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How to Pair Wine With Wild Fowl

Here's how to pair wine with wild fowl for your next harvested meal.

There's a great deal more to hunting than aiming a gun and pulling a trigger. Months can go into finding the perfect spot, honing your skill, practicing with your equipment, purchasing necessary gear, and the endless weekends spent out in nature searching for your game.

When all is said and done, you want the reward to be the perfect trophy and the perfect meal. You want to really taste the rich flavors of the game you sank so much time and money into hunting.

By knowing the perfect wine to pair with your prize, you're guaranteed to enjoy the success of your hunt to the fullest.


Dove is a rich meat, pairing well with either red or white wine. A Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, or Pinot Noir should suit the dish wonderfully. However, dove is often prepared less as a gourmet dish and more as an elegant hors d'oeuvre as bacon wrapped dove with jalapeno. If you prefer this recipe, it might be better to choose a Grenache or Syrah Rose.


Quail can be a finicky dish, depending upon the stuffing or sauce you prepare for it. However, regardless of what you choose, an Oregon Pinot Noir, Beaujolis fron France, or a Washington state Merlot should balance it well. Should you prefer a white wine, try an oaky Chardonnay.


Pheasant is a tough bird with a strong taste. Generally, it is a good idea to pair it with a Burgundy, Bordeaux, Pinot Noir, or other strong, mature reds. However, if you decide to prepare it with apples or any other sweeter alternative, it might be better to pair it with a dry Pinot Gris or German or Alsace Riesling.


Regardless of its origin, duck pairs well with a Washington state Merlot or a nice Chardonnay. Wild duck has the rich taste that pairs well with a Syrah from the Rhone in France or California.

RELATED: How to Sear a Duck Breast

Should you want to prepare domestic duck, be warned that it has a sweeter, softer taste than its wild counterpart. While Chardonnay, Merlot, or buttery Syrah are still good choices, you might also want to pair it with an Italian Chianti.


Goose is a funny dish to pair. While the richness of the meat recommends a red Burgundy, the sweet side dishes that traditionally accompany it would do well with a sweet Riesling. If you find that the dish is well balanced between the two, a California Pinot Noir, red Rhone, or Australian Shiraz.


Being a slightly sweeter meat, a sweeter wine should pair well with it. Try a fruity, California Zinfandel, red or white, depending upon your personal preference. This wine can handle any traditional stuffing options as well as the turkey meat itself.

One last note on pairing wine with wild game

A red Burgundy from France can always be relied upon in the case of any game.  When in doubt, or if you just can't make up your mind, just go with the Burgundy.

What are your thoughts? Do you have other suggestions on how to pair wine with wild fowl? Share them below.

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How to Pair Wine With Wild Fowl