Rich Cassoulet - wine pairing?

I am definitely in the camp of being really quite sensitive about pairing food in most cases, but admit there are some foods that do not matter all that much. But in the case of a Cassoulet that has salted pork, Pancetta, garlic sausage, duck confit, duck fat that I’m cooking now, and is tasting smoky and rich, I can see how some wine would not work at all.

I read that some pair with a big tough Cahors. But some say its not a good match with the richness and a lighter higher acid red is better. I don’t have any older mellow Cahors, and I can see not liking a big robust wine for this dish. A lighter body high acid wine sounds good. One that is a current release, ready to drink young wine, would be good. Maybe with a decant, or not, depending on the wine.

Options I can think of that I like:
Etna Rossa
A newer release S Rhone that is more AFWE and in a ready to drink now style.
A VdP N Rhone syrah
A California GSM Rhone Ranger, Domaine de la Terre Rouge, that I have access to.

Others that come to mind, but I don’t really drink because I don’t like them:
Dolcetto - too much acid for my liking
Bojo - not a a fan of Gamay unfortunately

And there are others that come to mind like a Loire Chinon CF but selection is limited and the ones available are too young to enjoy now.

I think it’s a pretty adaptable dish in terms of wines and your list is good. I would go for a fairly hearty wine. The Etna might be a tad light in body. Madiran comes to mind, too, since that’s cassoulet country.

Not that we have cassoulet all that often, but we sometimes have Northern Rhones with them. Do you have any Cote Roties on hand? That bacony / smoky smell some of them have can go well with a cassoulet.

I’m jealous of your dinner

I do have a few CR around. 05 Jamet, various 07 and 09. But I want to leave them alone. Maybe a VdP N Rhone Syrah off the shelf would be a good bet.

Ill take a pass on the Etna. I do find I struggle finding food that works well with Etna reds. I probably enjoy them (Terre Neres) most without food to be honest, which is weird I know. Not just enjoy, but love them.

Provençal stuff like Bandol, Collioure. Rasteau as a village CDR as there tends to be a high % of Mourvedre. Agree with Cahors & Madiran. Irouleguy is another good one.

You might add an older CdP on your list of options as well. I went with a bottle of 2001 Pegau a couple of weeks ago and thought it paired very well. It was big enough that it wasn’t overwhelmed by the cassoulet, while still possessing enough acidity and tannins to balance the intense flavors of the dish.

Gewurtzraminer Pinot Gris

I can’t see how Italian wines would be in the the running with cassoulet, even if you used pancetta instead of French lard.

Reds from Southwest France, Northern or Southern Rhone, Cahors, as well as reds from Bandol, would be the most apt choices imho.

Rich Cassoulet

Has such a wonderful ring to it.

Classy pr0n star. Or game show host.

Wish my name were Rich Cassoulet.

I find they work well with things that have some tomato but aren’t dominated by tomato – say a pizza with some mushrooms. Also with eggplant dishes. Things that aren’t too intensely flavored since the wines are lighter in body. Also things that have a little acid, since the wines do, too.

I picked up a 2013 Yves Cuilleron IGP COLLINES RHODANIENNES SYRAH “LES VIGNES D’À CÔTÉ”. Still undecided, but if nothing else comes to mind, this will work.

Just not ready to drink anything out of my cellar that has age on it as they need more time. I only started collecting for a few years.

I like the suggestion of an older CDP. That’s often our favorite pairing.

You’re counting Collioure as Provence?? Wrong end of the coast.

In general stick with a wine from where the dish comes from. Cahors, Madiran, Corbières, Cabardès, Minervois, Fronton or a Gaillac…

Sorry for the punctuation confusion. Provençal wine like Bandol. Coilloure. Etc. Does that clear it up for you?

Perhaps if you have a bottle with many multiples of, you can get a sneak peak at how they are developing. And although there may points where its perfectly optimal to enjoy a bottle of wine, its hard to know that in advance, and for many wines, they are enjoyable along the way, just in different ways.

I too think the name Rich Cassoulet sounds awesome.

I have lots of multiples but a shut down wine is not an enjoyable thing to me. I cracked open the Cuilleron Syrah and it is just as I hoped. Ready to drink now, which is one of my first criteria. Light bodied with good acid for food. Two solid check marks.

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What Domaine de la Terre Rouge do you have? That might work quite well, depending on the specifics. I love Bill’s (Bill Easton, the winemaker of DdlTR) wines and think they go well with food.

I like high-end Cotes du Rhone with my cassoulet. My go-to wine is Rayas’ Fonsalette bottling. It’s a bit sauvage and polished at the same time – if that makes any sense.

If I’m going to all the expense and labor of making a proper cassoulet with the best ingredients (a once-every-two-year endeavor), I don’t mind paying a bit more. To my taste, the Grenache provides the lift and acidity to cut through all the richness of the dish.

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I would pair with a bolder vintage of Chateau Musar…like the '93, '99, or '02. While not listed here as an option I think that when looking at pairing wines it’s important to look at and consider all options that are out there and available. Given that folks talked about picking off the shelf…I think the '02 Musar is available in most markets.

I love Musar for pairing…both the white and red are versatile and can pair with MANY dishes.