not in sufficient proportion to add what I find missing. Perfectly decent value therefore, but not one for my stock.

Domaine Felines Jourdan, Vin de Pays d’Oc Rouge, 2009, Grenache Syrah, is described as “Simple pleasures from a fruit-driven Southern French blend of Grenache, Syrah and a little Cabernet.” It is 13% alcohol and again only £4.95. Despite the identical price, the blend of largely Grenache and Syrah produced something more like a light Cotes du Rhone, more obviously juicy and fruity than the Laborie. The Cabernet was not obvious, unlike that in the Sabina Tempranillo of a few days ago, though it may well have added a little weight. This is very much to our taste, and better in warm weather than a heavier Rhone blend. A bouncy, good value little wine.

To be fair, both wines worked well with the meal; it was personal taste that led us to prefer the second.

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