Rosé Paired with Lamb and Fresh Peach Salsa

Are you a lamb lover? Do you often prefer it on the menu over a boring steak? Does the thought of having that game-y, delicious, succulent meat drive you bonkers like it does to me? If you don't like lamb, I bet its because you haven't had a good one before. Or you expected it to taste like steak and couldn't get over its weird, old-tasting deliciousness. That's the thing about lamb. You have to embrace its gaminess. Its a good thing, I promise. I love a well-prepared lamb dish over almost everything else in this world. However, peach salsa is about the last thing I think about having with it. When I found this recipe, however, I just had to try it. And for you skeptical eaters of lamb out there, this is a great dish to give it another try, because that peach salsa packs a lot of different flavors to accompany the lamb.

The Pairing

I usually pair lamb with very earthy, old-world style reds (Bordeaux blends are the classic pairing for lamb). However, this is one of those recipes that proves that you can't pair wine and beer to food solely based on what type of meat you are eating. The peach salsa on this lamb completely changes the flavors of the dish--don't pair this with a Bordeaux blend, I beg you!

The peach salsa gives many different flavors to this dish which can be difficult to pair--sweetness from the peaches, acidity from the onions, spice from the chipotle chile....there's a lot going on in this otherwise-seemingly simple dish. When you have sweetness in a dish you can pretty much rule out all red wines--it'll just make the wine taste overly tannic and bitter. (Side note, this is why chocolate and wine DO NOT go well together, no matter how many things online you read about it.) White wine might not be the best bet either since you still get that gaminess from the lamb. What is your answer? Rosé, my friends.

Rosé drinks like a white while having subtle flavors of our favorite reds. They won't have any tannins, so you can safely pair it with sweet dishes like our lamb and peach salsa. Sweet blush wines that are often confused with rosé are out there, but you don't want to pair one of those with this dish. Keep the rosé you choose dry, meaning no residual sugar whatsoever in the wine. (Sweet Wine won't do any good for the lamb itself.)

 My Favorite Rosé Regions

  • Tavel, Rhone, France
  • Provence, France
  • Willamette Valley, Oregon (they've been making some great rosé out of Pinot Noir)
  • Spanish "Rosado" (great values)
  • Rosé from Argentina (often made from Malbec, also good value)

Other Beverages You Can Pair With This Dish

Wine (not really recommended--stick with my rosé suggestions)

  • Viognier
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Unoaked Chardonnay

Beer

  • Saison
  • Pilsner
  • Belgian Tripel

The Recipe

I discovered this recipe in a Williams-Sonoma "Weeknight Fresh + Fast" Cookbook. It was ridiculously fast and easy to make and had some great flavors I usually don't combine with lamb. Cilantro rice makes a nice accompaniment to this dish. Great for a spring or summer weeknight where nothing sounds better than some fresh grilled food and a glass of rosé. Happy Pairing!


Lamb and Fresh Peach Salsa

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 7 mins

Total time: 12 mins

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 2 lamb shoulder bone-in chops, 1 inch thick each
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 peaches, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp minced red onion
  • 3 Tbsp roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced with sauce
  • 1 tsp fresh lime juice

Instructions

  1. Rub each side of the lamb chops with cumin and cinnamon. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper, then brush with olive oil.
  2. In a small bowl, stir to combine remaining ingredients to make the salsa.
  3. Place lamb chops on an outdoor gas grill over high heat. Cover the grill and cook the lamb about 3 1/2 minutes each side for medium-rare.
  4. When finished, place each lamb chop on a plate and spoon the salsa on top. Serve immediately.