Published on March 7th, 2013

What’s the best wine to go with Venison?

The wine tasted this episode and where you can buy –

Insieme Nero d’Avola,  Santa Tresa, Southern Italy and Sicily, 2011, £9.25

Chef and restaurateur Paul Webbe’s cooks up roast loin of wild venison with cassis sauce and poached pear.

The gamey flavours and lean qualities of wild venison love sweetness, but don’t like harsh tannins, so I prefer fruit driven wines with soft tannins, but not so rich that they dominate the dish. I’ve just the wine – Santa Tresa’s Nero d’Avola, from Sicily, available at organic specialists Vintage Roots.

Nero d’Avola is Sicily’s red grape, which can make rich, rustic wines to elegant perfumed wines at cooler higher altitudes. This is on the rustic side and has intense sweet/savoury dark fruits with a hint of fresh black pepper.

It also keeps in with the ‘wild’ theme as it’s both organic and has no Sulphur added. Text books generally say that without Sulphur wines will oxidise or spoil, but this is no oxidized hippy juice, this is fresh, fruity and not adding sulphur is now a commercial reality. At less than £10 I wonder why a lot more wines aren’t made like this. It has to be labelled ‘no sulphur added’ rather than ‘sulphur free’ as there are always small traces that naturally occur during fermentation.

A perfect match! Paul liked the fact that though it was fruity it isn’t an overly rich wine. There was just enough sweetness that tied in with the sweet cassis and pear. As with so many Italian wines there was a lovely freshness that lifted the subtle gamey flavours, and the velvet tannins harmonised with the protein rich venison.

A wild match for you to try at home.

Cheers enjoy your wine with food!

Rebecca’s Recommendations

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