The shooting season is in full swing and so now is the perfect time to create a succulent game meal. Whether you enjoy a plump partridge roasted with a rasher of streaky bacon or a casserole of pheasant – simmered with mushrooms, onions and carrots – it’s vital that you find the perfect wine to complement your game dish. Our guide looks at some wines that are perfect to accompany your game this season.
When looking for the perfect red wine to accompany your game bird, we recommend that you look for a wine that is relatively low in tannin and that is not too alcoholic or too oaky. This is because neither partridge nor pheasant are fatty birds.
The Independent suggests you ‘plump for a moderate, juicy fruit-laden style to complement the savoury, gamey characters of the bird’. We suggest Pinot Noir as its velvety character and soft, raspberry fruit make it the perfect accompaniment to game, particularly if you’re using wild mushrooms in your recipe.
Our Bourgogne Rouge from Vincent Dureuil-Janthial 2009 £15.00 is a sophisticated, silky Pinot Noir from an up and coming producer. This cuvée derives from several parcels in the communes of Nuits St Georges and Puligny and is judiciously blended by the young Vincent. The estate is also currently in conversion to biodynamic status which will further enhance and optimise grape flavours, and hence the wine quality.
The 2009 vintage has been heralded as one of the best in living memory and this is what Jancis Robinson says about it ‘One-third new oak. Pale ruby. Bit sweaty nose but very flattering. Easy to slurp. But with a little chew at the end. Great restaurant wine – sorry! Nuits and Puligny fruit. Organic. Good Value’ 16/20
If you want to crank it up a level, how about the Pinot Noir from Domain Road from Bannockburn in New Zealand? Central Otago is world renowned for its Pinot Noir and this 2008 won a Gold Medal at the International Wine Challenge – terrific value at £17.00 and knocks spots off most Cote de Nuits burgundy at this price.
The above wines are great with Grouse too but as they have a more concentrated herby heather flavour, I would go for a mature Chateauneuf du Pape where the garrigue/terroir are influential. Failing that, how about ‘Clos Montirius’ Vacqueyras 2007 for £15.00 with a silky mouth feel to die for.
Matching wines with venison is slightly tricky as venison can be cooked in a host of ways from Chinese style to Port and blackberries. A dark Barbera d’Asti from Villa Giada 2009 has a beautiful focussing blackcherry acidity to it which would cut nicely into most venison dishes with black fruit or redcurrant sweet sauces. At £9.00, this really is a gem of a wine with such beautiful flavours of deep dark smouldering fruit that just goes on and on. Slightly more full-bodied, the Primitivo from Fatalone in Italy’s southern heel at £10.75 has given many of my customers much pleasure!! It’s a ‘natural’ wine so no naughty added sulphites to give you a hangover – its naughty enough on its own!
Most modern Spanish reds would be ideal with venison and my pick at the moment is Sila Mencia from Bodegas Pazos del Rey – outstanding value at £9.75. Hear also what Jancis hath to say ‘Very attractive smoke, iodine, blackcurrant and leather. Great development and scope considering the price and the youthfulness. A teensy bit light on the mid palate, but the flavour lasts well with a charming baked-earth character. 17/20’
For a great deal on these and other superb wines, browse our website now. Don’t forget that we also deliver free across Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Rutland.
- What Wines Pair with Wild Game? (thedailymeal.com)