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Perfect Pairings - Game

Red Burgundy (Pinot Noir) from France is the classic match with game. Pinot Noir should have a velvety character and lots of soft, raspberry fruit. Some of the best also have a "farmyard" aroma that is very distinctive and adds delicious complexity. This set of flavours also works particularly well with any recipe using wild mushrooms. but different game meats have different strengths of flavour which demand slightly different wines. Traditional wines from Portugal and Italy also work very well with game meat.

As with most dishes, the accompaniment can influence the choice of wine to serve. Traditional berry sauces or really rich game stocks call for a fruit-packed wine that is not too tannic. Australian Shiraz fits the bill perfectly, but South Africa and Chile are reliable sources of other really punchy, intensely flavoured wines including Grenache, Merlot, Zinfandel and Pinotage.

Depending on the stuffing or sauce, an Oregon Pinot Noir, Beaujolais from France or Washington state Merlot would all work well with quail. If you prefer a white wine, choose an elegant Chardonnay with some oak.

With this fairly mild-flavored meat, try an Italian Chianti, a light red Burgundy or a good Beaujolais from France. For the classic rabbit in mustard sauce, you might like to try a white, such as a Pinot Gris or a grassy Sauvignon Blanc.

Venison can be quite forgiving with wine matches, so pinot noir, merlot and syrah are obvious choices. Here we are looking for succulent wines that have tremendous flavour - without the big alcohol and tannins.

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