Top pairings | The best wines to pair with haggis

Top pairings

The best wines to pair with haggis

I’ve argued before that whisky and beer are the best pairings for haggis but what if you prefer a wine? What colour and style work best?

Haggis is quite a funky-tasting meat - a bit like a savoury, spicy sausage - so I think red wine is a better match than white. I’ve found big jammy reds such as Australian shiraz work well (there is appropriately enough one called Bobbie Burns shiraz (available for about £18-19 from independents including Alexander Hadleigh and Field & Fawcett.

Northern Rhône syrah and grenache/syrah/mourvèdre (GSM) blends from the southern Rhône, the Languedoc and Australia are also good matches, especially if they have a year or two’s bottle age.

Robust ‘natural’ reds (i.e. wines made with wild yeasts and low levels of - if any - sulphur) are also a good choice though again I’d go for syrah rather than lighter gamay or pinot noir. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t drink an orange wine (a white wine made like a red by leaving the juice in contact with the skins) either. It would match the colour of the neeps (swede) after all ;-)

Traditionalists, as I've discovered from past Burns’ night dinner's go for claret - but then they tend to like Bordeaux with anything and everything meaty. I’d pick a more full-bodied Saint-Emilion rather than a more elegant left bank claret. I personally think rioja or, even better, Ribera del Duero is a better match.

Pure carignan, which has become increasingly popular is a good partner for haggis too. I like the old vine carignans which are made by a number of producers in the Maule region of Chile under the VIGNO label

And finally I’d be more than happy to drink a Zinfandel - again, especially one made from old vines.

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Comments: 3 (Add)

Tim Haslam on January 24 2022 at 15:27

Fond memories of showing Campbells Bobbie Burns at this time of year back in the Oddbins days & shortly after. Wasn't sure it was still available in the UK.

Fiona Beckett on January 26 2017 at 07:36

Yes, although I recommend wines for those who want to drink them I personally don't think you can beat whisky with haggis!

Steve on January 25 2017 at 22:59

We drank Glenmorangie with ours tonight and for the first time I really "got" whisky with food - tasted really sweet and delicate, a wonderful combination with buttery mash and swede and a strong flavoured haggis

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