Medium-bodied reds like Merlot, Malbec, Syrah, Bordeaux, Chianti Classico or Tempranillo pair best with Lamb Chops, as you need a red wine that is powerful enough to handle the gamey flavour of this meat.  You also don’t want a full-bodied red wine either, as while flavourful, Lamb is also subtle, and you want to ensure you taste both the red wine and the Lamb, not just the wine.

Both acidity and tannin of wine are important factors to consider when pairing up a red with Lamb Chops.  Lamb Chops are often cooked, so there’s a bit of pink in the middle, otherwise, the chops can get sinewy and tough.  The type of Lamb Chop also makes a huge difference.  Loin Chops are the most tender, whereas Blade Chops and Round Bone Chops often contain a bit of gristle or sinew.  For the tougher Blade and Round Bone Lamb Chops, tannin comes in handy as tannin denatures (or breaks down) protein molecules.  This makes the Lamb taste more tender and less chewy.  Meanwhile, the fruity acidity of a red wine helps mask the gameness of the Lamb, providing a refreshing contrast.

Best Wine with Lamb Chops

TypeVarietalFoodRating
Red WineBordeaux AOC RedGrilled Lamb Chops in Bordelaise Sauce
Red WineBordeaux AOC RedLamb Chops
Red WineTempranillo ReservaLamb Chops
Red WineRibera del Duero - ReservaGrilled Lamb Chops
Red WineCabernet SauvignonGrilled Lamb Chops
Red WineSyrahLamb Chops
Red WineShirazLamb Chops
Red WineMalbecGrilled Lamb Chops
Red WineMalbecLamb Chops
Red WineCahors AOCGrilled Lamb Chops
BeerKentucky CommonGrilled Lamb Chops
Red WineFitou, RedLamb Chops
Red WineNero d'AvolaGrilled Lamb Chops
Red WineGarnacha NoirGrilled Lamb Chops
Red WineBarbaresco DOCGLamb Chops
Red WineBaroloLamb Chops
Red WineCornas AOCLamb Chops
Red WineHermitage, RedLamb Chops
Red WineNebbioloLamb Chops
Red WineBurgundy, RedLamb Chops in a Mushroom Sauce
Red WinePinot NoirLamb Chops in a Mushroom Sauce
Red WineVinsobresLamb Chops
Red WineChâteauneuf du Pape, RedLamb Chops
Red WineBarbaresco DOCGBreaded Lamb Chops
Red WineHermitage, RedBarbecued Lamb Chops
Red WineShirazBarbecued Lamb Chops
Red WineGrenacheBarbecued Lamb Chops
Red WineRioja ReservaBarbecued Lamb Chops
Red WineZinfandelBarbecued Lamb Chops
Red WineSaint-Émilion AOCBarbecued Lamb Chops
Red WineMalbecBarbecued Lamb Chops
Red WineMontefalco Rosso DOCLamb Chops
Red WinePinotage, South AfricaLamb Chops
Red WineMontepulcianoLamb Chops
Red WineRosso di MontalcinoLamb Chops
Red WineCôtes du Rhône, RedLamb Chops
Red WineChianti Classico (DOCG)Lamb Chops
Red WineSangioveseLamb Chops
Red WineAglianicoLamb Chops
Red WineMerlotLamb Chops
Red WineRioja, RedGrilled Lamb Chops
Red WineZinfandelLamb Chops
Red WineTannatBarbecued Lamb Chops

Bordeaux & Lamb Chop Pairings


For Lamb Chops, the ultimate red wine pairing is a Merlot dominant Bordeaux from France.  Lamb Chops while flavourful, also a mild edge that can easily be knocked out by a heavier styled Bordeaux, whereas  a Merlot dominant Bordeaux allows you to enjoy the subtle meat flavours.

Bordeaux is a French wine that is a blend of five grapes which are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Merlot and Petit Verdot.  Bordeaux a wine made to be paired with food, but it’s also a red wine that comes bottled with a lot of history, maintenance and prestige.   Certain Bordeaux may cost under $20, and be ready to drink with your Lamb Chops, but the wine will not wow your socks off.  Other Bordeaux bottles could cost you thousands of dollars and require a decade or more of ageing.  Somewhere in between, there’s the perfect Bordeaux for your Lamb Chops, unfortunately it requires a lot of thought to get it just right.

If you’re new to Bordeaux, ask your local wine dealer what they recommend for your budget.  To help you narrow it down, I’d select an older vintage, if possible, where the wine has been cellared for a few years.  This allows the tannin to soften and ensures it won’t taste harsh out of the bottle.  Unfortunately, the only way to get an older vintage Bordeaux is to pay a premium for someone to age it or for you to buy in young and then cellar it yourself for a few years.

Young Bordeaux could be trimmed with Lamb Chops if the meat remains fatty, however, this does not lead to the most appetizing Lamb Chops. Typically, Lamb Chops are trimmed down to about 1/4 of the fat before they are cooked.  Thus, you don’t consume a lot of fat like a Ribeye Steak.  The less fat in your Lamb Chops, the less likely it will pair with a younger Bordeaux.

Bordeaux also comes in a Cabernet Sauvignon dominant style which is fantastic with grilled Lamb Chops.   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 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.  Similar to what we mentioned above, stick to a mature or cellared Bordeaux.  Young Bordeaux will be too harsh for Lamb Chops.

Spanish Tempranillo Reserva & Lamb Chop Pairings


The dusty and earthy flavours of a Spanish Tempranillo complement the gamey and savoury flavours of Lamb Chops, making for an excellent pairing, especially if your Lamb Chops are dusted with dry herbs.  Tempranillo isn’t all herbs, leather, tobacco and earth.  You’ll also find lush flavours of cherries, strawberries, plum and blackberries that offer a refreshing contrast to the gamey and savouriness of your Lamb Chops.

While Tempranillo is produced in Chili, California and Argentina, it’s most popular in Span where it’s blended with other grapes do create a Ribera del Duero or Rioja.  When labelled Reserva, the wine has seen some oak ageing, which the red wine deeper notes of tobacco and earth.  If you prefer a younger and fruitier red wine, look for the label Crianza, where the wine has seen less ageing and is meant more for everyday drinking.

Syrah & Lamb Chop Pairings


A French Syrah from Southern Rhone has  savoury flavours of smoke, spice, meat and herbs complements Lamb Chops sprinkled with fresh rosemary and served with garlic and roast potatoes. On top of its rich blackberry, raspberry and plum flavours, Syrah has amazing notes of black pepper that further elevate this pairing.

Syrah and Shiraz are the same grape, and Australia is well known for their Shiraz, as well as their Lamb.  So you’d think Australian Shiraz and Lamb Chops would make for an excellent pairing.  And you wouldn’t be wrong, provided your Lamb Chops are a little pink in the middle and an extra bit fatty.  Australian Shiraz differs from French Syrah in that there is less emphasis on earthy and savoury flavours and a heavier emphasis on jammy fruitiness and oaky vanilla notes.  This makes Australian Shiraz a bigger crowd-pleaser, yet it lacks the complementary flavour factor which I find Syrah has in spades.

Malbec & Lamb Chops Pairings


A medium-bodied Malbec from Argentina is exceptional with the tender and juicy flavours of Lamb Chops. Since a lot of the fat is trimmed off your Lamb Chops before they are cooked, it doesn’t require a huge red wine with a long tannic finish. Instead, Malbec has a smooth and short chocolaty finish that is amazing with the meaty lamb flavours.  You’ll also find smooth flavours of plum, black cherry, and blackberries, along with hints of tobacco, vanilla and peppery herbs.

If your Malbec has seen some oak aging, expect to pay a lot more money.  Aged Malbec will be even better with Lamb Chops, as it features deeper complementary notes of leather, smoke, game, mineral and tobacco.  However, if you’re new to wine, these complex notes might go right over your head, which is why I’d recommend sticking to a well made Argentinian Malbec such as Catena Zapata, Las Perdices, Nieto, Susana Balbo or Terra Rosa.

Burgundy & Lamb Chops with a Mushroom Sauce Pairings


Normally, I wouldn’t recommend a Burgundy (or a Pinot Noir) with Lamb as the wine tends to be too light and overpowered by the gamey flavours of Lamb.  When served alon wiht mushrooms, however, Burgundy is exceptional when when paired with Lamb Chops.

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 also offer a refreshing contrast against the meaty and fatty Lamb flavours.

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