The Expert-Approved Drinks To Pair With A Great Piece Of Lamb

Plate of lamb chops
Plate of lamb chops - Grandriver/Getty Images

If you've ever served up a holiday lamb roast you know that the meat has a succulent, gamey flavor that sets it apart from the usual beef and pork meals. At the same time, however, that stronger taste can make it tricky to pair with beverages. If you're not careful, you can wind up drowning out the flavor of the drink. Luckily, there are some easy tips you can follow so this doesn't happen.

Chef and Owner of Clock Tower Grill in Brewster, New York, Rich Parente, gave some exclusive insights to Daily Meal. Parente, who is also the owner of the Clock Tower Farm which ethically raises sheep and pigs for use in their restaurant, told us that when it comes to pairing with this gamey meat, you want drinks that "stand up well to the strong flavors of lamb." He explained that to do so, you need drinks with bigger, bolder flavors that won't be overpowered by the strong flavor of the meat. That's true regardless of whether you like wine, beer, or cocktails.

Read more: 10 Of The Healthiest Beers You Can Drink

Wine, Beer, And Cocktails To Pair With Your Lamb

Glasses of beer and wine
Glasses of beer and wine - Artmarie/Getty Images

If you're a wine drinker, Rich Parente said that "bigger red wines, like Shiraz, Malbec, and Côtes du Rhône" are good choices. Red wine should be your go-to paring for lamb because of their deep flavors and more intense flavors. The three picks Parente suggested, in particular, are full-bodied varieties with tasting notes such as pepper and coffee that can stand up to the strong, gamey taste of this type of meat.

For those who prefer beer to wine, Parente also said that Guinness beer can be a good pairing. Like his red wine suggestions, Guinness has a bold, intense flavor with dark fruit and coffee notes. These stronger flavors won't get washed away by the taste of your lamb.

But if you'd prefer a cocktail, Parente had options for that too. "I also like pairing a bourbon drink, like in a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned, with lamb," he explained. Whiskey itself is a bold liquor, which can stand up to the strong taste of the meat. At the same time, the sweeter notes of the bourbon can complement some of the sweeter flavors found in lamb.

Don't Just Pair These Drinks With Your Meat, Cook It In Them Too

Braised lamb in red wine
Braised lamb in red wine - hlphoto/Shutterstock

We often think of food and drink pairings as being about sipping on something while you munch on your meal. But Rich Parente has another suggestion, "Bigger red wines and stout beers are also great to cook lamb in when preparing a braised dish." Just like in a classic food and beverage pairing, you get the rich flavors of the meat and the complexity of the booze to create a tasty flavor combo.

One way to infuse these drinks into your meal is to make a red wine pan gravy with your lamb. Not only do you get the bold flavors of the wine but you also get a sauce that adds richness to lamb meat. Another option is to make a lamb stew with Guinness in it, which incorporates the alcohol in a way that adds complexity to your soup and deepens the flavor without overpowering the meat.

Whether you try one of these options or just sip on your favorite drinks with lamb, use Parente's tips if you want the perfect pairing to your meal.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.