Why duck and pinot noir is one of the world's greatest wine matches

Looks like we’re going to need a bigger bottle… Photo: Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images

Sometimes I question my equilibrium when I’m still celebrating the magnificent Richmond AFL grand final victory when the third Ashes test is already underway. Really, this is Cricket time and its legendary partnerships such as Lindwall & Miller, Lillee & Thomson, Bradman & Ponsford, and Hayden & Langer.

However I find my mind wandering to other partnerships: Rodgers & Hammerstein, Fred & Ginger, Lennon & McCartney, Elton & Bernie, before inevitably, for me, one partnership rises above all others. Duck & pinot noir

Though pinot noir is not the only wine that can be successfully served with duck, in the over-complicated discussion of food and wine “matching”, there is broad agreement that duck and the red grape of Burgundy play beautifully together. The richness of the duck combine with the aromatics and cut of the pinot to deliver a joyous experience.

And while there’s not a lot of great duck cooked at home – or at least not in my circle of family and friends – this affords the opportunity to make the journey to your favourite duck destination, or one of mine, some of which are noted below.

Just remember that when you are given the wine list, ask the sommelier to turn it to the pages featuring quality pinots, because when it comes to great pairings, duck and pinot is a combo that simply cant be beaten, just like Dusty and Cotch. (#gotiges).


2014 Ziereisen “Tschuppen” Blauer Spatburgunder

RRP $48

Source: supplied

Made from spatburgunder (pinot noir) in the Baden region of (south-west) Germany.

I’m told the producer walks to the beat of a different drum. Well whatever time it is they are marching to, this wine clearly has its groove on.

Lively, cool aromas with a light menthol lift. The palate is elegant and shapely with its slinky light bodied profile featuring fresh, sour cherry and cranberry fruit flavours with a light back note of minerality.

The length is good, crisp and with pleasing fine tannins to close. A quality diversion from the vinous roads most commonly travelled.

Enjoy with the duck and foie gras terrine, cornichons & brioche at French Saloon, 46 Hardware Lane Melbourne. (03) 9600 2142

2015 Burton McMahon Syme on Yarra vineyard Pinot Noir

RRP $42

Source: supplied

I like this a lot from Seville in the upper Yarra Valley.

Some lovely complex aromas here with notes of wild berries, cranberries, herbs and a touch of oak.

The mouth action doesn’t disappoint with its generous plush fruit attack on entry, with spicy cherry and plum flavours with some sous bois cut as the base to those fruit highlights.

The flavours are buttressed with the necessary acidity and tannins to finish long and persistent.

Not sure how this evolves from here, however boy right now it’s in a really sweet spot to enjoy with a balance of youth and complexity.

Try with Applewood-smoked duck breast, pineapple sherry and watercress At Etta dining, 60 Lygon st Brunswick East. (03) 9448 8233

2013 Paringa Estate Pinot Noir

RRP $72

Source: supplied

A long-time Mornington pinot noir flag-bearer, this “Estate” wine displays a full bouquet of strawberry confiture and has the lightest touch of cool earth. The palate starts with a real bubble of bright strawberry fruit goodness and segues elegantly into a plush middle of deep red berry fruit characters, which last some time thanks to the acidity, all resulting in a fresh, airy finish.

Reminds me of good, ripe vintage burgundy. Good booze.

Will work a treat with the duck parmentier at Bistro Guillaume, 259 George st Sydney. (02) 8622 9555

2016 Onannon Red Hill Pinot Noir

RRP $70

Source: supplied

“Onannon” – an anagram of the owner/ winemaking triumvirate – is a label that continue to impress and one to follow.

The trio have proven a dab hand across different regions, including this beauty from Red Hill on the Mornington Peninsula.

Just 50 cases produced, this leaps out of the glass on opening with its wild, ripe, dark red and black berry fruits bouquet with provençale herb notes.

The plushly textured palate is similarly complex with plenty of dark berry fruit characters , minerality , a touch of animale and with a generous lick of piquant fruit to close.

Beautifully made and very satisfying. Yes.

On the list at Neil Perry’s Jade Temple 11 Bridge St, Sydney. (02) 9252 1888, a monty to be enjoyed with their roast duck and plum sauce.

* Frank Wilden is a retail food strategist and a “lapsed” restaurateur whose love of wine began nearly four decades ago.

Frank is writing this fortnightly wine column for Business Insider Australia. Get in touch with him via @thefrankreport on Twitter

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.