Slow cookerThis is the time of year that I am eternally grateful for my slow cooker because it’s like having a personal chef. Who wouldn’t want Siri in the kitchen?

I do nothing but toss in the ingredients and wait for the magic to happen. Then I pair that simmering goodness with a great wine like the Copain, Mendocino County Syrah.

I recently made a stew with lamb shanks, lentils and vegetables and 8 hours later Siri created something really special. The meat was so tender I even impressed my French friend who said, when tasting it, “Don’t talk to me. I’m concentrating on the flavors.”

The Copain inspires that same kind of concentration. It’s the perfect match for this kind of stew because it’s a smoky syrah with depth. It has notes of black raspberry, red raspberry and cracked black pepper. In the world of pairing, you either find a wine to match the flavors in the dish or contrast it. The Copain is a tasty mirror of the stew.

There are plenty of Slow Cooker recipe books on the market, from Slow Cooker 101 to Gourmet Slow Cooker to Gourmet Vegetarian Slow Cooker. There’s even a new one out I’m determined to buy called the Indian Slow Cooker.

As I continue to play with more complicated recipes, I’ll keep an eye out for great tasting slow cooker wines to share.