Lamb chops, lamb shanks, roasted lamb, rack of lamb…no matter your favorite lamb dish, there is a wine to complement it and elevate your dining experience. Lamb is tender, rich in flavor, and high in fat, which can contribute to the gamey flavor in some lamb cuts. Because of these factors, medium to full-bodied reds are going to be your best match, as they will have the depth and complexity to hold their own against the lamb. This does not mean whites are completely off the table. As with most foods, you will want to consider the cut, preparation, and ingredients when choosing a wine with your meal.
Best Red Wine With Lamb
Red tends to pair very well with lamb. A medium to full-bodied red has what it takes to stand up to the rich, complex flavor of lamb.
Malbec: full-bodied, but low acidity with flavors of plum, blackberry, and cocoa.
Pinot Noir: always a popular choice; light on body, high on aromatics.
Cabernet Sauvignon: full-bodied and full of tannins.
Syrah: dark, full-bodied red with berry notes.
Best White Wine With Lamb
As we stated above, you do not have to rule out white wine with lamb entirely. Just be sure to select a white that is bold and complex; the lamb will overshadow a light wine.
Chardonnay; dry and buttery with moderate tannins and acidity.
Gewürztraminer: a rich bouquet of exotic fruits, spices, and rose tones.
Rosé: bright acidity with strong berry flavor.
Viognier: Full-bodied and aromatic with stone fruit flavor.
Pairing Wine With Various Lamb Dishes
Pairing Wine With Roast Lamb
One thing to consider with this preparation is how it is cooked. If served medium rare, a Pinot Noir will be a great match. Cooked longer—medium-well to well-done—something bolder, like a Bordeaux or Cabernet Sauvignon will do nicely.
Pairing Wine With Rack of Lamb
The cooking temperature is going to come into play here, too. Rare to medium-rare, a Beaujolais or other light red will pair well. You could also choose a full-bodied white, like Viognier. Try a Syrah for a temperature of medium or higher.
Pairing Wine With Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb
A Malbec or Cabernet will complement this earthy, hearty dish perfectly.
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