Food & Wine

Paired Perfectly: Best Wine with Duck

Wine goes well with a lot of foods, but it can be difficult to pair duck dishes because it’s considered dark meat and is often served with milder dishes. There are numerous methods to cook duck, each emphasizing its own features. These duck recipes go well with a wide range of wines, from aromatic whites to light-bodied reds to rich dessert wines. This article provides a simple wine pairing guide for duck, in which we highlight some of my most successful and best wine with duck pairings.

When it comes to matching wine with duck, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Duck is a breed of domesticated fowl that is dark meat-dominant and heavier than chicken. Duck is more delicate and delicate than red meat, yet it’s heavier than chicken. It may be prepared in a variety of ways, each with its own duck wine match.

Since duck is richer and fattier than chicken, the wine pairing options are free to be more audacious than your regular white wine. A high-acid wine is the finest option to balance the naturally fatty, rich meat of the duck. When selecting a white wine to go with duck, look for a varietal that’s full-bodied but not excessively tannic. Fruitier red wines are generally better with duck.

What Kind of Wine Should I Serve with Duck?

Duck is the ideal of both worlds since it is technically poultry yet has a flavor profile more similar to red meat. Duck is more flavorful than most poultry, but less so than beef, allowing for an optimal balance in the middle achieved with milder red wines and louder whites.

Regardless of which wines you go for, the sauce and sides will have a significant impact on the flavor profile of whatever duck dish you prepare, so make sure they complement each other.

best wine with duck

Best Wines To Pair With Duck

Duck is a wonderful companion for many dishes, yet the best wine to match with it depends on how it’s cooked. The following wines are an excellent place to start when creating a duck wine pairing.

Duck with Sparkling Wine

Duck and Champagne is a fantastic combination since Champagne has a high concentration of acid to help cut through the duck fat. I especially enjoy drinking Champagne with any duck-based appetizers, as you might guess, or even champagne and duck fat fries. Sparkling rosé goes particularly well with duck. If you prefer Prosecco, look for dishes accompanied by richer sauces made with it.

  • Champagne
  • Sparkling Rosé
  • Prosecco

Duck with White Wine

Duck is delicious with white wines, particularly fruit glazes and sauces. The majority of the Asian-style duck dishes, whether sweet or spicy, will benefit from a touch of sweetness in their wine. For people who enjoy drinking white wine with heavier duck dishes, seek fuller-bodied whites that include oak aging or from top producers.

  • Chenin Blanc – The Japanese have a habit of adding matcha to their dishes. It complements fish and chicken very well, but duck is another matter entirely! Oaked Chenin Blanc is particularly wonderful with richer Asian-style preparations of duck. Roasted duck with an oaky Chenin may be served in place of white wine.
  • Chardonnay – The delicate, fruity aroma of the Mousse de Cassis in white Burgundy Chardonnay complements duck confit wonderfully.
  • Zibibbo – With duck a’la orange, Zibibbo’s citrus wine is wonderful.
  • Riesling – With its high acidity and milder tastes, Riesling complements nearly all duck dishes.
  • Gewurztraminer – A little sweetness, such as coconut cream, really adds to the flavor of this duck wine combination. It’s particularly good with Thai orange duck or Bahn Mi.
  • Viognier – The Duck with a Peach Glaze recipe, which features crispy Chinese duck and a peach glaze, is excellent with Viognier since it emphasizes the peach aroma.

Duck with Red Wine

Red wines are typically better complemented with roasted or seared duck. Duck is enhanced by root vegetables like beets, potatoes, or turnips when it is served with them.

The best wine to complement duck is Chateau-Lafite, the world’s most coveted and sought-after red wine.

  • Pinot Noir – A classic wine for duck, particularly with seared duck breast or roasted duck.
  • Gamay – Sweet, juicy, and perfectly ripe. This fine cherry is wonderfully fruity and wonderful with duck in a red fruit glaze.
  • Malbec – Duck breast or grilled duck is perfect with Malbec.
  • Syrah – A roast duck with a pepper sauce or a nicely crisped skin will go well with Syrah.
  • Tempranillo – Duck breast filet goes well with a young Rioja.
  • Merlot – The duck can also be prepared with Merlot, a red wine that is similar to Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Cabernet Franc – Cabernet Franc is excellent with marinated duck and jalapeño poppers, as well as other dishes that include red wine sauce.
  • Barolo – This pairs well with roasted duck served with root vegetables such as beets, mushrooms, or turnips.
best wine with duck

Duck Recipes for Every Season with Wine Pairing

Duck confit

Duck confit is a preparation in which duck legs are cured overnight and cooked in duck fat. This dish needs a wine with excellent acidity. Traditionally, Pinot Noir goes with duck confit, but a white Burgundy is also wonderful. Duck confit also benefits from being served with sparkling wine.

Peking duck

Peking duck is a spicy, sweet, and crispy dish made with duck. It’s one of the most well-known ways to cook duck. Syrah/Shiraz, Zinfandel, Malbec, or any other fruit-oriented red wine should be paired with Peking duck. Try a South African Chenin or a white port as a complement to Peking duck.

Duck a l’Orange

Duck a l’Orange is excellent with Riesling AOC or a Greek Malagousia, and better still, an off-dry Riesling from Austria or Germany. It’s a duck that’s been marinated in fresh oranges and orange liqueur. If you must have a red wine, choose one made from Gamay or Zin.

Smoked duck

Smoked duck is best matched with the following red wines: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz, and Tempranillo. In foods with a smokey flavor, Syrah always complements it. A Malbec smoked duck wine pairing would be fantastic as well.

A pomegranate sauce is served with this ancient Persian duck dish. The bright crimson fruit tastes go great with a Grenache-based Rhone wine, particularly one from California. A California red Zinfandel would also bring out a lot of the sweetness in the fruit sauce.

Duck pancakes

Duck pancakes are made with crispy duck and julienned veggies, and they’re served with a Hoisin dipping sauce. A Syrah wine would be the best wine match for duck pancakes but a Cabernet Franc could also be an interesting choice.

Christmas duck

Christmas duck goes with a wide range of wines. You could pair it with a red wine, such as Pinot Noir or Gamay, or an Alsatian Pinot Gris. A white wine, such as Chardonnay or Chenin Blanc, would also be a good choice. A sparkling wine, like Champagne or Prosecco, would be a great way to start the meal.

Duck Bahn mi

Fresh ingredients like daikon radish, ginger, and cilantro in this duck Bahn mi make it taste wonderful. Chenin Blanc would be a fantastic choice for a crisp white wine. Torrontes or Viognier are both wonderful alternatives.

Duck Red Curry with lychee and pineapple

Gewurztraminer is the ideal wine complement to duck red curry. I mean, if you see lychee in a recipe, grab Gewurz right away. The wine has a little sweetness to it, which is delicious if your curry is on the spicier side. If you want more acid in your wine, try a dry Furmint from Hungary.

Crispy Chinese Duck with peaches

Viognier and other peach-tinged grapes, such as Gewurztraminer and lychee, have a lot in common. Consider Viognier whenever you see a peach glaze. The Northern Rhone’s richer style of Viognier complements crispy Chinese duck beautifully.

Foie Gras and Sauternes

The greatest wine-duck combination of all time is foie gras and Sauternes, we must not forget. Foie gras is a controversial duck liver dish that consists of force-feeding the duck, but it’s delicious… The wine region of Sauternes in Bordeaux makes dessert-style wines from Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc by using grapes affected by botrytis, or noble rot.

This is one of those classic wine pairings you should try at least once in your life. It’s amazing. The combination works because there is balance, with a rich and fatty dish paired with a syrupy wine with racing acidity. It is extremely indulgent and lovely to look at.

A great way to cook Foie Gras is with a well-balanced Cabernet Sauvignon.

Final Thoughts

Duck is a lot more versatile than most people realize. It’s surprisingly simple to prepare and shouldn’t be limited to special occasions. I hope you found this duck wine pairing guide useful. In the end, my advice is to drink whatever wine you like and make the duck recipe to match it. Let me know in the comments below what your favorite wine and duck pairing is.


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