March 24, 2023Pairing food

What wines pair well with lamb?

Lamb is a versatile meat that pairs well with many different red wines, depending on how it is cooked. Milk-fed lamb is a delicacy that pairs well with older red wines, such as red Rioja, Bordeaux, and red Burgundy. Lamb that is cooked pink pairs well with lighter red wines, and it can also be paired with a pink sparkling wine. For lamb that is cooked medium-rare to well-done, or for braised lamb shanks, Australian Cabernet-Merlot, Tuscan Sangiovese, and northern Rhône Syrah are good options. Mutton and gamier cuts of lamb pair well with earthy, gutsy reds like Ribera del Duero, Priorat, Cornas, and Bairrada. British or Irish lamb stews pair well with easygoing reds like Castille Garnacha or Côtes du Rhône, and red wine-based stews can be paired with the same bottle used for cooking or a nicer version of it. For North African-influenced dishes, try a robust but not overly tannic red, such as Languedoc reds, Syrah, or young Tempranillo-based reds. Greek and Turkish lamb dishes pair well with reds with more acidity, such as Chianti, and if the dish includes salad leaves and feta, a Greek white might be a good choice. At a barbecue, a juicy rather than tannic red pairs well with charring, smokiness, and sweetness in sauces, and Chilean reds and South African Pinotage and Pinotage-based blends can work well. Indian-style lamb curries can be paired with a fruity Californian Zinfandel, depending on the heat level and spices in the dish. Goat meat, which often requires slow cooking to become tender, can be treated like well-done lamb when pairing with wine.