Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Food Photography & Pairing with Coq au Vin

The number one item in today's Foodbuzz Top 9 is a stunning photo taken at just the right moment of Coq au Vin cooking with a flambé clearly underway. The photo was posted by Laura Laurentiu at the My Home Kitchenette blog. Awesome!

Check it out at

I have been amazed at some of the photos I have seen in the last few weeks and definitely am challenging myself to get better with my own camera while I am in the kitchen. On to the food and wine.

In May 1995 Julia Child appeared on Good Morning America and cooked Coq au Vin. The background and of course the recipe for the dish can be found at Similar to Beef Bourgogne (see my post on it at the dish is meat, in this case chicken, onions and mushrooms braised in red wine. The key is the ragout of salt pork that sets up flavors for the finished product.

The recipe provides three possible wines for the braising, Zinfandel, Macon or Chianti. Macon caught my eye based on a recent tasting of a white from the same area. Macon is an area within the Burgundy region in France. Historically it had been known for its red wine, but is known much for the white wines made from Chardonnay produced there today. Red wine is still produced from the Pinot Noir and Gamay grapes and is typically dry, light, fruity and is considered an everyday drinking wine. Hailing from Burgundy and being an everyday style of wine I can understand the recommendation to use it in the dish. I did a couple of quick searches and couldn't turn up any that I could buy and I suspect since it is not a wine superstar it might not make it to the states.

Using this wine as a guide however, you could substitute a young Pinot Noir from Burgundy or even a Beaujolais (Nouveau from the current year if it is around November, or Beaujolais-Villages at other times) which might offer some of the same light, fruity and subtle flavors intended here.

For pairing I would suggest staying in the same realm of how the dish is made. Chianti, also recommended for cooking, has in my experience been a light and fruity wine that would do well here. The last Chianti I recall having (I believe something unremarkable was more recent) was from DaVinci and I do remember it being light in both nose and flavors, but smooth and an easy drinker. The Vinthropolgie blog has a nice write-up on Chianti at




lauralaurentiu said...

Thank you so much for your appreciation! My coq au vin recipe is here: - in romanian language, but with step-by-step photos.


Thanks for all the great info! When I'm cooing with wine, I just usually by and extra bottle of what I'm using in the recipe--and that's what we drink. Is that wrong?