Friday, July 19, 2024

What Wine Pairs Well With Lamb

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Are There Any Other Factors I Should Consider

Pairing lamb, beef and game with wine

At the end of the day, at least part of finding the best wine with lamb pairings also comes down to a matter of preference, and also what you serve your lamb with. Curries call for wines with a touch of sweeter notes, while barbequed lamb calls for a wine with a smoky finish. Mint jelly, garlic, and shallots, and spices like cumin all impact whether you want spicy, smoky, or sweet notes in your wine

Vineyard 29 Cru Cabernet Sauvignon

This Napa Valley Cab Sav pairs perfectly with a simple roasted lamb recipe that includes a coconut milk-based sauce and veggies. According to chef Jeff Smith, substituting brown sugar for white when glazing vegetables “adds a deeper kind of sweet note.” This creates a delicious combination of flavors between food and drink.

Cabernet More Like Caber

Strengthening your wine pairing skills requires time, practice, and a little bit of good luck. Recipes vary and everyone makes food a little bit differently, which means you may discover a new wine pairing that hasnât been recommended before.

Wine pairing is similar to art–other people may have useful opinions on it, but only you know what youâre most interested in. Provided you’re thoughtfully considering which flavors complement each other, you’ll have interesting meals that prompt customers to come back for more.

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Best White Wine: Chateau Ste Michelle Eroica Riesling

Sarah Tracey, a New York-based sommelier extraordinaire, is a fan of Chateau Ste. Michelles Eroica Riesling as a turkey pairing. This is a perfect Thanksgiving white wine option because it’s cool, crisp, and light,” she says. “I love that this bright and zippy wine can balance out all the rich dishes on the tableit keeps your palate clean and refreshed through buttery mashed potatoes and rich casseroles.”

It’s important to keep in mind that Thanksgiving dinner is typically pretty filing. “I always recommend staying away from bold, heavy, high-alcohol wines on such a marathon day of eating and drinking!” she explains. “The green apple, peach, and citrus notes in riesling are so versatile that it’s one of the only wines I can confidently say truly pairs with everything, a must when there are so many family-style dishes on the table.

Best Half Bottle: Maison Noir P

10 Best Wines for Lamb

Pinot noir is such a fun varietal to pair with foodits light-bodied, earthy, and rife with red fruits and baking spice. This is a particularly fun one from André Hueston Mack of Maison Noir Wines . P-Oui is a joy to drink thanks to its complexity and funky berry notes, the product of grape sourcing from various vineyards within Oregons Willamette Valley.

We asked bartender and beverage expert Erik Delanoy to elaborate on this grapes pairing capabilities: In the grand scheme of red wines, pinot noir is on the lighter side, so its seldom going to overpower a main dish. Turkey is, of course, typically the primary protein in a Thanksgiving meal, and the baking spice often found in pinot noir is bound to pair well with the fall flavors of this kind of feast without the super grippy tannins that can easily distract from the nuances of the main attraction… or Aunt Karens sweet potatoes.

P-Oui is only available in half-bottles, making it the perfect dinner party favor to include in place settings or gift bags, in case you needed further convincing.

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Wine And Lamb: My 5 Favourite Pairings

Its tough to say what the best wine matches for lamb are – its served so many different ways and there are so many wines that work but here are my five favourites.

Bear in mind lamb is a slightly fattier, gamier meat than beef and carries spicing well – youll find lamb dishes all over north Africa, the eastern Mediterranean and India. But it can also be quite delicate and sweet – when served rare for example.

Here are the five I most commonly reach for:


The wine to go with more delicate lamb dishes such as rack of lamb served with spring vegetables, lamb noisettes or a spring lamb stew


Go to the Rioja region of Spain and youll invariably be offered a mountain of lamb cutlets cooked over smouldering vine cuttings – one of the most delicious examples of vineyard cuisine youll find anywhere. And a red Rioja reserva is the ideal partner.


If youre serving your lamb Italian-style with garlic and rosemary reach for a bottle of Chianti Classico. Its fresh acidity offsets lambs slight fattiness perfectly – one of those matches which makes both the wine and food sing.


Another part of the world where lamb is a favourite, particularly in the Médoc. Again likely to be served simply with garlic. A red Bordeaux or similar blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot will offset it beautifully.


ImageHLPhoto –

Perfect Sides For Lamb

Theres something about succulent roast lamb that just says special occasion, so youll want your sides to measure up. Choose a few of these delicious side dishes to enhance the rest of your table, for an Easter supper that will really live up to the occasion, from the main event down to the bread basket.

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Best Wine To Pair With Lamb

Southern Italian red wines, Spanish red wines, and red blends are usually the best wines to pair with lamb. On the whole, red fruit flavors, medium-to-full bodies, and strong acid content cut through the other ingredients in a lamb dish.

Most lamb recipes are dense, rich meals that would overpower a low calorie wine. Since red wines have stronger tannins and higher alcohol content, they match the heartiness of the meat and any sauces included in the recipe.

Wine And Lamb Pairings Perfect Matching

A French Varietal That Pairs Well With Steak or Lamb

If there are two things Australia is known for in the food and beverage world, its probably lamb and wine. Boasting some of the worlds best of each, these two classics are featured daily on dinner tables and in restaurants across the country. Many local wines are a natural match for Aussie lamb, but depending on the preparation of the dish, there are a variety of styles, expressions and regions that best suit.

Here are our tips on pairing wine with lamb, which vary based on what cut youre talking and how it is prepared:

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Consider Sparkling Wines As A Palate Cleanser

tend to be used for celebrations and toasts in most people’s minds, but they can be surprisingly easy to pair with your average weeknight dinner. They’re a particularly good choice if you’re planning an eclectic meal with a variety of different flavors, such as a fried appetizer followed by a creamy fish dish, because the bubbles can act as a palate cleanser. are particularly versatile. Despite being light and sweet, they can stand up to the spiciness of Indian, Asian and Mexican cuisine.

The Cooking Method And Duration

The cooking method youre going to use with your lamb also plays a part in which wine you should pick. In addition, how long you cook your lamb for is also an important factor to keep in mind.

  • Lamb that is served pink requires a light-bodied wine or even a Rosé so as not to ruin the delicate flavor of the meat.
  • Medium to well done lamb tends to be rich in flavor especially when roasted and so a full-bodied wine like a Bordeaux blend will complement the meats rich flavor.
  • Slow-roasted lamb needs to be accompanied by a mature or very well-balanced wine to properly draw of the lambs flavors. Anything else will not do the meat justice.

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Is Lamb Red Or White Meat

Under the culinary definition, lamb is white meat because it comes from young mammals. However, the USDA considers any meat from a mammal to be red meat, regardless of the age or cut. According to Berkeley Wellness, lamb is a red meat because its high in myoglobin, a protein in muscle that turns red when combined with oxygen.

However, some cuts of lamb are not high in saturated fat like other red meats. In fact, they can be leaner than some higher-fat poultry like duck and chicken wings and thighs. The leaner your cut of lamb is, the lighter the wine you can pair it with.

A rich cut will pair beautifully with a bold and high tannin red wine, like a Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz. For a cut of lamb with a more delicate texture and flavor, look for a red with finer tannins, like a Pinot Noir or Malbec. If you prefer white wine, a good Gewürztraminer or a California Chardonnay make a fine pairing for a lean cut of lamb.

When you are serving lamb, there are a number of wines to choose from that cater to your recipe, personal taste, and budget. Here is a beginners guide for pairing wines with lamb and creating a perfect match.

Consider These Factors When Pairing Lamb With Wine

Roast Leg of Lamb Wine Pairing â Dani G Morris

Lamb is a meat that falls between beef and game meat. It has a soft texture and is high in iron, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids, all of which are beneficial to your health. Consider the high fat content of lamb meat when mixing wine with it.

The best wines to pair with lamb are medium to full-bodied with strong acidity, according to wine pairing regulations. Lamb wine matching is also influenced by the preparation, spices, herbs, and sauces.

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How To: Pairing A Beverage To Your Lamb Dish

The success of your pairing is measured by what happens when a sip of your drink interacts with your last bite of food. This is where the magic happens!

So, what makes a good or bad pairing? Glad you asked!

If the flavour after the sip of your drink is jarring or even slightly unpleasant, its a poor pairing. However, if the flavour leaves you wanting more, you my friend, have a found a fantastic match.

Wine Pairing With Lamb Curry

Much like lamb stew, lamb curry can be made from different cuts of the lamb. Most often, lamb shank or shoulder is used in lamb curry and the base of the dish is made from potatoes, onions, and a whole bunch of aromatics.

The key to wine pairing with lamb curry lies in the level of heat. For mild lamb curries, like a Rogan Josh, Malbec, Syrah, Duoro red, rosé Champagne, or Zinfandel work very well. For spicier lamb curries, like a Bhuna Gosht, Pinot Gris, aged Rieslings, French Rhônes, or Gewürztraminer are ideal.

Heat aside, the sauce of the curry is also a determining factor as to which wine will work well.

  • Green sauces: A herbal curry base is best complimented by sparkling wines and Sauvignon Blancs.
  • Red sauces: Bases that contain lots of acidic flavors are difficult to pair. A rosé, Gamay, Grenache, and Syrah are safe bets.
  • Creamy sauces: Cream-based sauces work particularly well with Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Chardonnay.

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Top Picks At A Glance For Wine Pairing With Lamb

Our best recommendations for a wine pairing with lamb align with traditional choices that experts might call a match made in Heaven.

A heavy bodied wine pairs best with rich foods high in fat and chewier in texture, like roast lamb or a rack of lamb.

The most traditional choices for a wine pairing with lamb include three classic grape varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or Bordeaux red blends.

Why its our favorite:

  • Medium price point but pairs with lamb as well as any premium choice.
  • Ready to drink now but could be cellared for a few years.
  • The richness of the lamb perfectly balances with firm tannins to bring out the subtle sweetness of boysenberry and black currant.

Best Budget:

Why its our best for the budget:

  • Were a great fan of the remarkable yet affordable Decoy line from the Duckhorn Vineyards. Guests will guess the wine is from a much higher price point.
  • Silky tannins enhance the fruity flavors of black cherry, blueberry, and plum, which is a critically important function of a wine pairing with lamb.

Best Premium to Cellar:Chateau Haut-Brion 2015

Why its our best premium worth the wait:

  • Some occasions are worthy of our finest wines. I would set this bottle aside for a special dinner sometime after 2023 but a bit longer is even better, especially if you will pair it with a sumptuous rich meal.
  • Although the price is a reach, its one of those expensive French red wines that is accessible given the right occasion or special meal.

Wine Pairing With Rack Of Lamb

Rack of Lamb – Wine & Food Pairing w/ Scott Ota & Bill Elsey for TV

The rack of the lamb is a very popular cut of lamb because it is usually very tender, lean, and flavorful. Lamb racks are usually roasted, grilled, or pan-fried and are prepared with a simple dash of oil and a handful of herbs.

Lamb rack is pink, juicy, and tender with well-rendered fat. It can be served from rare to well done, and the serving temperature should determine which wine you pair it with:

  • Rare: Cru Beaujolais, rosé Champagne, or a rich Semillon white.
  • Medium: Pinot Noir, Gewürztraminer or Chardonnay.
  • Well done: Brunello, Bordeaux, or Cabernet Sauvignon.

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Pairing Beer: The Basics

  • Porters are rich, dark, and malty beers, with just enough of a bitter hop bite to suggest strong coffee or pure cocoa beans. They pair well with aSpaghetti and Lamb Meatballs.
  • Stouts have a wonderfully silky texture with an almost savoury flavour. They complement lambs earthiness. They pair well with alamb shank for both weight and flavour profile.
  • Pale Ales offer a great pairing with rich, bold lamb dishes. An example of a great pairing is either arack of lamb or alamb loin chop.
  • Amber Ales are a balanced beer with toasted malt and a light fruitiness that pairs well with hearty and spicy dishes, such as alamb chili. Amber ales work well with fried or salty dishes as well.
  • Brown Ales tend to have caramel and chocolate flavours, allowing them to pair well with heavier red meats and dishes that have been roasted.
  • Wheat Ales are often forgotten in the beer pairings, but they come in handy for pairing a brunch lamb dish that may be either fried or on the spicier side. They often pair well with aLamb Kabobs with Mango Apple Salad or alamb sandwich.

Leg Of Lamb Wine Pairing

If you want a fast and easy leg of lamb wine pairing, look no further than Malbec. This wine is famously sweet with medium tannins and a full mouthfeel.

Malbec matches well with rich meat dishes and has a lighter finish than other red wine types. It also has raspberry, chocolate, and tobacco notes that round every few bites youâre enjoying.

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This brings us to what is perhaps another rule of thumb. Sweet wines should always be paired with sweet foods and the wine should be sweeter than the food.

There are some traditions, however, that take a salty food like a Stilton cheese and pair it with a Port, as has been a long-held tradition in the U.K. You could also pair a slightly sweet savory dish, such as a Thai curry, with a sweeter wine.

The USA Pears associations has a great pairing table for pears, cheese, and wines. For example, they suggest a Demi-Sec Champagne with Anjou pears and Camembert cheese.


As a rule of thumb, white and sparkling wines pair better with salty foods than do red wines. The higher acidity in white wines is a good contrast to salty foods whereas the tannins in red wine can accentuate the saltiness.

But, remember, there are exceptions, such as the example I mentioned above for pairing Stilton cheese with port.

Try fish and chips with a crisp bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.


Mild wines have about 7-10% alcohol and taste lighter. Higher alcohol content wines have more texture and weight. Thats why red wines can cut through fatty, rich foods. When the word full-bodied is applied to a wine, it refers to higher alcohol content.

Think of wine texture as hotness or warmth. Reds have more texture.

The idea is that as the wine alcohol content increases referred to as ABV the fewer choices we have with food pairings.

Medium-bodied red wines include:


What Flavor Notes Should I Look For In The Wine

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The flavor notes you want in your wine does depend on how the lamb has been prepared.

  • For more tender, young lamb, look for medium body wine that features red fruits as its main flavors, such as the cherries, raspberries, and strawberries in a Pinot Noir.
  • For grilled lamb chops, you want wine he holds up to and complements the more smoky notes. Opt for Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah, which combine darker fruit with a touch of pepper, mint, and cedar.
  • For the roasted lamb, you also want a dark, richer wine that holds up to the complexity of flavors and richness of the meat. A smoky Malbec or a rich, indulgent Aglianico with cocoa and plum flavor notes are both favorites.
  • As a general rule, you want a red wine that exhibits medium to dark fruit notes with either smoky or rich accents for young lamb, look for a wine that is centered on medium fruits with less heavy accent notes.
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