Top pairings |  The best wine pairings for partridge

Top pairings

The best wine pairings for partridge

I sometimes think partridge is my favourite game bird - less full-on and ‘gamey’ than pheasant, more subtle and delicate than chicken. But what to drink with it?

The options are in fact similar to my recommended wine pairings for pheasant but because it’s a more delicate meat think lighter, finer-textured wines - a gran reserva rather than a reserva rioja, for instance. As you’ll see from the suggestions below 2009 and 2010 were good across the board

Whether you go for pretty youthful fruit or a more complex aged wine depends how you cook it (for me simply roasted is best) your personal taste and your bank balance but these would be my preferred options:

If you have a treasured red burgundy partridge is a good excuse for cracking it open. (2009 or ’10 should be drinking deliciously now). Or a top pinot noir (German spåtburgunder, for example). A ‘natural’ low sulphur pinot - or gamay - would be especially interesting.

* A mature red bordeaux which could be even a touch older, say a 2005.

* A top barolo (again the 09s and 10s were good from this region but beware, there's a lot of dull barolo around)

* A gran reserva rioja - 2004, 2005 and 2010 were all good vintages. 2001 even better but it needs to have been stored well.

* A Jura chardonnay (which is less fruity, more savoury than most chardonnays) would be especially good with perdrix au chou (partridge with cabbage)

* Dry oloroso sherry - a spectacular pairing I once had in Jerez (see here) - maybe not for your pals but great as part of a sherry dinner -

* A Flemish red ale like Rodenbach, Duchesse de Bourgogne or the Wild Beer Company’s Modus Operandi would be the perfect beer match

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The best wine pairings for pheasant

The photo is of partridge with cabbage as cooked by Stephen Markwick of the sadly now closed Culinaria in Bristol. © Fiona Beckett

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