The wild game wine pairing is complex, due to the complexity of the protein involved. However, a beautiful glass of wine is the perfect compliment to any meal with game!

Wild Game Wine Pairing: The Basics

One difficulty in the wild game wine pairing is the composition of various meats, and flavors they bring. Many wild animals can be very tough, or like boar, lack fat content. The true secret to perfecting a wild game wine pairing is understanding meat. Understanding meat requires knowledge and attention to taste, fat content, and more.

Wild Game Wine Pairing: Mammals


This little slippery animal is a common prey upon the hunting game. Rabbit is dark meat. It’s sweet and not too gamey in taste. In fact, Rabbit is lean meat and should be accompanied by a light wine that won’t overpower it. Rhône, Pinot, Noir and white wine such as Pinot Grigio are great options for a simply prepared rabbit. However, the combination and taste of this element could be ruin depending on the sauce or herbs it’s prepared with.


The brutal predator isn’t just a terrific monster under the water, alligators are also an exotic prey in some exclusive dishes. As an aquatic reptile, it demands a careful selection of wine. Enthusiasts recommend Jana Rose or Riesling, versatile drinks to pair with this unique prey.


The classic prize for the wild game. Perhaps the most popular game meat for the casual hunter. Venison is a rich meat, with many nutrients of the earth due to this animal’s alimentation. For this reason, needs a wine that can equal the strong flavor, and red wines are the perfect match. Wines with earthy or smoky flavors such as Mourvedre, Orange Muscat, Syrah, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir and Grenache seems like the best choice.

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Strong in flavor, Pheasant pairs with a Burgundy, a Bordeaux, a Pinot Noir or other strong, mature red wines.

This is another classic prey. Usually, his head with those brave horns is used as a trophy to decorate the wall. But, beyond that, this animal contains a massive flavor, really similar to venison in taste. For this reason, there are so many combinations of wine that could work. Mourvedre, Syrah, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, and Grenache will pair nicely and bring out the best flavors of the meat.


Another horned beast similar to Venison or Elk in appearance and taste. Same wines combinations are recommended for this prey. This meat demands a rich, sweet wine. Syrah or Petite Sirah for their berry flavors, or Sangiovese, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, or Malbec are the best choices.


This is a special delicacy, there were a common prey and food source years ago, but right now it’s a rare dish. His meat is heavier than others. To pair these meats, it’s recommended a heavy wine with a sweet or savory edge. Merlot, with a taste of dark cherry, vanilla, cinnamon, and chocolate is probably, the best drink for this meal. But Mourvedre it’s better to enhance Buffalo’s flavor, and Zinfandel, Dolcetto or Cabernet if something lighter is needed.


To end the big beasts list, the hairy titan should have a special consideration. This large and though animal calls for a sweet pairing to make the perfect balance between power and delicacy. Red wine accompanied by fruits and spices creates a memorable combination. With this in mind, Mourvedre, Dolcetto, Zinfandel, Cabernet, Sangiovese, and Barbera could work. If a white wine is the chosen one, then Rousanne or Viognier is advisable.

Wild Game Wine Pairing: Birds


As hunting season starts, ducks are one of the most popular preys. It’s taste pairs really well with a Merlot or Chardonnay for domestic ones. Wild ducks’ taste is different, pairs better with a nice Syrah or an Italian Chianti.


This is a particular meat because it’s meat has various flavors depending on the body part. The richness of the meat functions well with a red Burgundy, while the sweet side it’s better with a sweet Riesling. If the dish is well balanced between both types, a California Pinot Noir, a red Rhone or an Australian Shiraz may perfectly complement the meal.


Strong in flavor, Pheasant pairs with a Burgundy, a Bordeaux, a Pinot Noir or other strong, mature red wines. However, if the recipe applies apples or any other alternative that make the dish sweeter, a better option to pair is with a dry Pinot Gris or a sweet Riesling.


Depending on the preparation, Quail needs a good balance. Pinot Noir, Beaujolais or Merlot can accomplish this work. However, white wine is also an option, and definitely, Chardonnay is the best choice.


Well prepared, Dove is a rich meat. It pairs beautifully with Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay or Pinot Noir.


The classic dish of American families demands a perfect complement. As a sweet meat, a sweeter wine should pair well. Fruity wines could be perfect for this job. Zinfandel, red or white, it’s advisable for almost every Turkey preparation and recipe.