If your Lamb Gyro isn’t drowning in Tzatziki sauce, inexpensive and fruit-forward red wines, such as Zinfandel, Agiorgitiko, Lambrusco, Côtes du Rhône and Lagrein pair up best. Red wines with acidity are a must if your Lamb Gyro contains tomatoes, as tannic wines will clash with the acidity in the tomatoes. If Tzatziki sauce is involved, the yogurt used in it throws a monkey wrench into the pairing. For Greek Lamb Gyro’s with Tzatziki sauce, pair the Gyro with a Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé, or Greek Retsina.
What does Lamb Gyro Taste Like?
A Lamb Gyro is a pita stuffed with shavings of Lamb meat that has been seasoned with a mixture of salt, pepper, sweet paprika and Greek oregano. The Lamb is cooked in a Rotisserie, which keeps the meat tender and moist. Tomato and onion are also added to the pita, along with Tzatziki sauce which is essentially a yogurt sauce containing cucumber, garlic, dill and other herbs. The whole shebang is often served with a basket of French fries on the side.
Typically, a Lamb Gyro is 95% Lamb and 5% Tomato and Onions, however, you’ll find many variations where the dish is treated like a customized sub (where you can add additional veggies) or as a salad. Gyro’s aren’t just made with Lamb, and you’ll often see Beef, Chicken or Pork Gyro’s available for takeout.
Best Wine with Lamb Gyro
|Red Wine||Agiorgitiko||Lamb Gyro|
|Red Wine||Cariñena||Lamb Gyro|
|Red Wine||Nero d'Avola||Lamb Gyro|
|Red Wine||Negroamaro||Lamb Gyro|
|Red Wine||Ciro - Calabria||Lamb Gyro|
|Red Wine||Lambrusco||Lamb Gyro|
|Red Wine||Cabernet Franc||Lamb Gyro|
|Red Wine||Lagrein||Lamb Gyro|
|Red Wine||Zinfandel||Lamb Gyro|
|White Wine||Retsina||Lamb Gyro|
|Red Wine||Amarone||Lamb Gyro|
|Red Wine||Côtes du Rhône, Red||Lamb Gyro|
|White Wine||Sauvignon Blanc||Lamb Gyro|
|Red Wine||Syrah||Lamb Gyro|
Agiorgitiko & Lamb Gyro Pairing
If you want to stick to a true Greek experience, Agiorgitiko is the way to go. Agiorgitiko is a Greek red wine notable for its floral, blackberry, cherry pit, herb, smoke, and red plum aromas. Medium-bodied, dry and silky, Agiorgitiko has the right balance of tannin and acidity to chew into the Lamb meat and cut through the Pita bread and Tzatziki sauce. The ripe cherry, blackberry and plum flavours offer a refreshing contrast against the gamey lamb flavours. Meanwhile, you get flavours of game, smoke, earth and herbs that complement the Lamb with every bite.
You can find a bottle of Agiorgitiko easily for under $15, but be forewarned, many wine enthusiasts do not like imported Greek Red wines as they feel Greece keeps the best for themselves. However, seeing as a Greek Gyro is an everyday food, why not take a chance on an everyday drinking red wine like Agiorgitiko.
Lagrein & Lamb Gyro Pairing
Lagrein is a fleshy red wine from Italy with moderate tannin and zesty acidity. Expect inviting flavours of blackberry, raspberry and plum that make the wine pop and go great with those gamey lamb flavours. Lagrein has a strong balsamic presence which helps it pair with the slightly sour tzatziki sauce. However, do take note that Lagrein will only work well if there is a minimal amount of Tzatziki sauce on your Lamb Gyro.
Lagrein isn’t all fun and fruit, and you can also expect rustic flavours of herbs, leather, meat, smoke, spice, tar and dark chocolate, which merge beautifully with the garlic, onions and lamb flavours in your Gyro.
Expect to pay $20 or less for a decent Lagrein. Notable producers include, Abbazia di Novacella, Alois Lageder, Bottega Vinaia, San Pietro and Terlano.
Zinfandel & Lamb Gyro Pairing
Out of all the wines listed here, Zinfandel is the most easily available red wine to purchase. A medium-bodied Zinfandel is going to be fruit-forward with plush flavours of blackberries, black cherries, plum and raspberries. This fruitiness helps mask the gaminess of the Lamb and keeping your palate refreshed in between bites. You’ll also find notes of spice, herbs, smoke and flowers that go awesome with the herbed-up rotisserie lamb meat.
Please don’t go too expensive with your Zinfandel as these will see lots of oak ageing and tend to be high in alcohol, making them unsuitable with a straightforward Lamb Gyro. The additional tannin will clash with the tomatoes in your Gyro, and the additional alcohol is not pleasant with the garlic and onions in the Gyro.
Retsina & Lamb Gyro Pairing
If your Lamb is heavy on the Tzatziki sauce, a red wine won’t cut it, and white wine becomes a better choice. Unfortunately, white wine won’t complement the Lamb meat, however, if you have the Lamb Gyro more as a salad (where there are more veggies than meat), a Greek wine like Retsina works out quite nicely.
While I’d highly suggest a Sauvignon Blanc over Retsina when pairing with a Lamb Gyro, many people are often interested in pairing Greek food with Greek wine. Retsina tends to have a pine resin or turpentine flavour that I can’t stand. Yet, if you find a Retsina that tones down the resin they add, you’ll find a bone dry white wine with notes of oregano, grapefruit, lemon and mint, which all go great with the Tzatziki sauce and lamb meat.
Rosé & Lamb Gyro Pairing
When pairing a dry and tart Rosé with a Lamb Gyro, you’re taking the safe route of choosing a wine that will somewhat go with the Lamb and somewhat with the Tzatziki sauce. While Rosé will be delicious with a Lamb Gyro, this is not an outstanding pairing, as the wine will not enhance the Gyro, nor will the Lamb Gyro make the wine taste any better. Not that there is anything wrong with this. Lamb Gyro is everyday eating food, and Rosé is a food-friendly wine that is not out to impress.
The beauty of Rosé is that it is acidic, tart, dry and fruity. Expect subtle flavours of raspberry, strawberry and cranberry, along with a kiss of lime that keeps your mouth refreshed and mask the gaminess of the Lamb. You’ll also find a bit of herbs in there that will complement the Lamb seasoning. There isn’t any tannin in Rosé, so the wine remains sharp and crisp and essentially only acts as a sharp contrast to the savoury lamb meat.
I’m not trying to slam Rosé here, as I love it. But I need to point out its limitations. As for its highlights, Rosé is the perfect wine for enjoying a Lamb Gyro out on a sunny patio. The wine never gets in the way of the delicious Lamb Gyro flavours, and it makes each bite taste bright and fresh as the high acidity of Rosé will make the tzatziki, Lamb, onions and garlic flavours pop!