Summer Wine, Salad Pairings and Lamb Recipe


By Peggy Fiandaca, co-owner of LDV Winery in Arizona


This Big Blend Radio “Wine Time with Peggy” Show features Peggy Fiandaca who discusses summer wine and salad pairings, LDV’s Viognier wine, and how to make her Grilled Rack of Lamb Recipe as featured below. Watch here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on Spreaker, PodBean, or SoundCloud.


LDV Winery’s award-winning wines are a direct reflection of the unique high-altitude terroir in the Chiricahua Mountain foothills in Southeastern Arizona. LDV Winery Wine Tips provide you with easy to apply tips to expand your wine and food enjoyment that we have been employing for years.

During spring and summer, we turn to lighter foods – like salads. They are challenging for wine pairing but here are 5 tips. Two things to think about: consider the dominant protein (steak, seafood, or cheese) and the dressing composition.

  1. Hearty Salad – A hearty salad with grilled filet mignon and gorgonzola blue cheese might require a less traditional salad wine like Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon. A lighter seafood salad pairs well with a Chardonnay or Gewurztraminer.
  2. Add Fruit – Make salads wine friendly by adding fruit or berries. Pair the wine’s fruit characteristics with the fruit. Shared flavor characteristics enhance the compatibility.
  3. High Fat, Cream Dressing – A creamy dressing requires a crisp, dry white wine with some acidity to cut the richness.
  4. Sweet & Spicy – A salad with a spicy, sweet dressing could make a sweet wine seem less sweet. Try a medium-bodied red wine like a Pinot Noir or LDV Winery’s Grenache.
  5. Vinegar-based Dressings – These can vary greatly depending on if you are using a white or red-wine vinegar (Viognier) or balsamic vinegars could pair well with a fruity red, like Pinot Noir or Grenache.

Enjoy your salads but don’t forget the wine! Enjoy the short video.

Serves 2

Ingredients –

1 rack of lamb
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
6-8 garlic cloves
Freshly ground black pepper
2-3 T Herbes de Provence
Kosher salt to taste

Marinade Directions –

  1. Rinse & pat dry lamb to remove any bone fragments.
  2. Rub entire rack of lamb with olive oil.
  3. Cover meat area with paper thin slices of garlic & Herbes de Provence.
  4. Heavily pepper the meat. DO NOT salt.
  5. Wrap rack tightly in plastic wrap & place in refrigerator for 24 hours.

Cooking Directions –

  1. Remove lamb from plastic wrap & using a butter knife, scape off & discard the garlic, pepper, & herbs. It is important to get as much off as possible because they will not taste good when grill charred.
  2. Re-season the meat with salt & pepper to taste.
  3. Light grill to medium heat.
  4. Place lamb fat side down on grill close to heat source to render the fat. The grill will produce flames (to be expected) but keep moving the rack of lamb in & out of the flames so the fat is browned but not totally charred. You cannot leave the grill during this stage! It should take about 3 minutes.
  5. Remove the meat from the lower grill & place fat side up on an upper rack & cover for about 20 minutes for medium rare. You could also transfer lamb at this point to a preheated 350-degree F oven if your grill does not have an upper rack.
  6. Remove meat from the grill or oven & let the lamb rack rest for 5 minutes before slicing into individual chops.

To ServeSlice rack in individual chops & arrange on plate.

Note – If you prefer your lamb cooked much past medium rare, this dish might not be for you. Lamb can take on some unpleasant characteristics if it is overcooked.

Wine PairingPair and LDV Winery’s 2015 Syrah.

Learn more about LDV Winery at

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About the Author:

Peggy Fiandaca, who along with her winemaker husband Curt Lawrence Dunham, owns and operates LDV Winery in Arizona.

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