How to Pair Wine With Lamb

It’s that time of year – Easter is here and you may choose to celebrate the holiday the traditional way – by sitting down for a lamb dinner with your loved ones. But which wine should you serve, to complement the lamb? Keep reading, as Ideal Wine Company explains how to pair wine with lamb.

Ideal Wine Company lamb and wine
Which wines are best to pair with lamb?

Red with red

One of the key rules of matching wine with food, is that you should pair by colour – So white wines go with white meats, and red wine goes with red meats. Lamb is a classic red meat, so anything from the red family – from Rioja to Merlot, is an absolute must if you’re looking to find a winning combo.

Absorbing flavours

We should note that lamb is a truly unique red meat. It absorbs seasonings and flavours far more easily than most other red meats, so if you pick the wrong wine, you could strike a really unpleasant contrast. Look at how the sweetness and acidity of your wine goes with the flavours to avoid this issue.

Lighter than most

Unless you’re a bit heavy-handed with the seasoning, lamb can boast a lighter more delicate flavour than your typical red meat, as it’s quite rich and fatty. You should, therefore, go for lighter red wines unless your lamb is medium or well done – something akin to Pinot Noir and the likes should work.

Watch those tannins

As a rule of thumb, avoid picking a big tannic red when eating lamb – it’ll just prove overpowering, ruining your meal. Something with a low or medium tannin-count, such as Merlot, would be acceptable but something really tannic – think a young Rioja or a Languedoc red, really wouldn’t.

Consider cuts

It’s really important that you consider the cut of your lamb, when picking what wine to drink with it, as this can really impact the overall flavour. For cuts like a rack of lamb, a leg or noisettes, which are the most traditional for Easter, reds such as Pinot Noirs are perfect, as they are light and not too tannic

Buy Bordeaux

There’s one light, yet flavourful red wine that is the perfect complement for lamb – especially at Easter, when you’ll be serving a traditional cut, with vegetables on the side. Choose a Bordeaux wine, as these vintages, particularly Merlots, boast a creamy texture – which comes from oak aging, which make them great choices for any lamb dish. Check out our Bordeaux wines list to find the right vintage!