As a winemaker it is important for me to source high quality fruit from quality vineyards; I share the same philosophy in my cooking. I am always seeking the freshest ingredients to put into my recipes. So when I recently had the opportunity to experience cleaning, preparing, and eating wild game, I thought, what could be fresher than wild game hunted that morning?
I welcomed the opportunity to watch the birds being plucked and breasted , and the rabbit skinned and cleaned; though I have to admit at times I was a little squeamish. If only for a moment, I felt like our ancestors who hunted and foraged for their food. The experience reminded me just how far removed we have become from our food source. It’s more important than ever to know the source of our food and appreciate the value of knowing the local farmer at your farmers market, or favorite purveyor of meat.
With a little research on the subject of cooking wild duck, this is what I found.
-The best wild duck species for eating is the mallard, northern pintail, green-winged teal and American widgeon.
-You are what you eat…… whatever the duck is feeding on may have an impact on the flavor of their meat.
Now I had to find a great recipe! I found a terrific book, “Duck, Duck, Goose” by Hank Shaw. There are many great recipes in this book; including the one I prepared, “ Duck Breast with Black Currant Sauce”. Black currants are a little musky, very tart, and not overly sweet. A perfect pairing with the Wild Duck and a Red Burgundy or a Pinot Noir, like our Brosseau Vineyard Pinto Noir.
The second part of the wild game feast was wild rabbit. Rabbit tastes a little like chicken,( doesn’t everything)? But it does have a unique flavor all it’s own. Like chicken, it is a very versatile meat. A great preparation is sautéed and simmered, like in a French classic recipe of Rabbit Fricassee. Similar to boeuf bourguignon but with white wine instead of red, pearl onions, bacon and mushrooms, this preparation is rich and delicious. It pairs well with one of our Pinot Noirs, or a favorite Chardonnay.
Be adventurous in your cooking and your wine selections; you just might be surprised.
Winemaker & Owner
Sense of Place Wines