December 10, 2023


Cooking Is My World

How to Choose the Perfect Bottle

Lamb chops with text overlay of wine pairings for lamb

Elevate your next dinner with these lamb wine pairings. Whether it’s a special occasion, or you’re just in search of the perfect pairing for a weeknight dinner, these lamb pairings are guaranteed to please.

When pairing wine with lamb, the cooking method and the style of lamb that you’re preparing will help determine which wine to choose to go with your meal.

Young lamb, and lamb that is served cooked more on the rare side, are best served with lighter wines. Pinot Noir and Rosé are great options.

A lamb roast, and leg of lamb that is served cooked medium or medium-well, is generally best served with a robust wine with high tannin levels, like Cabernet or Zinfandel.

Here are some perfect lamb wine pairings for you to try out!

  • Syrah
  • Sparkling Wine
  • Pinot Noir
  • Barbera
  • Rosé
  • Spanish Wines
  • Red Blends
  • Zinfandel

A bold, peppery syrah will give lamb an added punch of flavor if that’s what you prefer. It’s delicious paired with lamb chops that have been marinated with herbs like thyme, rosemary, or oregano.

Try it Paired With: Marinated Lamb Chops with Rosemary & Garlic

Close up of grilled lamb chops on plate.

Sparkling Wine

Much like a light beer, sparkling wines tame down the heat and liven up many grilled dishes. Look for affordable bottles like cava or prosecco. They’re fun wines that bring a feeling of fancy to an otherwise casual get together. Or, try out a rosé champagne for a special occasion.

Try it Paired With: Grilled Rack of Lamb

Rack of lamb sliced into chops and laid out on tray next to fresh herbs.

Pinot Noir is one of the most food-friendly red wines out there. It’s flavors are delicate enough to not overpower the food that you’re eating it with and it makes a great match for seafood, poultry and red meat. It’s particularly tasty paired with smoked meats because of the earthy notes in Pinot Noir.

Try it Paired With: Sheet Pan Lamb Dinner


Barbera is another red wine to try when you’re looking for something a little lighter than a Cabernet. Ripe, dark berries and savory notes round out this wine. You can even try this wine chilled slightly, by sticking it in the fridge for 30 minutes before you plan to enjoy it.

Try it Paired With: Lamb Chops with Mint Mustard Sauce

Lamb chops on plate with dollops of mint mustard sauce on top of them.
Broiled Lamb Chops with Mint Mustard Sauce

Rosé wine is fun, flirty, and perfect for sipping on the patio. With aromas of strawberry, watermelon, and citrus, rosé has a good amount of acidity to it that stands up to grilled foods.

Like Pinot Noir, Rosé can pair with a wide variety of lamb dishes.

Try it Paired With: Mediterranean Lamb Bowls with Orzo

Overhead close up of lemon orzo with ground lamb.

Spanish Wines

Spanish wines are fun to play around with in the summertime. Look for budget-friendly, fruity red wines like Rioja, Tempranillo or Garnacha.

Try it Paired With: Mexican Lamb Stew

Overhead close up of bowl of lamb stew.

Red Blends

Red blends combining Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Merlot, etc. are great all around lamb pairing wines and I love them with a lamb burger.

Try it Paired With: Lamb Burgers

When you’re serving up something big and beefy at your barbecue, you’re going to want a big red wine. Zinfandel has a silky characteristic to it that helps to tone down the in your face smokiness of certain grilled dishes.

Try it Paired With: Lamb Chops with Peanut Sauce

Lamb chops arranged on grey plate next to bowl of peanut sauce.
  • Dry Riesling is a great wine to pair with curry. Its hint of sweetness will tame down the heat while its acidity stands up to the bold blend of spices.
  • Gewurztraminer is another lightly sweet wine that will pair well.
  • Grenache is a great red wine option.
Overhead shot of bowl of lamb curry served over rice with dollop of yogurt and charred lemon slices.
  • A lamb roast, and lamb that is served cooked medium or medium-well, is generally best served with a full-bodied red wine like Cabernet or Zinfandel.
Herb crusted rack of lamb on grey serving platter with three chops sliced off.
Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb

Wine with Lamb Stew

  • Lamb dishes with root vegetables, like Lamb Stew, are delicious with medium-bodied red wines like Italian red wines (Chianto Classico), Red Bordeaux, or Pinot Noir. However, they’re also great with bold red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
  • Bordeaux blends combining Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Merlot, etc. are great all around lamb pairing wines and I love them with a lamb burger.
Side view close up of lamb burger on bun next to glass of red wine.
Red Wine Lamb Burgers
  • Cabernet is an excellent pairing with the rich lamb.
  • Petite Sirah is another great match. Its flavors of plum, berries and black pepper pair wonderfully with stronger flavored meats like lamb.
  • Malbec with medium body and smooth tannins makes an excellent pairing for a rack of lamb.
  • The smoky, earthy flavors of the grilled lamb will balance nicely when paired with a red blend or Pinot Noir.
  • An Australian Shiraz will give the lamb an added punch of flavor if that’s what you prefer.
Lamb chops arranged on grey plate topped with mint leaves.

🌟 Be sure to check out all my lamb recipes here. 🌟

More Wine Pairing Advice

Collage of best lamb wine pairings.

  • 2 racks of lamb (3-3 1/2 pounds total, rib bones frenched)


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic (grated or minced)
  • 2 Tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice (+ zest of 1 lemon )
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt (plus more to season)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper (plus more to season)
  • Combine the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, lemon juice, lemon zest and salt & pepper in a small bowl.

  • Pour the mixture over the racks of lamb and let marinate at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight.

  • When ready to grill, allow the lamb to come to room temperature (about 20-30 minutes) while you preheat your grill. Season the racks with salt and pepper.

  • Prepare grill for high heat (450°F).

  • Cover the bones of the lamb with foil (to prevent charring) and place on grill, fat side down. Close grill and let cook for 7 minutes, flip and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F for medium-rare (or see below).

  • Remove from grill and let lamb rest 10 minutes. Cut into individual chops.

Rack of Lamb Cooking Temperatures: 

  • Rare: 120-130 degrees (very red inside)
  • Medium-Rare: 130-140 degrees (bright pink inside)
  • Medium: 140-145 degrees (light pink inside)
  • Medium-Well: 145-150 degrees (barely any pink left) Well-Done: 150-160 degrees (no pink)

Calories: 130kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 0.4mg | Sodium: 874mg | Potassium: 31mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 0.2mg