Wedding menu: which wine to serve with meat?

Between a fusion agreement where we are looking for the same style of aromatics, or an opposition agreement between a powerful dish and a very fresh wine, the expert gives us all his advice for a perfect tasting.

Wedding menu: which wine to serve with fish?

Wine and meat pairings

SHE at the table. – What wine to serve with duck breast or confit?

Alexandre Pons. For confit, you can go for something powerful and deep, with an opposing accord by looking for a red wine with a bit of fruit. This crunchy side as they say. For what ? Because we always imagine the moment when we bite the grape. We bite into the strawberry, it still retains a nice acidity, a freshness despite the tannic side. We have wines that are characterized like this. Pinot Noirs from the Côte Châlonnaise in Burgundy, Gamay from Beaujolais for example, and red wines from the Loire Valley as well. There are also sauvignons from the Loire Valley which are little known, very good and advantageous in terms of budget compared to Burgundy, always with this juicy side.

With the pink cooking of a duck breast, we can play the fusion accord where we will seek a powerful accord, a bit like the duck. Or pay homage to regionality by focusing on pretty wines from the South-West, on the Cahors side or even Madiran with quite powerful, deep, fleshy wines as they say. All from a young vintage to keep the fruit, but with a little evolution also which will have allowed the tannic side, generally very present, to take on a patina, as they say, to lighten up a little. Tannat or even Cabernet Franc can be very good compromises with duck, to once again play up the region's pairing.

EAT. – What wine to serve with beef?

AP – Beef is not necessarily the most powerful meat, generally quite delicate, depending on the cut used. In terms of delicacy, I like to turn to the wines of the Burgundian region quite simply with Pinot Noirs, but a little finer than the southern part, more on the Côte de Nuit part, where we look for appellations that I like to call it “feminine”. Why feminine? Because we have this delicate, elegant, fine side, always with a portion of fruit, but it will remain very subtle, with the Chambolle-Musigny or even Morey-Saint-Denis appellation. You can go a little further down to Côte de Beaune, with a Volnay for example. Lots of elegance, delicacy, we will keep a part of acidity, of freshness which will be interesting, but we will need a very delicate pinot noir to go with delicate beef. Let's just imagine a filet for example, just seared, it will be really very interesting to match.

It's fat with sugar, sugar with fat and obviously you're no longer hungry after 5 minutes.

EAT. – What wine to serve with foie gras in a terrine or pan-fried foie gras?

AP – We are trying to break the codes with foie gras because our parents, grandparents and ancestors were used to serving sweet wine with foie gras. But what often happens? We taste the foie gras at the start of the meal with the sweet wine and then you finish the starter, you are no longer hungry. It's fat with sugar, sugar with fat and obviously you're no longer hungry after 5 minutes. What is interesting is to still keep a part of the aromatic because this sweetness brings this jammy side that we like, which serves as a condiment with the foie gras. But we are going to seek the best of all worlds, with a wine with an aromatic ball which will recall the jammy side of a condiment, but at the same time acidity to contrast with the fatty side of foie gras. I come back to two very interesting grape varieties on this: Viognier in the Rhône valley with its violet, apricot and exotic fruit side, therefore quite aromatic but at the same time which retains beautiful acidity. Or a grape variety that I really like in the Loire Valley called Chenin, considered the best grape variety in the world by the locals with a lot of chauvinism, but which is interesting for its plurality of styles. The interesting thing about Chenin is that you can make dry, off-dry and sweet wines. A semi-dry is very interesting with its slight hint of sweetness to bring that always condimentary side to the foie gras and at the same time there is a nice acidity which contrasts with the foie gras whether it is in a terrine or pan-fried.

EAT. – What wine to serve with pork?

AP – This will once again depend a lot on the cooking and the piece. Indeed, for a pork chop, white meat that can be served pink, it is interesting to focus on this style of cooking on the delicacy of a wine. Turn to a Bordeaux cabernet-sauvignon for example, to find a wine that is a little robust but with delicacy.
For candied or lacquered pork, we will look for more aromatic power with wines from the South-West or Languedoc. Why not wines from Provence with pretty Mourvèdre from Provence from the Bandol appellation which have this sunny side? You should take them with a little patina, from age because the Bandol on youth tend to be too robust. With five to six years in the bottle, it could be interesting with pork.

EAT. – What wine to serve with veal?

AP – With veal, a very delicate meat, we get closer to the style of wine that we could serve with beef with wines on delicacy. Once again some pretty Pinot Bourguignons will be very interesting. I like to offer a good compromise between power and delicacy with Syrah from the Rhône valley. An appellation that is really close to my heart is the Côte-Rôtie appellation. For what ? Because you will be working with fairly feminine Syrahs, you will have powerful, spicy wines – the pepper which characterizes Syrah – but at the same time this juicy and fruity side which brings a lot of balance and will be interesting on the delicacy of the calf. At a lower cost, we can also look at the red appellations this time, Saint-Joseph and Crozes-Ermitage, still under the Syrah, which will be interesting.

Hotel du Palais, Biarritz
1, avenue de l’Impératrice
64200 Biarritz

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