The Best Wine Pairings to Complement Michigan’s Wild Game

Wine Pairing

With spring in sight, hunters across the state are gearing up for weeklong ventures into the forest, days spent in deer blinds, and hours drifting on placid lakes. Hunting season brings with it some of Michigan’s most prized delicacies: venison, duck, and wild fish. But, if you intend to create wine pairings with these items, what should you plan for? What wines go best with rich, gamey venison? What pairs well with bluegill? In today’s post, we’re going to take a look at three of Michigan’s most commonly hunted – and fished – meats and discuss how you can accentuate their flavors with a great wine.


Easily the most iconic game meat, venison has an earthy, gamey taste that requires a flavorful wine capable of standing up to its extreme richness. In most cases, a strong red wine will be the best option, as these wines can compete with the venison’s gaminess, hold their own, and enhance the flavors of the meat itself.


Slightly gamey, duck is a succulent, fatty dish whose high fat content requires consideration during the wine pairing process. Depending on how it is being cooked, a range of red wines will typically do the job. If roasting the duck, a subtle, red burgundy wine will pair well. Or, if you’re planning a more elaborate cooking method, a number of fruity, deep Pinot Noir wines will work wonderfully.


Bluegill, one of Michigan’s most abundant fish, are a favorite around the campfire and around the table. Because of their delicate flavor, a white wine – specifically a white port wine – will help to accentuate the subtleness of bluegill filets without overpowering their natural flavors.

At Vintage Wine Company, we are proud to offer the area’s largest selection of fine wines. If you’ve been looking to create memorable, delicious wine pairings, contact us today to discuss how we can help.

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