Wild Game Wine Pairings

Just in time for you to create an unforgettable holiday experience, Rangeland is going to let you in on the big secret for the perfect wild game wine pairings.
The problem is that many Canadians feel like they don’t really know anything about wine. We buy our wines based off of the labels, and we don’t get to try any of them before we get home, so when we inevitably pick a bad one, this only makes the feelings of incompetence worse. We all know the wine lingo: dry, full-bodied, bright, but what does that even mean?
According to the actual, scientific research? Nothing. When wine experts were asked to compare a white wine to the exact same wine but with red food colouring, they didn’t even recognize that the two wines were in fact from the same bottle. And, when the researchers decided to take their tests a step further, the “wine experts” didn’t fair any better. The researchers got two bottles. One: a fancy, old bottle and the other generic, no-name. They took the same wine and served it to the same guests from the different bottles. Again, the “wine experts” failed to recognize that both bottles contained the same wine.
This is great news though. It means that you can just pick and choose the wine that you think tastes good. There are no wine selection faux pas, because no really knows or can tell the difference anyways.
That said, here are a few quick suggestions when choosing a wine to go with your wildgame.
Wild game generally has a pretty strong flavour. Some people feel the best way to deal with this is to pick a bold, strong flavoured wine to go beside it. Unfortunately, this often leaves the dish and the drink competing rather than completing. Instead of heavy, Californian cabernet, try to think of countries whose history of making wine matured simultaneously with a history of eating game. Bordeaux, Burgundy, Portugal, the Rhone, and Spain are all good examples of this sort of culture, so the wines from these areas should line up fairly well with your menu.
Look at your other flavours as well. If you’re grilling elk medallions with savoury herbs, a sweet wine may seem out of place. On the other hand, if you’ve chosen a blueberry guanche, something sweet and fruity may work splendidly. But, at the end of the night, as long as everyone enjoyed the meal and had a good time, it doesn’t really matter what you choose or if the bottle cost you $8 or $50.
Canadians enjoy spending time with one another. We enjoy drinking wine and eating great food. If your wine pairing is important to you, we recommend buying a couple wines and making the dish a week or two in advance. That way you can try your meal and choose the selection you think works best. But try not to fret! Choosing what you think tastes good is the whole point. The enjoyment of you and your guests is all that matters.
We at Rangeland would like to wish all of our readers a happy holidays. Stay safe this December and please drink responsibly. We look forward to your readership in the new year.