Originally a Greek dish of course, using lambs that graze on the mountain, herbs that grow there too and tomatoes and aubergine from the vegetable patch at the back of the house – super! We have to find a wine that can complement all the elements: cinnamon isn’t so easy to match with wine, sweetish whites are best, but we have red meat. Tomato has acidity but sweetness too, so a white Rueda might do the trick – but hey, the meat is red!
Lamb and Rioja is often a match made in heaven, but Aubergine needs a white, perhaps Sauvignon Blanc! This recipe is a potential minefield – but think I have the answer. The meat needs red wine, Tempranillo will do the trick, but not from Rioja. Try Cencibel (aka Tempranillo) from DO Valdepeñas – it’s lighter in the mouth and in flavour than Rioja wine so it should be a good foil for all the elements in this dish.
You can try a Valdepeñas Reserva, though I think a Crianza would be better.
However if you want to walk on the wild side and add chilli and chocolate, I’d go for a joven (young) Valdepeñas with no oak ageing. This would mean that you would have the benefits of Cencibel as above but with a greater fruit feel for the chocolate and a lighter, less tannic mouthfeel thus reducing the burning effect of the chilli.