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Pairing Wine with Wild Game Meats

Wine is one of the most complex and interesting types of food or drink on the planet, in that it can be studied almost indefinitely. While most foods and drinks can simply be enjoyed or not enjoyed, wine can be understood, and used to compliment meals in ways that most other things cannot. Along these lines, many people understand some very basic generalities with regard to pairing wines with food: people generally put red wines with red meats and white wines with desserts, for example. However, there are also countless more specific pairing ideas that can be helpful with specific meals and types of foods, such as what to drink with game meats. Fortunately, adequate wine for these types of pairings are generally available. Here are some ideas for what wine to pair with a few “game” meats, according to foodandwinepairing.org:

Duck–Duck is an interesting meat, in that it is generally classified as game meat, but is also seen by many to be somewhat lighter meat. Still, its somewhat gamey taste means that it is generally not paired with lighter or sweeter wines (including most whites), as it would create a bad mix and the wine would potentially be overpowered. There are several red wines that are considered to be good matches with Duck, such as Burgundy, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot – basically, medium to strong red wines.

Turkey – Turkey is tricky as well, because it is a white meat, but is also considered by most people to be gamier than its chief poultry counterpart, chicken. Essentially this marks turkey as a lighter, but still gamey meat, which means that it can conceivably be paired with lighter red wines and some white wines. For example, Burgundy is recommended with turkey as well, as its occasionally slightly earthy tastes are believed to pair well with just about any game meat. However, white wines such as Chardonnays or Chablis are also recommended with turkey, as they are somewhat richer white wines that can support a turkey meal.

Big Game/Wild Game – For somewhat more exotic meats such as Elk, or Buffalo, or Quail, people tend to move toward stronger, “bigger” wines with powerful flavors that can support the exotic and gamey tastes. Some examples are Brunello, which is said to go well with all game meats, and Cabernet Sauvignon, which is a popular dinner wine that has strong flavors and generally pairs well with red meats or wild game.

You may also like to check out all of our Wild Game Recipes



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