Top pairings | The best wine pairings with venison

Top pairings

The best wine pairings with venison

An easy answer to the question of what wine to pair with venison is the same sort of wine you’d drink with beef but I’d suggest a few modifications as the two are not quite the same.

For a start venison is quite a bit leaner than most beef cuts with a finer texture which tends to favour more elegant wines such as red burgundy, barolo or mature Bordeaux - certainly when it’s served as a roast or a fillet (see this sensational match ) Pinot noir is also particularly good with a venison tartare.

It is also a slightly gamier meat than beef which could lead you towards high end Rhône reds such as Côte Rôtie, Hermitage or Saint Joseph or a Bandol if it’s made into a casserole or stew. I’ve also had venison successfully paired with malbec.

And it tends to be combined with strong flavours like juniper or wild mushrooms which again might lead you in a pinot direction or, as I suggest with this recipe for spiced venison with wild mushroom and truffle sauce with a more vibrant Western Australian cabernet merlot blend (or a younger, fruitier Bordeaux).

With a rich foie gras accompaniment it might even go with a shiraz as I discovered to my surprise at a Wine Australia tasting a couple of years ago.

A more off-the-wall pairing, if you’re feeling adventurous, would be a German spätlese riesling which I greatly enjoyed with a dish of rare venison at a restaurant called Zum Krug. (But most people I suspect would prefer a spätburgunder if they were thinking German wine.)

Image by Natalia Lisovskaya at

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