Patliçanli Kebabçi and Cote du Rhone

Because we were going out to a film afterwards, there was little time to cook so the meal came from the freezer. D originally made enough for eight and froze three of the four pairs of portions. This is authentically Turkish and a great favourite – lamb, aubergines, potatoes, tomatoes in the right proportions and with just a little of the right seasoning make for a remarkably subtle combination with both fruity and earthy flavours.

The earthy tastes need a fruity but robust wine. Tannins and leather would just not work, so I went for what I hoped would be a robust Cote du Rhone that was on offer at Sainsbury – Terres des Galets 2010 Gabriel Meffre. We have tried the 2009 (see my 4 February post) which I had found a bit too smooth, but this was a new vintage.

The label describes it as “a complex blend of the classic Cote du Rhone grape varieties Grenache, Syrah, Cinsaut and Mourvedre. Deep red in colour, it is round and harmonious with an intense aroma of red fruits and spices.” Despite a very different vintage, this is the same description as the 2009, though the offer the price is similar.

It looked a wonderful bright and deep red with hints of purple in the glass and smelled of berries and spice – promising. On its own it was clean, fruity and ripe with the tannins present but well tamed, and this in a wine only one year old. It was being sold at ‘half price’, £5.49 rather than £10.99 and at the lower price it is certainly good value. It was very good with the food and I am glad I didn’t stop at just one experimental bottle. In fact I’ll be back for a few more.

The one word I would use to describe it is ‘ripe’, and it is pretty much at its peak. I would be hesitant about keeping it beyond say next spring, which is probably why it is being discounted, so enjoy the bargain.

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