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Wine Pairing: Duck


Category:Wine pairings

Wine Pairing: Duck


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In short:

From the succulent roast duck to the tangy duck à l'orange and the rich pâtés and foie gras – classic duck dishes present unique characteristics that can be beautifully complemented by different wine styles.


Starting with the renowned duck à l'orange, which combines tender duck with a tangy orange sauce, a wine with bright acidity and a touch of sweetness is ideal. Consider a Riesling from Germany or Alsace. The vibrant acidity and subtle sweetness of these wines will harmonise with the citrusy notes of the sauce, creating a refreshing pairing that elevates the dining experience.


Dr Loosen Slate Hill Riesling, Mosel
Famille Hugel ‘Classic’ Riesling, Alsace

Moving on to the classic roast duck, often served with fruity sauces like cherry or orange, a medium-bodied red wine with good acidity is the perfect match. A Burgundy or Californian Pinot Noir fits the bill perfectly. The vibrant classic cherry notes and refreshing acidity complement the richness of the duck and the fruitiness of the sauces.

Olivier Dubois 'Cuvée Prestige' Pinot Noir, France
Josh Cellars Pinot Noir, Central Coast

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For those indulging in the rich decadence of pâtés or foie gras, a wine with depth and complexity is essential. Opt for an off-dry aromatic white such as Gewürztraminer or a Rhône white blend. These wines offer a perfect balance of sweetness and acidity, enhancing the creamy texture and rich flavours of the pâté while cleansing the palate between nibbles.

Aimé Arnoux Côtes du Rhône Blanc
Domaines Schlumberger 'Les Princes Abbés' Gewürztraminer, Alsace

For crispier dishes like confit duck leg, with its tender meat and crispy skin, medium to full-bodied red wines such as a Merlot or a Cabernet Franc based blend from Bordeaux make great pairings – or for something a little different, try a blend from New Zealand’s Hawke’s Bay where the unique climate offers rich, yet mineral reds to flourish. With savoury and herbal notes, these wines complement the rich flavours of the confit duck while adding layers of complexity with their herbal and spice driven aromatics.

Beau Rivage Bordeaux Supérieur
Villa Maria Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot, Hawke's Bay

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Now, we can’t talk about duck without mentioning crispy duck pancakes. This national favourite is usually served with hoisin sauce and thinly sliced vegetables. With so many flavours and textures to this dish, a classic Merlot is a great choice. With soft tannins and ripe fruit flavours this elegant grape is an ideal match for the savoury shredded duck and sweet hoisin sauce. Another excellent option is a Beaujolais, with its light body and fruity profile, can also be a great pairing, accentuating the dish's flavours without overpowering them.

Chosen by Majestic Merlot, Colchagua Costa
Château de Pougelon 'Grille-Midi' Fleurie

While discussing pairing for duck dishes, it's worth mentioning other game birds like pheasant and goose, which offer similar rich and gamey flavours. Depending on your recipe, be it herby, citrusy or a classic roast; these birds can also be paired with a variety of wines mentioned above, depending on the specific preparation and accompanying sauces.

In essence, pairing wine with classic duck dishes involves thoughtful consideration of flavours and textures. Our aim is always to look for wine characteristics that enhance the dining experience and enhance the delicious flavours of our ingredients. Whether it's the vibrant acidity of a Riesling with duck à l'orange or the soft tannins of a Merlot with crispy duck pancakes, your wine choices can make it a meal to remember. Let us know what you think of our pairing suggestions, or if you find a new perfect pairing!




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