Lamb dishes always have a powerful character derived from the flavours of the meat itself, and are therefore suited to complex wines. Styles which offer bright fruit character alongside secondary flavours derived from ageing, either in barrels or in bottles, will be perfect for your Sunday lamb roast. Classic pairings would be Chateauneuf-du-Pape or robust Bordeaux like the Fonplegade Saint-Emilion Grand Cru; however, as the weather warms, lighter wines like Domaine des Masques Syrah Exception from Provence or the medium-bodied Vigneto le Rogaie Chianti Rufina from Colognole offer spectacular alternatives.
Ham can be a very tricky dish to pair with, as the style of roast can have a major impact on the flavours, sweetness and salinity of the dish. Generally red wines are best, as the high salt-content smooths over tannin and brings out the fruit in the wine. Chateau Lucas is a lovely pairing, as it is quite light for a Bordeaux, due to age and a relatively high percentage of Cabernet Franc in the blend. The Nimbus Pinot Noir from Castra Rubra also works well as it is a full-bodied Pinot Noir, with plenty of bottle age, yet with minimal tannin; ideal where spices have been included in the curing process. Sweet cures are a more difficult pairing; rounded wines with rich flavours and less acidity will complement the dish best. We recommend the white Chateauneuf du Pape from Domaine des Trois Cellier - a true hidden gem that will certainly inspire wine conversations around the table.
Starch-heavy food is an ideal counterpoint to wine - the acidity in both red and white wine cuts through the weight of the food, and refreshes the palate; almost any wine will pair well with these kinds of sides, so any of our above recommendations would be superb! For any dishes that incorporate cream sauce, younger whites with fresh fruit character would work really well, including the 2018 Domaine Ellevin Chablis 1er Cru 'Vosgros'. For classic root vegetables with salt will enhance the flavours of red wines, especially older vintages; dishes with large amounts of butter will benefit from white wine pairings. With roast carrots and parsnips, try the Berliquet 2008, and watch the salt bring out the fruit of this classic Saint-Emilion.
Chocolate is a challenging food to pair with, requiring extreme intensity of flavour and exceptional balance in any wine-pairing. We have found that the Vin Santo from Tenuta Fanti pairs excellently with chocolate that incorporates a spice element (especially cinnamon), and Kopke 10yr Tawny Port is the best option for milk chocolate. For an irresistible creme egg, we suggest the Late Harvest Moscadello di Montalcino - the fresh fruit flavours offer a fine counterpoint to the creamy sweetness of the filling.