A Guide to Wine Pairings with Sheep Meat

Having sheep meat for dinner? Are you stumped as to which wine would be appropriate to pair with your succulent menu choice? Fear not, we have what you are looking for and will steer you toward a wine that will be perfectly paired with the type of meat and recipe that you are planning to prepare. Wine should always be chosen according to the type of meat served.

Luckily, sheep meat is versatile and can be served with just about any type of wine you like, though it begs for a dry variety. It is known as a wine-friendly meat; however, there are a few restrictions that are based on the age of your meat and the wine as well as how you are going cook your meat.

Many will insist that any dry red wine will work. And they will, however, to get a marriage made in Heaven, give it a little more thought and planning.

Try one of these options listed below. We have paired wine choices with how you intend to cook your meat to help you even further in your search for the perfect wine for your succulent dinner.


For Baby or Milk-Fed Sheep


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This type of tender meat is mostly consumed in the Mediterranean regions of the world. It holds a fine flavour that is expertly paired with fine wines.

If you are preparing this meat, plan to serve a top of the line Burgundy or Bordeaux. A Rioja is wonderful as well. Your wine should be aged at least a few years. Mature wines are best.


Spring Sheep Meat


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This sheep meat is wonderful served with herbs and spring vegetables. The meat should be served pink. With this in mind, the cut perfect for the job will be either a leg of sheep or a rack. Wines to try with this dish are, of course, Burgundy or Bordeaux. Also, why not try a Rosé wine? Dry or vintage will be beautiful.


Roasted Sheep meat with Wine Sauce or gravies


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Leg of sheep is a perfect choice for roasted sheep meat. It serves a lot and is a fabulous festive meat. This flavorful dish requires wine from a different direction.

The meat should be prepared medium-rare to well done. Due to this, try a fruitier blend of wine such as a cabernet or a Cabernet/merlot blend. A Chianti or a Rioja Reserva is also lovely.


Slow Roasted Sheep Meat


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The type of meat is usually cut from the shoulder area. It is a fatter meat which makes it have more flavour. Slow roasted sheep meat can be made from hogget and mutton. These are tougher cuts; hence, the slow roasting method is best to tenderise your meat and bring out its full flavour.

Wines best suited for this cooking method will be either a Spanish red wine such as Ribera del Duero or at wonderful Rhone.


Braaied Meat


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When cooking your sheep meat on the braai, the wine will depend on the marinades, sauces, or rubs that you use. If you are using a lot of spices, choose a sweet wine such as a Pinotage, or Chilean Cabernet. For yoghurt based marinades with citrus and herbs added, choose a wine with a higher acidic content such as a Chianti or a Barbera variety.


Sheep Stews and Casseroles


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Stews and traditional casseroles such as shepherd’s pie or hotpots, deserve a class of wine all their own. These dishes marry basic flavours together: meat, vegetables, stock, and herbs.

To find a wine that will perfectly compliment your favourite dish why not try inexpensive younger wines such as country red varieties, or even a pale ale or beer. For a more adventurous stew, try a rustic and robust wine such as a Languedoc red or a young Riojas.


Traditional Curried Sheep Meat


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Regional favourites such as Rogan Josh have their own category as well. These dishes are typically spicy so they need a less nippy counterpart for a divine marriage. Try a fruity wine such as a Zinfandel.

Wine and sheep meat are beautiful together. With the simple guide, you will be able to create a successful intimate dinner with your loved one or festive occasions for the whole family to create memories for years to come or new traditions to last a lifetime.