The perfect match for lamb is red wine, right? Well, mostly but not always as Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's recipes in the Guardian this weekend and my own recent experience have demonstrated
I cooked a leg of lamb, Indian-style on Friday night, an adaptation of a Madhur Jaffrey recipe. It was smothered in a spicy yoghurt marinade and accompanied by side dishes of a dry cauliflower and potato curry and spiced green beans and proved a terrific match with a Chivite Gran Feudo rosado from Navarra.
With Hugh's Greek-inspired Braised Lamb with Stuffed Vine Leaves with garlic, lemon and mint I'd chose a sharply flavoured white for preference - an unoaked Assyrtiko or a citrussy Sauvignon Blanc from South Australia
With his Barbecued, Butterflied Leg of Lamb, admittedly I would revert to a red. The recipe contains a generous amount of Pomegranate Molasses which would give the dish an exotic sweet flavour that would best be matched by a fruity Cabernet Sauvignon from say, Coonawarra or Chile. Or a ripe New Zealand, Californian or Oregon Pinot Noir
But his Lamb Chops with Anchovies and Garlic could easily take a strong dry rosé again - I'd suggest the Gran Feudo again (which is currently 20% off in Oddbins) or a southern French rosé from the Rhone or Languedoc.
If you haven't already made the deduction the time to reach for a rosé or white is when lamb is marinated with something acidic like yoghurt or lemon juice both of which can make a full-bodied red taste over-jammy and too 'hot' for summer drinking.