Thanksgiving dinner is all about the turkey, and Christmas meals tend to incorporate fish or beef, but lamb can make for a show-stopping holiday main dish. The American Lamb Board partnered with sommelier and wine writer Jessica Dupuy to curate a few wine pairings for the holiday the season. Here are her suggestions; for the full recipes, visit Cheers@Home.
Syrah with Sheet Pan Leg of Lamb with Roasted Vegetables.
One of the star grapes of France’s Rhône Valley, syrah is famous for its rich black- and blueberry flavors framed by earthy tobacco, pepper and dried, savory herbs. Offering classic notes of earth-dusted blackberries and floral violet, syrah is dark and brooding and a perfect fit for the dried herbs and peppery notes of sheet pan leg of lamb with roasted vegetables.
Cabernet franc with Braised Pomegranate Lamb Shank with Fennel.
Lamb will always have a perfect home at the table with Bordeaux varieties, but cabernet franc’s lush, herbaceous qualities are remarkably complementary. It’s a medium-bodied red loved for its savory, bell pepper-like flavors, medium-high acidity, and mouthwatering taste. A perfect match for the rich, fruity, and herbaceous flavors of braised pomegranate lamb shank with fennel.
Zinfandel with Lamb Chop Crostini with Orange-Cranberry Sauce.
The rich, jammy fruit character and warm baking spices in red zinfandel are a welcome complement to sweet, tender seared lamb chops. With a bright, medium body, soft tannins, and smoky finish, the ripe, full body of zinfandel makes an excellent pairing with the tangy fruitiness of lamb chop crostini with orange-cranberry sauce.