Wine Advocate Weekend Pairings: Duck

After a lengthy and hot summer, we’re welcoming the autumn season with open arms and embracing the cooler weather, crisp leaves and eating heartier and comforting foods like soups, stews, roasts and duck. 

At one-starred Blue Duck Tavern in Washington, D.C.’s Georgetown neighborhood, duck breast is served during the cooler and colder months alongside roasted root vegetables and topped with a jus that’s been fortified with a red wine reduction. Concerned about how to make duck at home? Take a tip from the pros by scoring the breast while chilled, cover and let them sit out until they’re ready for cooking. (Proteins are easier to cook when at room temperature.) 

“Pinot Noir is a classic pairing for duck but once in awhile it's fun to change things up,” says reviewer Erin Brooks. “A Mourvèdre-based wine is a great alternative—medium-bodied with ripe red and black fruits, spices and earthy characteristics. The Château de Pibarnon is one of my favorite reds from Bandol and it will shine with this dish. The sweet fruit of the Mourvèdre will accent the sweetness of the red wine sauce and the root vegetables, while not barreling over the subtle flavors of the duck and the earthy aspects of the dish.” 

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