Cassoulet is a classic French dish that originated in the Southwestern region of France. This hearty and flavorful stew is made with white beans, various types of meat such as pork, duck, and sausage, and a rich tomato-based sauce. It makes a perfect dish for cold winter nights or cosy dinners with friends and family.
While the ingredients in cassoulet are the star of the dish, the right wine pairing can elevate the flavours and make for a truly memorable meal. The challenge with pairing wine with cassoulet is finding a wine that can stand up to the bold and robust flavours of the dish.
But don’t worry about that because at The Good Food Network, we’ve done the hard painful work for you and have pulled together a list of wines that will perfectly balance and complement its bold flavours. It’s a tough job but someone has got to do it.
Wines to serve with Cassoulet
We have made some recommendations for red, white and fortified wines, which all can work well when paired with cassoulet.
Red wines to serve with Cassoulet
Red wines are often considered the best pairing for cassoulet. The hearty and rich flavours of the dish can be balanced with the tannins and fruitiness of the wine, and the acidity can also help to cut through the richness of the dish, providing a well-balanced and satisfying pairing.
Below are our favourite red wines to pair with cassoulet:
Pinot Noir is the perfect match for Cassoulet, and we’re not just saying that because it’s a fancy French wine (although that doesn’t hurt). No, the real reason is that Pinot Noir’s delicate flavours and light body won’t overpower the rich and hearty cassoulet. The wine’s notes of red fruit and earthiness complement the flavours of the sausage, beans, and duck in the dish, creating a harmonious balance of flavours that will leave you wanting more. Plus, Pinot Noir’s acidity helps cut through the richness of the dish, refreshing your palate between bites.
Cabernet Sauvignon is like the superhero of wines, and it’s the perfect partner for Cassoulet.
The full-bodied and bold nature of the wine can handle the richness of the dish, while the high tannin content cuts through the fatty meat and beans. Just like a superhero, Cabernet Sauvignon comes to the rescue of the dish, bringing balance and harmony to each bite. It’s like a match made in heaven, with the wine’s dark fruit flavours, notes of oak and tobacco, and a touch of acidity adding layers of complexity and depth to the already flavoursome Cassoulet.
Côtes du Rhône
When it comes to pairing Cassoulet with wine, Côtes du Rhône is a natural match made in heaven. With its blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre grapes, this bold red wine has the perfect combination of fruitiness, spice, and tannins to complement the rich and savoury flavours of the Cassoulet. The robust flavours of the wine can hold their own against the hearty meat and beans, while the acidity helps cut through the dish’s richness.
Shiraz is a bold and spicy red wine that pairs perfectly with the hearty flavours of Cassoulet. This full-bodied wine has rich notes of blackberry, black pepper, and smoky oak, which complement the smoky flavours of the dish superbly. The tannins in Shiraz can also help cut through the richness of the cassoulet, leaving a clean finish on the palate.
White wines to serve with Cassoulet
Although red wines are typically the go-to choice for pairing with cassoulet, we understand that you might not be a red wine lover, so we’ve pulled together a few white wine options that can work well with this rich and hearty dish.
Chardonnay may not be the first wine that comes to mind when thinking of what to pair with Cassoulet, but it’s actually a surprisingly great option. The richness of the dish is balanced out by the acidity in the wine, while the buttery notes in the Chardonnay complement the texture of the beans and meat in the Cassoulet. We recommend choosing a full-bodied Chardonnay with notes of oak and vanilla, as this will complement the earthy flavours in the Cassoulet.
A Rhône Blend is an amazing wine that pairs perfectly with cassoulet. The blend of grapes that makes Rhône Blend usually includes Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre, each bringing its own unique flavour and texture to the mix. The Grenache adds a fruity sweetness, the Syrah brings a spicy kick, and the Mourvèdre contributes a meaty richness. Together, they create a white wine that perfectly complements the savoury, meaty flavours of the Cassoulet.
Fortified wines to serve with Cassoulet
Fortified wines are a great pairing for Cassoulet as they have a high alcohol content and intense flavours that can match the richness of the dish.
Ah, Sherry and Cassoulet – a great couple. This fortified wine comes in various styles, from light and dry to rich and sweet, meaning there’s a Sherry to suit every taste preference. The nutty and caramel flavours in a dry Sherry complement the smokiness of the Cassoulet, while the richness of a sweet Sherry can balance out the saltiness and fattiness of the dish. It can also help cleanse the palate between bites, making each forkful of Cassoulet taste as delicious as the first.
There’s nothing like sipping on a glass of Port while cosying up to a warm bowl of Cassoulet on a chilly evening. It’s the perfect combination of comfort and luxury. The sweetness of the Port balances the hearty and savoury flavours of the dish, while the tannins in the Port help to enhance the flavours of the meats and beans in the cassoulet. Plus, the high alcohol content of the Port will warm you up from the inside out on a chilly night!
Cassoulet is like a warm hug on a cold day – hearty, comforting, and full of flavour. At The Good Food Network, we know that a great Cassoulet deserves an equally great wine pairing. From bold Cabernet Sauvignon to refreshing Chardonnay, we know what works.
Speaking of a great Cassoulet, we have a range prepared by La Belle Chaurienne, based in Castelnaudary, which is in stock and ready to enjoy.
So grab a bottle of your favourite wine and a steaming bowl of our Cassoulet – you won’t be disappointed. And don’t forget to check out our other blog post to learn all the tips and tricks for Serving, Eating, and Storing your Cassoulet like a true French connoisseur.