Chenin Blanc is one of the wines recommended as a good pairing for lamb. Lamb is similar to beef, and it is often grass-finished, giving it a grassy, robust flavor.
Chenin Blanc is a light, acidic white wine that ranges from dry to sparkling. Its flavor profile features a range of bright flavors, including:
- Yellow apple
- Mandarin Orange
The high acidity of this wine will cut through the lamb’s thick grassiness and balance out the flavors of the meat. Chenin Blanc also has a more complex flavor profile than other white wines, and it is strong enough to withstand the rich flavor of the lamb.
Is It a Good Pairing?
While most say that red wines pair best with lamb, it is possible to make a competent pairing out of white wine and lamb.
In fact, Chenin Blanc is not the only white wine you can pair with lamb. Other whites like gewürztraminer, oak-aged chardonnay, and Assyrtiko pair with lamb as well.
Gewürztraminer is a typically sweet white wine featuring flavor notes of lychee fruit, ruby red grapefruit, and pineapple. It is a highly aromatic wine with bold flavors that pair nicely with robust lamb.
Oak-aged chardonnay tends to pair well with lamb due to its creaminess, butteriness, and oakiness (think toasted vanilla).
Assyrtiko is a highly acidic, slightly fruity wine that cuts the palate with its astringent flavor and low tannins. It is a good pairing to cut the meatiness and fattiness of the lamb.
Which Variety of White Wine Should You Choose?
Based on the information above, there are a wide variety of white wines that complement the lamb. From sweet to acidic, there is no limit to wines that can pair with lamb.
However, because lamb is such a rich type of meat, it is argued you should avoid pairing it with a wine that is too light. For example, Pinot Grigio is a light wine. Some say not to pair it with meats like steak or lamb, but it makes a good pairing for lamb.
Sauvignon Blanc is also another light white wine that pairs well with lamb.
Though it is a light wine and not a classic pairing for lamb, Sauvignon Blanc is highly aromatic with a bold fruitiness that complements the lamb’s flavor.
Is Sparkling Wine a Wrong Choice?
Sparkling wine is not a wrong choice for lamb. On the contrary, it is actually the right choice for lamb because the sparkling bubbles in the wine help to cleanse the palate.
There are a number of choices for sparkling wines that pair well with lamb, including rosé Champagne or sparkling rosé. Sparkling rosé has hints of red citrus that provide high acidity that balances out the deep, bold flavors of the lamb.
Rosé Champagne is a variety of champagne that combines red grapes in combination with the other grapes typically used in champagne-making. As a result, it is often fruitier in taste than regular champagne.
Popular White Wines You Can Choose
A short list of popular white wines that you can choose to pair with lamb includes:
- Sauvignon Blanc
These are all easy-to-find, go-to wines that you can pair with lamb without throwing off the flavor. While it is still not a classic pairing to have white wine with lamb, the three wines listed are common choices for pairing with lamb.
Sauvignon Blanc’s slightly citrusy, slightly flowery taste and aroma make it a strong companion for lamb.
Riesling comes in a variety of sweet and dry and offers flavor notes of nectarine and pairs with aromas of jasmine. In addition, it is an acidic wine, making it perfect for pairing with lamb.
Lastly, chardonnay offers tastes and smells from apple blossoms to figs, making its aromatic properties and flavor notes strong enough to withstand a pairing with lamb.
White Wines You Need to Avoid
As a general rule, avoid white wines that are not acidic or aromatic enough to stand against the strong flavors of lamb meat.
Moscato is a good example of a wine that may not pair so well with lamb, as it is usually a wine made for casual sipping. Torrontes is another low-acid white wine better suited for light foods like salad and seafood dishes.
Muscat Blanc is another wine that is best for pairing with dessert foods or sipping on its own–not pairing with lamb. Generally, when it comes to pairing white wines with lamb, stick to high-acidity, aromatic wines.
Final Thoughts on Best White Wine for Lamb
Pairing a white wine with lamb can be tricky. Lamb can be very grassy and heavy, whereas white wines can be lighter. White wines are often meant for lighter foods, but that does not mean it is impossible to find a perfect white wine pairing for your lamb dish.
You can’t go wrong pairing white wine with lamb if you avoid light wines and stick to acidic whites with strong aromas.