Medium-bodied reds like Merlot, Malbec, Syrah, Bordeaux, Zinfandel or Tempranillo are best with Lamb Chops, where the meat isn’t as fatty, and the gamey flavour of the Lamb is much more subtle. Lamb is a versatile meat to pair wine with and can be served in a variety of ways, which leads to plenty of red wine options.
Bordeaux & Lamb Chop Pairings
For Lamb Chops, we’d suggest a Merlot dominant Bordeaux. Lamb Chops tend to be a little milder in flavour, and a Merlot dominant Bordeaux allows you to enjoy the subtle meat flavours, where a Cabernet Sauvignon-based Bordeaux might dominate the experience.
If your Lamb Chops are grilled, a Cabernet Sauvignon Bordeaux will be more suitable. Cabernet Sauvignon often has menthol notes that mirror the flavour of mint jelly (which people adore with Lamb.) The oak used in ageing the Cabernet Sauvignon will have toasty notes of Vanilla that will complement the charred flavours of the Lamb. Meanwhile, the addition of Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot will help balance out the Bordeaux, allowing those tender lamb flavours to shine.
Spanish Tempranillo Reserva & Lamb Chop Pairings
I would consider Lamb Chops a rustic food, as it is abound with tender yet gamey flavours, along with savoury herbs that make your mouth drool for more. Spanish Tempranillo has an earthy and dusty leather flavour that complements the rustic quality of Lamb Chops, along with balanced cherry flavours that even the keel of this pairing. The finish of the wine is smooth with just enough flair from the tannin to grip on to those juicy lamb chop flavours.
Argentina, Mexico and California also grow Tempranillo, however, they tend to be less earthy, a little more forward with their tannin. With its fruit-forward cherry flavours, these New World wines will go great with Lamb Chops as well, but my personal preference is for the Spanish Tempranillo.
Syrah & Lamb Chop Pairings
Syrah has a savoury quality that complements Lamb Chops sprinkled with fresh rosemary and served with garlic and roast potatoes. On top of its dark blueberry and plum flavours, Syrah has a peppery quality that will enhance your Lamb Chop experience even further.
For Lamb Chops, we’d suggest a French Syrah, vs an Australian Shiraz. Australian Shiraz tends to be incredibly bold and may overpower the subtle meaty flavours you’ve worked hard to obtain with your lamb chops. Instead, reserve your Australian Shiraz for fattier cuts of Lamb, like a roasted leg or shoulder of Lamb.
Malbec & Lamb Chops Pairings
A medium-bodied Malbec is exceptional with the tender and juicy flavours of Lamb Chops. Since Lamb Chops are leaner, it doesn’t require a red wine with chunky tannin, which Malbec does not. Instead, Malbec has a smooth chocolaty finish, which is preceded by notes of plum, red fruit and blackberry, along with hints of tobacco, vanilla and peppery herbs.
If your Lamb Chops feature a reduction sauce, or perhaps a fruitier sauce, fuller bodied Malbec might be more suitable.
Cabernet Sauvignon & Grilled Lamb Chops
We mentioned above that Cabernet Sauvignon slanted Bordeaux is fantastic with grilled lamb chops, and Cabernet Sauvignon is fantastic with grilled meats as well. With lamb chops, however, you want to ensure you an aged bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, where the tannin is already toned down. Young Cabernet Sauvignon will overpower the mild flavours of grilled lamb chops, whereas an aged bottle (or a medium-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon) will harmonize the grilled meaty flavours, as well as adding its own notes of vanilla, menthol and juicy blackberry.
Burgundy & Lamb Chops with a Mushroom Sauce Pairings
Burgundy, or Pinot Noir are exceptional when paired with Lamb Chops in a Mushroom Sauce, as Burgundy has an earthy note that complements the mushroom flavours, along with any root vegetables that accompany your Lamb Chop dish. The fresh cherry and strawberry notes of Burgundy are refreshing against the meaty flavours of Lamb as this winning combination romances your tastebuds.