When pairing your favourite Sungold Meats’ lamb dish, you probably jump to a wine pairing immediately. We can’t say we blame you.
We get it, a nice Cab Sauv never disappoints with a succulent lamb dish. From the herbs to flavour of the tender meat – a full bodied red is a sure fire hit for your dinner guests. But, it’s safe!
Worry not. We’re here to help expand your liquor horizons, and help you create pairings that compliment a few of our favourite Sungold Meats’ recipes.
Ready for a boozy adventure?
How To: Pairing a Beverage to Your Lamb Dish
The success of your pairing is measured by what happens when a sip of your drink interacts with your last bite of food. This is where the magic happens!
So, what makes a good or bad pairing? Glad you asked!
If the flavour after the sip of your drink is jarring or even slightly unpleasant, it’s a poor pairing. However, if the flavour leaves you wanting more, you my friend, have a found a fantastic match.
Pairing Wine with your Favourite Lamb Dinner
The best advice for pairing your favourite dish with a drink: What grows together goes together.
When deciding on a pairing, think about the region of the world where your lamb is from. For example, a Canadian Shiraz or Syrah would be a perfect pairing for SunGold lamb recipe, as both the wine and lamb are Canadian.
Another way to look at it: Figure out which region inspired your dish (Indian, Mexican, Greek, etc.), then find a wine, beer or a cocktail to match. Regionality is a great starting point to match your favourite Sungold Meats’ lamb recipe. Move from locale to your plate.
When pairing a lamb dish with a beverage, you need to keep in mind the weight of both the drink and the dish. The weight of the dish must match the weight of the drink. A rich, flavourful dish needs to be balanced with a full-bodied wine or beer, or with a layered cocktail.
“There is magic in that distance between the food and the wine. The ideal match fills that space.” – Derek Todd, sommelier, New York.
A SunGold Meat’s leg of lamb will pair beautifully with a Rioja or a Cab Sauv from Bordeaux. Both options are a great example of the weight of the dish to match the weight of the full-bodied wines.
Pairing Beer: The Basics
- Porters are rich, dark, and malty beers, with just enough of a bitter hop bite to suggest strong coffee or pure cocoa beans. They pair well with a Spaghetti and Lamb Meatballs.
- Stouts have a wonderfully silky texture with an almost savoury flavour. They complement lamb’s earthiness. They pair well with a lamb shank for both weight and flavour profile.
- Pale Ales offer a great pairing with rich, bold lamb dishes. An example of a great pairing is either a rack of lamb or a lamb loin chop.
- Amber Ales are a balanced beer with toasted malt and a light fruitiness that pairs well with hearty and spicy dishes, such as a lamb chili. Amber ales work well with fried or salty dishes as well.
- Brown Ales tend to have caramel and chocolate flavours, allowing them to pair well with heavier red meats and dishes that have been roasted.
- Wheat Ales are often forgotten in the beer pairings, but they come in handy for pairing a brunch (or lunch) lamb dish that may be either fried or on the spicier side. They often pair well with a Lamb Kabobs with Mango Apple Salad or a lamb sandwich.
Let’s Talk Cocktails
Pairing your favourite cocktail to a dish adds complexity to your meal. The best part of a cocktail pairing is the ability to tweak – or even create – one to perfectly match your dish. With cocktails, you’ll want to match the flavour profiles of your dish. From herbs (rosemary or mint, for example) to the spirit used, you have no shortage of options to choose from.
For example, if you’re pairing roasted leg of lamb with a coffee and chocolate sauce, a Scotch based cocktail would be perfect before, during, or after your meal.
If your lamb dish is stuffed with a rosemary herb mixture, a triple-distilled tequila’s extra smooth finish would compliment the lamb’s eathiness. Rosemary would bring out the oak flavour in tequila. Tequila is also a great match for a dish that uses cucumbers and mint.
The gist? It’s Margarita time.
Vodka is another sure fire match to accompany a lamb dinner and to form the basis of your cocktail. Plus, lamb’s fat content helps to balance out vodka’s alcohol percentage- so don’t feel too bad about your second round. 😉
Our Top Drink Pairings with Our Favourite Lamb Dishes
Slow Cooker Lamb Goulash
The beauty of this delicious recipe is in its simplicity. Head on into your local grocer and pick up some Lamb Tonight Shoulder Stew, along with the other ingredients, and pull out the slow cooker.
The magic is hands-off, giving you time to pull together some delicious options for pairing.
The Cocktail: an Old Fashioned
The full-bodied bourbon will hold up well to the full flavour of the goulash. Try switching the bourbon in your cocktail: Basil Hayden’s, Makers’ Mark, or Four Roses. Each bourbon will bring its own flavour profile to the occasion, giving you different experiences with this dish.
The Wine: Gewürztraminer / Pinot Noir
This may surprise you, but a Gewürztraminer, such as Pfaffenheim Tradition Gewürztraminer, will pair nicely with this dish – light, fruity, not too sweet. If you prefer a red, the fruity Meiomi Pinot Noir will be right up your ally.
The Beer: Pale Ale
A pale ale complements the richness of lamb without overpowering the dish. Try pairing a local craft pale ale to elevate the pairing.
With this curry recipe’s kick of spice, it’s the perfect dish to test your pairing skills!
The Cocktail: The Mojito
How can you go wrong with a perfectly muddled mojito? Mint is a natural pair to a curry, so why not enjoy it muddled with some rum and a little spritz?
The Wine: Zinfandel
Zinfandel’s bold fruitiness is reminiscent of homemade jam, which cushions a spicy lamb dish beautifully. A favourite Zinfandel to pair: Ravenswood Old Vines Zinfandel.
The Beer: Pilsner / Amber Ale
The lightness of the Pilsner is a great pairing to the Indian spices this dish embodies. Another great pairing with the spiciness of this dish would be the toasted malt of an Amber Ale.
We’ve included this light, refreshing bowl as a reminder lamb dishes don’t always need to be heavy! As a bonus, this dish can be served either hot or cold, depending on what you’re in the mood for.
The Cocktail: Greek Red Wine Sangria
We’ve enlisted one of Canada’s top bartenders for this amazing cocktail. Tarquin Melnyk, based in Vancouver, BC, combined the bright, fresh flavours of citrus and mint with a Greek red wine, fortified with Metaxa.
The Wine: Syrah / Pinot Gris
A light-bodied Pinot Gris with a light citrusy flavour profile will be a sure hit with this mediterranean dish.
A Syrah’s full-bodied dark fruit flavours make this a match made in heaven. With the Syrah, you’ll have a punch of flavour that tapers off to a spicy, peppery note to make lamb the star of the dish.
The Beer: Wheat Beer
Erdinger Weissbeir allows the bowl’s citrus notes to come alive on your palate. Light, crisp, citrus notes in the beer leave out the heavy hops from a darker ale or stout. The sparkling, lively taste of this wheat beer allows the dish to be the star.
Pairing Your Dinner Should be Fun!
It’s important to remember the perfect pairing for your lamb dish will also be what’s perfect for your palette. Food and beverage pairing is all about listening to what your nose, and mouth tell you.