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Pairing Wine With Coq au vin

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Coq Au Vin is a rustic, French dish that originally was prepared by braising a rooster in wine. The rooster was typically an older bird that had outlived its usefulness. Therefore, his destiny was to become the star of the dinner table.

Being an old, tough, bird the cooking time was long, allowing the meat to tenderize and absorb the flavors of the base and accompanying ingredients.

The classic recipes and techniques are still in use today, although generally the rooster has now been replaced with chicken.

Wine Flavors To Pair With Coq Au Vin

Flavor Detail
Sweetness Dry
Acidity Medium to Medium-High
Tannins Low
Body Light to Medium
Notes Minerality / Oak

Best Red Wines to Pair With Coq Au Vin

As a general rule, you can’t go wrong pairing the drinking wine with the same wine a dish was cooked in. Coq Au Vin is no exception. If the meal was prepared with a Pinot Noir, then drinking a Pinot Noir with the dish would be a safe bet.

However, if ordering at a restaurant, you may not know the type of cooking wine used, therefore it is good to have some other options.

Pinot Noir – Burgundy. The light to medium body, higher acidity and medium tannins work well with the bacon, mushrooms, onions and carrots typically in this dish. The minerality of an Old World Pinot would be preferable to the fruit-forwardness typically found in a New World bottling.

Beaujolais. The Gamay grape found in this region is typically a bit more fruity than the Pinot Noir listed above, but the spice and pepper notes typical of these wines complement the herbs in the dish and allow the chicken to be the star.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape. These GSM blends land in the fuller bodied end of the spectrum than the other offerings on this list. But if your Coq Au Vin is a heavier meal with more mushrooms, bacon, and herbs, these features will smooth out the higher tannin content. And the garrigue that CDP is known for will really make the herbs in the dish pop.

St Laurent. This obscure wine may be harder to find, but is worth the effort. It exhibits the finesse of a Burgundy Pinot Noir, combined with the rowdiness of a Rhonê. Think of it as a Burgundy Pinot with tattoos, riding a Harley, with a cigarette tucked behind its ear. 

Best White Wines To Pair With Coq Au Vin

There is a variation of Coq Au Vin called Coq Au Vin Blanc. This is the same dish, but cooked in a white wine as opposed to a red wine. The same guideline applies, if you can match the drinking wine to the cooking wine, you’re safe. If not, however, here are some suggestions. A dry, crisp white would work well with this dish.

Sauvignon Blanc. This wine is noted for its herbaceousness. This characteristic is very complementary to the herbs and vegetables found in the dish. There are a couple of choices here as well.

-Loire Valley, specifically Sancerre. These wines will lean towards more minerality and lower acid that some of its New World counterparts, such as

-Marlborough Region, New Zealand. Wine produced in this region is known for its bold aromatics and intense herbaceous flavors.

Pinot Grigio. The light bodied dryness and slight medium plus acidity commonly found here would make Pinot Grigio a safe choice. Just ensure you are getting a Grigio, and not a Gris. While the same grape, the winemaking styles are different and the Gris is typically richer, fuller and occasionally sweet.

Chardonnay. A final option to round out the selection would be a Chardonnay. With dry sweetness, medium body and moderate acidity, it would pair well and allow the flavors of the meal to be the focal point. An unoaked Chardonnay would be the better choice to experience the crisp and bright flavors of the grape. 

Best Wine To Drink With Coq Au Vin

  • Pinot Noir
  • Beaujolais
  • Châteauneuf-du-Pape
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Pinot Grigio

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