What wine goes with a Moroccan Chophouse and Tapas Bar?

Hello Everyone,

We hope you are having a great week!

My wife and I recently visited a very cool Moroccan Chophouse and Tapas Bar called Tangierino. This chic spot combines the feel of a restaurant and lounge, and is located at the bottom of Bunker Hill in historic Charlestown, MA.Even though you may not expect a place like this to be in an area that is notorious for Irish bars, Tangierino introduces you to Morocco in a romantic way. The restaurant is dimly lit, offers unique seating with small couches or sheer-styled sheets that veil you, and you may have the occasional belly dancer pass by.

Tangierino was a very nice surprise and definitely has a pulse when you’re inside.

The dishes were spectacular with fresh ingredients from New England mixed with Moroccan spices for a flashy flavor.

We started with an appetizer Blazing Beef Tenderloin:
Sliced Prime aged beef, roll of sesame vegetables and ginger, harissa teriyakiWe then ordered Four Bone Za’atar Spiced Rack of Lamb:
Asparagus and Kalamata olives, truffle mashed potatoes, rosemary reduction

Tangierino’s wine list was solid with 66 white wines and 92 red wines.  The majority of the wine list was dominated by wine regions from Italy, France, California, Australia, Argentina, Spain, Oregon and New Zealand.With such a huge list to look at, I wanted to put our money where our mouth is and use the Free Hello Vino iPhone App to get a glass of wine to pair with the appetizer, and also one for dinner.

For the Blazing Beef Tenderloin, Hello Vino suggested a sweet Riesling, Gewürztraminer, or a Syrah/Shiraz. I personally was not in the mood for a white wine, but if I was, I would choose Gewürztraminer. We ended up trying Philippe & Vincent Jaboulet, Crozes-Hermitage, France 2005 Shiraz/Syrah.

I thought this wine was excellent with the harissa teriyaki. The dark berry fruit and hints of vanilla and toast mixed well. This was a full-bodied wine that proved to be a good start.

For the Four Bone Za’atar Spiced Rack of Lamb, Hello Vino recommended Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Merlot. Lately my wife and I have been fans of Zinfandel, so we chose two different glasses. My wife chose one of our recent favorites, Layer Cake Primitivo, Puglia, Italy 2006 (Italian Zinfandel grape)… and I tried DeLoach, Russian River Valley, Califonia 2005/2006 Zinfandel.

The Layer Cake Primitivo did not disappoint for a second time. The creamy balance of jammy fruit mixed with white pepper took the lamb to another level. The DeLoach Zinfandel was a bit hot (high alcohol), but did bring some black pepper, ripe blackberry, and possibly a little oak to the table. This was also pretty good with dinner, but not as smooth as the Primitivo.

Either way, it was fun to challenge the Hello Vino iPhone App in a restaurant with tons of wines to pick from, and to try a delicious food and wine pairing.

Next time you see yourself staring at a wine list, give Hello Vino a whirl and see if it can help you select a glass or bottle.Cheers!
Jim from Hello Vino