Perfect pairings for the year's best wines

What to serve with the best wines of 2009? Sunset wine editor Sara Schneider has the matches

Spanish-style lamb stew with roasted red peppers

With Cycles Gladiator Syrah 2007

Red Steal of the Year (Central Coast; $10)

Perfect pairing:  Spanish-style Lamb Stew with Roasted Red Peppers

Why it works:  Syrah is a wine with layers of texture and, in California, generally hearty red fruit often edged with hints of game, herbs, black olive, even smoky tobacco or espresso.

All of that needs a rustic food partner, like this Spanish-style stew. The lamb echoes the gamey notes in the wine, while the sweet peppers meld with the fruit and the briny topping creates a buzz with the wine’s herbal side.

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