Now we are coming into the season for winter fires, robust wines and game which work perfectly with pinot and syrah/shiraz. Even better if the wines have a few years’ bottle age and whose bright youthful fruit flavours have been replaced by subtle more mellow flavours and sometimes the farmyard aromas of Pinot Noir is a great match for this earthy style of food.

I would recommend something like Burgundian Pinot Noir such as Santenay 2006 Les Charmes from Domaine Vincent Girardin or an Italian Dolcetto from a good producer like Pira Luigi for Pheasant, grouse and duck

Big wines need time, especially when they’re being partnered with a classic European-style daube or stew, for this I would suggest a new world Syrah; Boekenhoutskloof Syrah 2006 made by Marc Kent renowned for his fabulous Syrah’s or one of Viv Tompson’s Great Western reds from Victoria; the Bin 0 Shiraz is always a show stopper and fantastic value for money.

Alternatively, a Syrah from the Rhône, Saint Joseph, Côte Rôtie or Cornas would work with the more robust meats like venison or game pies .If you feel like pushing the boat out René Rostaing’s Côte Rôties are delightful and he is undoubtedly one of the finest winemakers from Côte Rotie.

I would recommend decanting these wines to give the wine a chance to breathe and really show all the characteristics of the wine.

René Rostaing

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