What the Duck? These Wines Pair Really Well With All Types of Duck Dishes!

From Confit to Cassoulet: Five Wines to Pair with Your Duck Dinner.

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Best Duck & Wine Pairings 2024

Hey there fancy-pants, you ready to duck it for dinner?  If you’re stumped on what type of wine to pair it with there are actually a bunch of really nice options.

If you’re a duck lover, you know it’s a flavorful and versatile meat that can be prepared in a variety of ways, from roasted and grilled to confit and cassoulet. With its rich, gamey flavor and tender texture, duck is a favorite among meat lovers around the world and, yes, even here in the US.

But what wine should you pair with your favorite duck dish? The key to a successful wine pairing is to consider the duck’s preparation, as well as its accompanying sauces and sides.

Below, together we’ll explore five different wines, both red and white, that can complement a range of duck dishes. From Pinot Noir to Riesling, I’ll cover the best wine pairings for different types of duck preparations, as well as the regions where each wine is best produced. So whether you’re planning a dinner party or simply looking to elevate your weeknight meal, it’s time to give a duck on the wine you’re drinking with it.  Ok, I’ll stop the puns now.

Wines That Go With Your Duck Dish


I’ll go into way more detail below, but if you’re not a reader and more of a scanner (like me) here’s a high-level overview of some wine pairing ideas when it comes to different types of duck preparations.

  • Roasted duck with fruit-based sauces: Pinot Noir or Riesling
  • Grilled duck with fruit-based sauces: Pinot Noir
  • Cassoulet or confit: Syrah/Shiraz
  • Cream-based sauces or citrus glazes: Chardonnay
  • Sweet or spicy duck dishes: Riesling
  • Light duck dishes such as salads or sandwiches: Rosé

Roasted or Grilled Duck + Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a great pick for a red wine that can pair well with many different types of duck, especially roasted or grilled duck with fruit-based sauces.

Pinot Noir’s light to medium body and fruity notes of cherry, raspberry, and earthy flavors can enhance the natural sweetness of the duck without overpowering it.

The best regions for Pinot Noir to check out include Burgundy, France, and the Russian River Valley in California.

Duck Cassoulet or Confit + Syrah/Shiraz

Syrah or Shiraz is a bold and spicy red wine that pairs well with rich, hearty duck dishes like a cassoulet or confit.

The wine’s intense black fruit flavors, smoky notes, and spicy finish can complement the savory and gamey flavors of the duck.

The best regions for Syrah/Shiraz include Rhone Valley, France, and Barossa Valley, Australia.

Cream or Citrus-Based Duck + Chardonnay

Chardonnay is a popular white wine that can pair well with duck recipes that include cream-based sauces or citrus glazes.

Chardonnay’s buttery texture and notes of apple, pear, and vanilla can balance the richness of the duck while complementing the acidity of the sauce or glaze.

The best regions for Chardonnay include Burgundy, France, and Sonoma, California.

Asian-Based Duck Dishes + Riesling

Riesling is a versatile white wine that can pair well with duck dishes that have a sweet or spicy element, like duck with fruit-based sauces or Asian-inspired spices.

Riesling’s crisp acidity, floral notes, and flavors of green apple and peach can complement the sweetness of the duck while cutting through the spice.

The best regions for Riesling include the Mosel region in Germany and Alsace, France.

Duck Breast / Duck Sandwich + Rosé

You know I had to toss in a rosé pairing!

Rosé is a refreshing and versatile wine that can pair well with duck dishes that have a lighter preparation, like basic duck breast salads or sandwiches.

Rosé’s light body, crisp acidity, and fruity notes of strawberry, watermelon, and citrus can complement the lightness of the dish while adding a touch of sweetness.

The best regions for Rosé include Provence, France, and Napa Valley, California.

In Conclusion

While not for everyone, duck really is quite the versatile meat that can be paired with a variety of wines, depending how it’s being prepared and what kind of sauces/ingredients are being used.

Pinot Noir, Syrah/Shiraz, Chardonnay, Riesling, and Rosé are all excellent wine options to consider when pairing with duck.

Like I always say, don’t forget to have fun with your pairing!  By experimenting with different wine and duck pairings, you can discover new flavor combinations that you may have never tried before and can really bring your meal to the next level.