Game

Jukes Wine And Food Game

All flighted game, including pheasant, quail, guinea fowl, woodcock, teal, grouse, snipe, wild duck and partridge adore the majestic red grape Pinot Noir. This means red Burgundy is my first choice, with New Zealand, Tasmania, Mornington Peninsula, Yarra Valley, California and Oregon somewhere in the pack behind the leader. The longer the bird is hung, the more mature the wine required (this can mean ten- or even twenty-year-old bottles). I have enjoyed red Bordeaux, Super-Tuscan, northern Rhône, Spanish wines from Ribera del Duero or Priorato and many other top reds with this heady style of cuisine. But it is important to aim for complex reds with layers of fruit and a bit of age, and this inevitably means spending up. Jugged hare, often uses port and/or redcurrant jelly in the recipe, so a pretty feisty red wine is needed. New-style Piemontese reds made from Nebbiolo/Cabernet or Nebbiolo/Barbera blends would have the stuffing, as would more structured Australian Shiraz (Clare, McLaren Vale, Heathcote or Barossa Valley), Aussie Cab/Shiraz blends, Zinfandel from California or South African Shiraz and Pinotage. One slightly cheaper and worthy source of full-bodied red is the Douro Valley in Portugal – not only would you have a meaty wine, but it would also be in perfect synergy if you’ve used port in the recipe. Rabbit, as well as being a less athletic version of hare, is also less pungent and has lighter-coloured flesh so, although big reds are essential, they don’t need to be quite as powerful as those suggested for hare. The classic combo of rabbit with mustard and bacon packs a pungent flavour punch, so aim for swarthy bottles of red with feisty tannins and a youthful, purple hue – Chianti, Carmignano, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (all from Tuscany), Bandol (from Provence), Lirac, Rasteau, Vacqueyras, Cairanne and Gigondas (from the southern Rhône), Argentinean Malbec, South African Cabernet and Shiraz, and smarter Chilean Cabernet blends would be spot on. Wild boar favours rich, brooding red wines and, depending on the dish, you could choose any of the aforementioned reds but, this time, add a few more of finest of all Italian wines – Brunello di Montalcino, Barbaresco and Barolo. The only problem is you might need a lottery win to buy a bottle. Venison loves reds, and any bottle in this section would do, including top Australian Cabernet Sauvignon and some of the better New Zealand Hawke’s Bay reds. Finally, game pie served cold, behaves like cold chicken and ham pie (see ‘Chicken’). If served hot, open any wine suggested for steak and kidney pie (see ‘Beef’).