When it comes to wine-friendly meats, you cannot go wrong with lamb. However, pairing Spicy lamb with red can be difficult even for sommeliers.
I find experimenting with food and wine pairing is a fun way to grow my culinary knowledge. This also helps me improve my cooking and dining experience. As a spicy food lover, pairing spicy lamb with red wine is a challenge at first.
However, I finally found the perfect Spicy lamb and red wine pairings after several trials. I go for low acid or fruity red wines with this spicy dish, such as Merlot, Malbec, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Beaujolais Nouveau, etc.
What are the Best Red Wines to Pair with Spicy Lamb?
Many spicy food lovers often find pairing their favorite foods with red wines. However, this issue never stopped me from trying.
Traveling in different cities and countries, I discovered red wines that go well with Spicy Lamb, one of my favorite dishes. If the marinade and rub are spicy, I look for fruity or low acid red wines as they can tame the fire of the Scoville scale and would not overwhelm my appetite.
Here are the best red wines to pair with Spicy Lamb with low acidity, sweet or fruity flavors:
With the low tannins and acidity, the merlot grape variety is known for producing sweeter red wines. Remember that tannins usually come off as bitter. However, since merlot comes with lower tannins compared to other wines, I easily taste the wine’s fruity flavors.
Merlot grape produces perfect dry, fruity wines. This makes it excellent red wine pair for spicy lamb. If merlot is used in blends, it helps soften a more potent wine variety.
Malbec wine is famous for its full-body and purple color. This dry red wine comes with low to medium acidity, making it a good pair with spicy or red meat dishes like Spicy Lamb.
Aside from being a lush red wine, it is very tasty. I only not love its cherry and plum flavor, but also its low price.
Zinfandel is another low-acid wine on my list. I love the Zinfandel wines from California as they have low acidity and full body. Since they are easy to drink with bold cheeses, BBQs, and spicy food, I tried them with Spicy Lamb, and I love how they improve the dish’s layers of flavors and slightly minimize the hotness.
The zinfandel grape variety produces tasty red wines offering flavors of cranberry, plum, licorice, and cherry. I also used the wine for cooking different dishes.
- Cabernet Sauvignon
If my wine stock runs out of Zinfandel, Merlot, or Malbec, I substitute them with Cabernet Sauvignon wines. The Cabernet Sauvignon grape variety produces dry, fruity wines.
This dry red wine often comes with palpable acidity and medium-to-high tannins. So, it is a great red wine for Spicy Lamb. This wine offers different notes depending on the region it originated.
For example, an Australian Cabernet wine offers mint and richer dark fruit notes. On the other hand, a Cabernet Sauvignon from California has a full body and fruity notes with higher alcohol content.
- Beaujolais Nouveau
Beaujolais Nouveau is made from Gamay grapes. It is one of the lightest red wines you can find on the market. This deliciously fruit red wine is not only a good introduction to the world of red wine but also a good pairing with spicy dishes.
This fresh, fruity red wine tastes like grape juice. Since it lacks tannins, I recommend drinking it while it is young. In most cases, I purchase and consume this wine within the first year of release.
I often pair fatty and rich dishes with Tannat wine. I also order this high-quality red wine whenever I order grilled meats or barbecue.
However, I once tried Tannat with Spicy Lamb. And I enjoy the combination. The wine’s low acidity goes great with the dish’s spiciness. The wine also gives chocolate and vanilla flavors, which also helps improve the entire experience.
- Pinot Noir
The Pinot Noir wine’s fruitiness depends on the bottle’s age and the growing conditions. For example, when I purchased a red wine made of Pinor Noir grape grown in California, I got a fruitier flavor compared to the French counterparts.
As the wine ages, however, Pinot Noir red wines begin to lose their fruity flavors. They also start to develop earthy and spicy flavors. Take note that red wines from California often have higher alcohol content.
Whenever I eat Spicy Lamb in my favorite restaurant, I always order young Pinot Noir red wine to ensure it still has a fruity flavor. However, if you want to add more spiciness to your mouth, you can go for aged Pinot Noir.
Cinsault wine is a safe choice if you want a perfect pairing with spicy foods. This French red grape variation has been growing for over four centuries.
With the low acid fruity flavor, Cinsault wine is a perfect partner for Spicy Lamb. It washes out the heat while leaving the fruity burst in my mouth.
Also known as Garnacha in Spain, Grenache is usually blended with Mourvedre and Syrah to produce Cote du Rhone wines.
This red wine has low to medium acid levels. I experimented with it by pairing it with Spicy Lamb. Like other low-acid red wines, the result is satisfying.
What are the Red Wines with High Acid Level You Should Avoid?
When searching for good red wine, you can pair it with Spicy Lamb and other spicy foods; the acid level is one of the critical considerations. It is always recommended to opt for low-acid red wines. So, I will tell you what high-acid red wines you should avoid the next time you eat Spicy Lamb.
Several Italian red wines come with high acid levels because they are made to pair better with particular foods. For example, Valpolicella, Sangiovese (Chianti), and Nebbiolo (Barolo). These red wines are known for their medium to full body. However, they have high acid levels. So, you should avoid them when eating Spicy Lamb dishes.
Similarly, the Greek Xinomavro and Spanish Tempranillo red wines rank high on the acid charts, despite being elegant and delicate options.
Pro Tips When Pairing Spicy Lamb Dishes with Low Acid Red Wines
Are you constantly dissatisfied with your dining experience after eating a Spicy Lamb dish with red wine? Probably you picked the wrong red wine.
Pairing Spicy Lamb dishes with the correct red wines can be a challenge at first. However, after knowing the right type or variety, it is not a tough job in the future.
Avoiding red wines with high acid levels helps prevent foods from tasting flat. You should also avoid Spicy Lamb dishes with lemon or tomato sauce. Instead, opt for grilled, sweet, and low-acid lamb cuts. Spicy food and cream sauces work great with low acid red wines with low tannins and alcohol content.
Spanish red wines, Southern Italian red wines, and red blends are perfect for different Spicy lamb dishes. However, you should go for low acidic, fruity, or sweet varieties to complement the meat’s spiciness and other ingredients.