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How to Pair Wine with Lamb

rack of lamb with glass of wine

Lamb can be a confusing dish to pair with wine because it has a gamier flavor than beef, but it also can possess a delicate or sweet flavor when served rare. We offer three pairing suggestions, a pairing to avoid, and a delicious lamb recipe. 

1. Rioja

Rioja, such as the Montecillo Crianza, comes from one of the most famous wine regions of Spain. Made predominantly from the Tempranillo grape, these dry wines typically have notes of savory cherries and raspberries along with hints of vanilla and cedar from aging in oak barrels, ideal for balancing the succulent taste of roast lamb. 

2. Shiraz/Syrah

Shiraz/syrah from France, such as Jacob's Creek Shiraz, has many faces, all of which are a wonderful match for roast lamb. Syrah's spicy, peppery aromas are balanced on the palate by its rich, black fruit flavors. The roast lamb softens the ripe, firm tannins, too. 

3. Zinfandel

Zinfandel from California, such as Michael David Winery’s flagship zinfandel, 7 Deadly Zins, is a wickedly delicious blend which features a mix of plum, pepper, berry, and cinnamon flavor notes. Seven different vineyards in California support the blend. 

Wine to Avoid

A light-bodied pinot grigio. Roast lamb tends to be pretty flavorful, especially if you add extra seasoning, herbs, or side sauces. A light-bodied wine, such as a delicate pinot grigio, is likely to be overwhelmed by a roast lamb and leave your palate wanting.

Try these pairings with our Roasted Leg of Lamb with Eggplant & Onions recipe at your Easter dinner.