Moroccan Spiced Lamb Meatballs Paired with Limerick Lane Estate Cuvee

Those who’ve discovered Sonoma County wine tasting and food pairings are in on the secret: Zinfandel—California’s historic grape—is ready for its closeup. Once pigeonholed as the bold briary upstart beloved by burger and barbecue connoisseurs, zinfandel—versatile, rich—can be produced in a wide range of styles and with regional distinction.

At Limerick Lane, we let our unique microclimate speak. We produce full-bodied, beautifully balanced Zinfandels that elevate the finest foods, dishes traditionally paired with cabernet or pinot. We’d never turn down a great brisket. But we shine beside bourguignon.In this and upcoming blog posts, we’ll share recipes our partner chefs love to pair with Limerick Lane Zinfandels.

Chef Shane McAnelly

Northern California native McAnelly began his culinary career at The Blackhawk Grille in Danville, California. As sous chef and then chef de cuisine at Garibaldi’s restaurant in Oakland, he expanded his relationships with local farmers and purveyors to include wine country producers. Following executive sous chef and executive chef positions at Zero Zero in San Francisco and Va de Vi in Walnut Creek, he moved north to wine country to open Chalkboard restaurant in Healdsburg. Under McAnelly’s direction, Chalkboard received a 3-star review from then San Francisco Chronicle critic Michael Bauer, as well as securing a coveted spot on Bauer’s list of Top 10 New Restaurants for 2013. While serving as executive chef at Chalkboard, McAnally and his team helped open The Brass Rabbit, a pasta house focusing on seasonal produce. In May 2018, McAnelly hosted his first dinner in the prestigious James Beard House in New York City, choosing the theme “It’s Always Sunny in California.

Moroccan Spiced Lamb Meatballs with Mint Yogurt

Paired with: Limerick Lane Estate Cuvee

Chef’s note:

When tasting this wine, I really loved the structure and finish. A couple of things that stuck out were the peppercorn and herbal notes. I love pairing wine like this with foods that are heavily spiced. Not spicy, but lots of interesting spices as you see in this riff on lamb kefta. The fresh herbs and spices play nicely with the structure of this cuvee


  • 1 # lamb, ground
  • ½ cup yellow onion, grated
  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix together the lamb, grated onion, chopped parsley and cilantro, cumin, coriander, fennel, paprika, cinnamon and salt. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Using a cookie scoop, form meatballs into approximately 1 oz balls. Roll with your hands into balls and place onto a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with pan spray.
  4. When all balls are formed (you should yield around 15-18 meatballs) place sheet into oven.
  5. Cook for approximately 15 minutes or until desired doneness.
  6. While meatballs are cooking, mix together the mint and Greek yogurt in a small mixing bowl.
  7. Serve warm meatballs with yogurt.