With the open season for wild game birds drawing to a close at the end of the month, I thought now would be a good time to take a last look at some wine pairings, before these delicious seasonal delights disappear from our tables until the Autumn.
The received wisdom dictates that I should be recommending well-aged bottles of fine red Burgundy and Northern Rhône Syrah, and while I’m not going to stray too far from these classic choices, I find that the subtleties of these aged wines can sometimes be swamped by the rich flavours on the plate, and that brighter, fresher Pinot Noirs and Syrahs such as the wines below make for much more successful pairing, particularly with wild duck or woodpigeon.
From the cool climate Leyda Valley in Chile, Leyda Pinot Noir Reserva is a benchmark example of bright, pure, rounded new world Pinot Noir, show-casing red berry fruit together with some spice and floral notes, refreshing acidity, and soft, well-rounded tannins.
From a family owned and run estate in New Zealand's hotshot Pinot Noir zone Gladstone, Urlar is a stunning organic Pinot Noir. It has the richness, depth of fruit and savoury complexity of a Burgundy 1er Cru, but all delivered at a fraction of the price!
For those seeking a lighter style of Syrah, Ferraton Crozes-Hermitage is one of the most elegant Syrahs we sell; this is not a big chunky wine, it is mid weight with cool black fruit and subtle oak. To fully experience this wine at its best, open it up and let it breathe for an hour before enjoying.
Of course, it’s not just red wines that work well, the lighter meats of pheasant & partridge are exceptionally well-suited to rich white wines such as a Mosel Riesling or an oaked New-World Chardonnay.
Selbach QBA is a classic off-dry Mosel Riesling, which boasts a lovely floral nose, on the palate, it is light in alcohol but also rich with delicious ripe red apple and juicy lime fruit making it an ideal choice, particularly with pheasant.
Made in a rich full-bodied and generous style, Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay has beautifully integrated tropical flavours such as pineapple, mango and papaya and citrus that delicately intertwine with notes of vanilla and honey on the long, lingering finish.