Roast Lamb & Pinot Noir: A Perfect Pairing

There are very few rules of wine and food matching that really matter. But if one rule needs obeying, it is this: lamb must, just must be paired with red wine. Lamb + white, pink or sparkly is just horrid. It’s to do with the rich fattiness of the meat and the clashing acidity of the wine. Enough said.

Pinot Noir loves food, especially roast lamb. It’s the perfect pairing because it has the bright fruit and silky tannins that you’re looking for in an earthy, rich meat like lamb – it lightens the dish. To celebrate this wonderful law of wine, here’s our cosy lamb match (enough for the crew).

Balsamic Lamb with Red Wine & Rosemary

The Marquis_750_FrontLoResSuper tender and full of hearty flavours. Yes, it takes 5 hours to slow cook to perfection, but that’s plenty of time to get started on the wine…



400g shallots
2.5kg lamb shoulder, on the bone
3 stalks rosemary
300ml red wine
1 litre chicken stock
4 garlic cloves, peeled
150ml balsamic vinegar


Heat the oven to 130°C (110°C fan).

Put the shallots in boiling water and leave for 15 minutes for the skins to soften, then peel.

Make small slashes in the lamb and stick a rosemary sprig in each one.

Pour the wine and stock into a large roasting tin and add the garlic and shallots.

Bring to a simmer on the hob, then add the lamb and cover the tin tightly with a double layer of foil.

Cook in the oven for 4 hours, then uncover and pour over the balsamic vinegar.

Turn the oven up to 180°C (160°C fan) and return the tin to the oven, uncovered, for a further hour, until the lamb is dark and crisp on top.

Rest the lamb under foil for 15 minutes.

Skim the fat off the gravy, return to the roasting tin and heat on the hob for a few minutes.

Slice or shred the lamb with 2 forks and serve with the shallot gravy.

Our Top Pinot Noir Picks

Barons & Potter The Marquis Pinot Noir 2016 (Waipara) $28.99

Terra Sancta Mysterious Diggings Pinot Noir 2015 (Central Otago) $25.99

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