When pairing wine and French cuisine, the following phrase comes to mind: Repas sans vin, repas chagrin – A meal without wine is a sad meal. Here’s another phrase a bit closer to my heart: Quand le vin est tire, il faut le boire – When wine is poured, it must be drunk. Regardless of which phrase reflects your feelings, it is quite clear that the French have always had an affinity for wine. So, why wouldn’t you pair it with your favorite French dish?
Here are 6 wine with French cuisine pairings that you shouldn’t miss!
Reasons Pairing Wine with French Cuisine is a must:
French food and wine go together like nothing else, it always has. A large part of French culture puts an emphasis on mealtime. And, it is not just ingredients and flavors that are the focus. It’s also strongly about togetherness and spending time with those you love. Drawing out the flavors of both the vino, as well as the dishes, adds a little something special to the table. This makes it no longer just about eating, it’s an entire experience!
Magret de Canard au Poivre Vert with Syrah:
A true French delicacy, Magret de Canard au Poivre Vert, or the less fancy, sauteed duck breast with green pepper sauce is far from lacking in flavor. As such this particular dish needs a wine that can stand up to the intense flavors and hold its own. The dark, full-bodied Syrah, with its notes of dark fruit, and a hint of spiciness, is its perfect match.
Salmon and Spinach Crepes with Muscadet:
If you need a few descriptors for this dish, succulent without being too heavy about sums it up. Its deliciousness is only complimented when paired with a white wine blend like our 2019 Staycation Reserve. Both crisp and refreshing, there is no chance of it overpowering the flavors of the meal, With 59% Grenache Blanc, 24% Albarino, and a dash of Viognier, it’s incredibly light with low acidity. The notes of honeysuckle, pears, and tart apples that are present in this vino, only serve to enhance the taste. When pairing wine and French cuisine, this is a match made in heaven!
Coq au Vin with Red Burgundy:
The chicken is braised in wine (approved by me – wine makes everything better!), mushrooms, lardons, and sometimes garlic. The dish itself is quite complex in its flavors, much like the Red Burgandy it should be paired with. The medium-bodied wine has notes of cherry and is made with Pinot Noir grapes. This helps to accentuate the rich earthy, saucy, and tangy meal.
Flounder Meuniere with Sancerre:
Sancerre, a dry white wine commonly compared with Sauvignon Blanc, has the ideal texture. Additionally, it is refreshing with vibrant acidity. It goes quite well with the rich and creamy Meuniere sauce. It brings with it notes of citrus and green fruit, providing a flawless contrast to the savouriness of this classic French fish dish.
Creamy Chicken and Mushroom with Tempranillo:
Braised in white wine then pan-fried to perfection, this is a creamy chicken and mushroom dish. With the fancy name Poulet a la Forestiere – it is then drenched in a rich and flavorful mushroom sauce. Pairing with a light red wine such as Tempranillo, won’t compete with the dish. In fact, its eclectic aromas of mushroom, violet, banana, and a bit of smokiness can perfectly balance it out.
Baked Oysters Mornay with Chablis:
Fresh oysters smothered with a rich white sauce as well as butter, cheese, and finely chopped greens. Although considered more of an appetizer, these taste so amazing, that they have more than earned their spot on the list. The tasty blend is especially nice when paired with a glass of Chablis.
While we might not be breaking any molds or even thinking outside the box, French cuisine practically begs to be paired with a glass of wine. French food is focused on flavors, taste, and aroma, not unlike its should-be partner. Yes, the old-timey rules were created for a reason. But they serve more as a guide, especially for wine newbies. They mostly tout that red wine needs to be paired with red meat, and white wine for seafood and poultry. These are fine if you want to play it safe but trust me when I say, rules are made to be broken. Cheers!