Spring Has Sprung, with Lamb Stew and Cinsault

Lynne Kiesling

Five years ago I wrote this post reviewing the Preston Vineyards 2002 Cinsault, and in it I said that we would drink our second bottle of it with a nice spring lamb stew, a navarin d’agneau, or navarin printanier as Julia Child styles it in my go-to Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Since then, the spring bottle of Preston Cinsault and the navarin d’agneau have become an annual tradition in the KP household. We herald spring every April with this combination, and tonight’s the night (with apologies for the thinly-veiled Rod Stewart reference!). The lamb is simmering as I type, the potatoes and onions and carrots and turnips and peas are ready to join the lamb in a few minutes, and the bottle awaits the meal. This year we’re drinking the 2007, and it has the silky, juicy, fruity mouthfeel that we’ve always enjoyed in our spring Preston Cinsault ritual. This year’s rendition is more richly jammy than the past few years have been, and it’s quite delicious.

This year I am also making a loaf of traditional Irish soda bread to accompany the stew, taking full advantage of the cultural animal pound that is the U.S. to fuse the French and Irish associations I have with lamb stew into a mutt of a dinner to usher in a new season.

Happy spring!