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Food & WineMatching: Game Birds
Overall Winner: Red Rhone Wines
Red Rhône wines are the best overall match with game birds.
Grouse: Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, Côte Rotie, Saint-Joseph, Châteauneuf du Pape, or mature Red Burgundy.
Grouse is a very strong, gamey-flavoured bird that can cope with a full-flavoured Red wine. However like all poultry you need to beware of tannin and select wines that are not heavily tannic. The perfect wines with Roast Grouse are either a Red Northern Rhône or a top-class mature Red Burgundy.
Roast Woodcock: Red Northern Rhône or mature Claret.
Wood Pigeon Casserole: Oregon and Californian Pinot Noir, big Australian Shiraz
As with all casseroles, if a wine has been used in the dish itself, drink the same wine. For Wood Pigeon Casserole, which is not all that dissimilar to Coq au Vin, fruity Reds such as North American Pinot Noirs or bigger Australian Cabernet/Shirazs work well.
Roast Wood Pigeon: Mature Red Bordeaux, Reserva/Gran Reserva Rioja
Roast Wood Pigeon needs a mature but full-flavoured Red like a Red Bordeaux or a Rioja. Pigeon Breasts served warm with a green-leaf salad need wines that will complement the salad dressing rather than the pigeon.
Game Dishes: Sauces and Dressings
The sweetness of balsamic vinegar is far easier to match than harsher wine vinegars. Match the sweetness of the vinegar with a fruity Beaujolais Cru or Australian Merlot.
Wild Duck: Red Northern Rhône or Australian Shiraz
Wild Duck such as Mallard has far more flavour than its domestic cousins and so correspondingly needs a more flavoursome wine to match. A Red Northern Rhône would be perfect as would an Australian Shiraz.
Roast Patridge: Fruity Syrah (e.g. Vin de Pays)
Roast Partridge can be easily over-powered by a tannic wine. Syrah is the best variety to choose from, but the best match would be a not-too-full-bodied version like a Vin de Pays Syrah or from the Languedoc.
Partridge with Cabbage (Perdrix aux Choux): Unoaked Chardonnay
The classic French dish Partridge with Cabbage (Perdrix aux Choux) which is flavoured with juniper and of course cabbage will pair with both Reds and Whites. For the White select an unoaked Chardonnay or a White Rhône.
Pheasant Normande: Dry Pinot Gris
Another classic French dish is Pheasant Normande made with apples and cream. Whites are best here, especially a dry Pinot Gris as this aromatic variety will complement the sweetness of the apples in the dish.
Roast Pheasant: Light Pinot Noir
Roast Pheasant works very well with light, fruity varieties like Pinot Noir, especially those from North America or New Zealand.
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