Shepherd's Pie & Zinfandel

In updating this 1978 F&W recipe, we made it simpler, faster and tastier. Then we found it a worthy partner: a rich, earthy red Zin.

Perfect Wine Match

This shepherd's pie combines the earthy flavor of lamb with exotic spices and sweet potatoes. Look for those tastes in a wine—earthy, exotically spiced, slightly sweet—and you come up with Zinfandel (the deep-red kind, not the pink). The 2000 Alderbrook Zinfandel O.V.O.C. ($20), from Sonoma's Dry Creek Valley, is rich but very balanced—it doesn't overwhelm the subtle spices—with a lively fruitiness that connects immediately with the meaty pie. A second choice is the 2000 Clos LaChance Twin Rivers Vineyard Zinfandel ($18), from California's El Dorado County. It's even richer than the Alderbrook, with seductive wild raspberry and black-pepper aromas.

—Richard Nalley

PUBLISHED September 2003