Spring Wines for Your Spring Lamb

Spring Wines for Your Spring Lamb 900 605 Siobhan Wallace

Lamb Knuckles with Vegetable in Red Wine Sauce

Tender lamb is the cornerstone of many a spring menu. Its gamey flavor brings a certain richness to entrées that is very welcome after a winter of meat and potatoes. Of course, it also requires a different wine that what you’ve been drinking all winter. Here’s what you’ll want to pair:

Rack of Lamb: Your elegant rack of lamb always calls for a sophisticated wine. You’ll want something fruity from the New World that can hold up against strong herbal flavors used in your cooking. Try a big Australian Syrah.

Lamb Chops: Frenched lamb chops are best for when you don’t want to roast a whole rack, but still want a refined dinner. But the smaller, more tender chops mean a younger, less structured wine. Match with a Rioja Reserva or Chianti Classico.

Lamb Kebabs: Kebabs are some of the easiest grilled weeknight meals. The wine depends on the marinade. For instance, if you’re going for a fresh Mediterranean approach, you’ll want some acidity to complement both the meat and vegetables. Try a nice Barbera d’Asti.

Lamb Chili: There could still be a chilly night between here and summer. But even if there’s not, lamb should be a part of any springtime chili or tagine. Something that cuts through the spice will do well, like a Left Bank red Bordeaux.

Shepherd’s Pie: A big savory pie with its mashed potato crust is a beautiful thing for Sunday dinner. Choose something a little heavier, but not too tannic. Pick up a Mourvedre or Grenache from the Languedoc.

Rogan Josh or Lamb Vindaloo: The aromatic Persian and Indian classics are great ways to expand your home cooking repertoire. They will be the stars of the show, especially if you add a sparkling Pinot Meunier rosé is for the supporting role.

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