Wine: Domaine de la Meynarde 2011 Côtes du Rhône Villages Plan de Dieu
Origin:  Côtes du Rhône Villages, Rhône, France

Taste: This blend of Grenache, Syrah and Carignan offers a rich and welcoming nose of briar patch fruits entirely absent of oak influence. The tannins caress softly and the acidity lurks subtly. The voluptous and youthful loveliness of the very pure fruit make for easy sipping.

Expectation: Lamb and mature cheese should work well with this bottling.

Hit: Davidstow Cornish Cruncher Extra Mature Cheddar

This is an excellent match. I expected the 14.5% alcohol to carry more extraction and glycerol, each which could have over-powered the cheese texturally. Instead, this flavorful red with big, mid-palate creaminess complimented this cheese incredibly well with its rounded texture and accented it along the fruity-salty continuum.

Miss: Seared Lamb Chops
Surprisingly, the lamb chops overpowered the wine. The wine does match the lamb’s flavors as well as its intensity of flavors. However, it works less well structurally. So, it’s not entirely a miss. It’s almost there. For a better match, ratchet up the palate-cleansing tannin or acid – or both – with a wine from a neighboring village, like Cairanne.