No matter what you choose for your Sunday roast this weekend – beef, turkey, pork, lamb – we have the perfect pairings for your Sunday feast.
Wine experts can argue about the best wines to serve with roast meat till the cows come home, but we wanted to proffer a straightforward wine pairing guide. If you have friends and family coming round for your roast, you’ll probably want to start with welcome drinks and enjoy a few nibbles while the meat is resting – and you work up the courage to put your carving skills on display!
A good idea is to toast your get-together with a glass of fizz, or other aperitifs such as fino sherry, vermouth, and simple G&Ts. This is also a great time to open a chilled white wine for any diners who really don’t want to move onto red when it comes to the main event.
WHAT TO DRINK WITH ROAST LAMB
The best wines for lamb vary depending on the time of year. Why? Because young lamb (6-8 weeks old and primarily milk-fed) tastes different to spring lamb (3-5 months old and grass fed). Lamb that is 6-12 months old is stronger still, while mutton, generally two years old, is quite gamey.
‘The younger the meat, the lighter the wine should be’. ‘For spring lamb you don’t want something too rich. Go for a Côtes du Rhone, or fruity Cabernet Franc from South Africa. If the lamb is more mature, a spicy, full red from the Southern Rhone would match perfectly - so would Spain’s Ribera del Duero wines made from the Tempranillo grape.’
WHAT TO DRINK WITH ROAST PORK
Pork shares some of the characteristics of spring lamb, so Cotes du Rhone, and South African Cabernet Franc are again good choices. ‘A Cabernet Franc from the Loire will be drier and have more tannins.’ No argument here.
When looking for white wines to match pork, go for those with a full body and rich aromas. Chardonnays with good acidity levels are perfect. ‘You could also serve something from the south west of France. A white Bordeaux, a blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc, will have good acidity and a round finish.’
WHAT TO DRINK WITH ROAST BEEF
The big flavour of roast beef really begs for red wine – and a beefy one at that. ‘Great Bordeauxs match beef perfectly,’ say the experts, ‘as do rich Italian reds such as Brunello from Tuscany of Barolo from Piedmont.’ If your budget doesn’t stretch that far you can still look for rich, heavy styles with lots of strength, she says, by choosing wines based on Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.
WHAT TO DRINK WITH ROAST TURKEY
Smoky New World Chardonnay is our sommeliers' top choice for roast turkey or, for those who prefer red, one of the lighter, smoother reds from the Loire Valley. The weather could easily have an impact on what your guests will feel like drinking on the day, too. If it’s cold, people will naturally veer towards red wines.
Above all, don’t fret about choosing wine for guests, is the best takeaway. ‘Most people will drink the style of wine they prefer anyway!’