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Wine with coq-au-vin


Question from Heath: On the menu tonight is coq-au-vin which I am making with Cabernet Sauvignon. So is that what we should drink?

In a nut shell: I’d actually make it with Pinot Noir because that’s the perfect accompanying wine. Cook with a good Pinot and drink the rest!

In a clam shell: The rule with coq-au-vin (which is a French dish of chicken braised in wine, lardons and mushrooms if you were wondering) is to cook with the best wine you can afford (but remember you’re cooking with it so don’t go too crazy) and then drink the rest or a slightly better version.

The traditional wine used with coq-au-vin is Burgundy which is Pinot Noir that comes from the Burgundy region in France. But here is Australia Burgundy is expensive so if you don’t want to throw your pay check in a stew I’d go with a Pinot Noir (preferably from New Zealand or the Mornington Peninsula).

With that said, if you’ve already purchased a bottle of Cab Sauv for the coq-au-vin, it’s not going to ruin the dish if you cook with it. Bugger it, just use it! However the reason I wouldn’t is because Cab Sauv is too heavy an accompaniment with chicken (even if it is doused in red wine).

Before I disappear for this week, if you’d like to cook with a French wine that’s not going to cost you an arm and a leg, like a Burgundy will, I’d go with a Beaujolais (to cook with and drink). Beaujolais is made from the Gamay grape and comes from southern Burgundy. It is much cheaper than Burgundy but just as good to pop in your coq-au-vin.

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