Posted: 03/12/2018

A nice glass of wine is the perfect complement to a recipe with duck, so here are some of our favourite wines to pair with your duck recipes!

Wine and duck blog

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a classic wine to pair with duck. The acidity in the wine will complement the gamey flavours of duck, and if you spice the duck, it will bring out all the nuanced flavours in Pinot Noir.


Merlot is a popular wine and it pairs well with duck, especially if you’re preparing an Asian style recipe. The rich, sweet flavours work well with the spices in the food, while the acidity provides a cleansing finish.


One of the best types of wine with duck a l'orange or any other fruit-based dish is Gewurztraminer, an aromatic, full-bodied white. The fruit flavours of the sauce will be complemented perfectly by the softer, richly-bouqueted wine with its lychee flavours, floral notes and spicy finish.

We also have recommendations from Adnams Wine Buyer Alastair Marshall on the wines he chooses to pair with some of his favourite duck recipes!

Slow cooked duck legs with herbs and new potatoes

Cover duck legs with mixed herbs, cover with foil and roast in the oven on a low heat for 2 hours. Wait for the legs to cool and then shred the mead and add pine nuts or walnuts, pomegranate seeds, and soy sauce. Serve with a fresh green salad and new potatoes.

The Wines:

2015 Tempranillo, Baja Aragon, Adnams – Tempranillo is usually found in the guise of Rioja but this version is uncluttered by the usual oak treatment and presents the pure black fruit flavours of the grape. Full but not heavy this is a fine match for the rich meat and since it has a lively, youthful, edge the wine has just enough ‘bite’ to balance the dish.

2015 Chemins des Pellerins Rose, Plaimont – This rose from Gascony is crisp and dry with perky red fruit flavours. This was the better match for this dish with the freshness of the wine actually contrasting with the full flavours of the meat in a way that highlighted the best of both.

Slow roasted duck on a bed of duck fat potatoes

Slice white potatoes with a mandolin. Line the bottom of a baking dish with the potatoes to the depth of 1 to 2 cm, sprinkle with salt. Cover the potatoes with foil and pierce the foil with a fork. Place a whole duck on top of the foil. Roast in oven. When cooked remove the duck and let the meat rest. Remove the layer of foil, drain (& preserve) the fat. Put potatoes back in oven on high to brown. The meat and the potatoes were served with beet tops from the garden.

The Wines:

2012 Madiran ‘1907’ Plaimont Gascony – The Tannat grape is robust but also tannic and should stand up to this sea of richness. A good combination of mouth filling black fruit flavours and a dry edge which cleans the palate, encouraging the next mouthful.

2014 Morelino di Scansano, Serpaia, Marema – In this part of Italy the Sangiovese grape is known as Morelino. It has a natural, delicate acidity and along with being aged 8 months in old oak casks this gives the soft but vigourous flavours a necessary duck friendly edge.

Duck Lentil ‘risotto’

Strip leftover meat from the roast duck and make a stock out of the bones. Add Puy lentils to the stock and reduce to a thick consistency. Add the now chopped up bits of left-over duck meat and re heat. Served with courgettes & beans.

The Wine:

2014 Chinon ‘Le Temps des Cerises’ Domaine de la Noblaie
This is probably the best duck wine yet. It has lively red fruit flavours with a pleasing natural fruit acidity which cuts through any richness but does not hide the flavours of either wine or dish.

We hope these wine suggestions help make dining in with duck even more special.

View our delicious duck recipes.