Matching wine with classic French red meat dishes with Pays D'Oc IGP

29 October, 2015

Want to match wines to your favourite dishes? Take some advice from Jane Parkinson and Eric Chavot on why wines from Pays d’Oc IGP are a match made in heaven with pretty much everything.

The stats are in: 87% of Brits are clueless when deciding what wine to drink with more unusual dishes and ingredients.

But people are cooking more dishes from around the globe than ever before. 

Around 39% have cooked Korean, Middle Eastern, Spanish, Greek or North African food for friends in the past three months.

However, when it comes to matching wines with these styles of food, it seems that we are far from savvy. In fact, most regard their failsafe white as pinot grigio, and merlot as their pick for a red. But is playing it safe dulling your efforts in the kitchen?

Just because you are branching out with your ingredients, it doesn’t mean to have to go out of your comfort zone with your wine choices - you just need to know the flavour profiles you are looking to complement.

Wine writer Jane Parkinson and renowned Michelin-starred chef Eric Chavot have teamed up with Pays d’Oc IGP wines, from the south of France, to prove its offerings can easily be matched with a wide variety of modern dishes. The Pays d’Oc IGP winemakers label their wines with IGP which stands for Protected Geographical Indication, which guarantees quality, traceability and geographical origin. 


Pays d’Oc IGP wines come from an area that winds along the Mediterranean Sea, split into four different regions: Pyrénées-Orientales, Aude, Hérault and the Gard.

The area, based in Languedoc-Roussillon in the South of France, boasts 200km of beaches and vast expanses of vineyards bathed by the sun. It is a rich and natural combination of steep slopes, hilly peaks, vineyards, scrubland vegetation and Mediterranean beaches. With a natural soil diversity, exceptional climate conditions and 56 authorised grape varietals to choose from, the winemakers can create a range of unique aromas. 

This region offers everything you’ll ever need; red, white or rosé, light or complex.

The ‘Pays d’Oc IGP effect’ is recognisable the moment the wine is tasted. Grape varieties express themselves differently depending on the climate, exposure, relief and soils. The mosaic of wine-producing areas that make up the Pays d’Oc territory explains the unique expression of its grape varieties.

So, what do you drink if you’re cooking classic French red meat dishes?

‘These dishes are hearty, warming and flavourful, so you can afford to drink something rich; for red wine, think black fruits and tannins,’ says Jane. ‘A creamy Chardonnay would work well with the veal blanquette, though.’

Veal blanquette with quinoa pilaff

Veal wine food recipe

Serves 4

800g veal belly or shank, diced

For the broth

150g carrots, sliced
150g onions, thinly sliced
150g leeks, thickly sliced
150g celery, thickly sliced
1 bay leaf
3 lemon thyme sprigs
3 white peppercorns, crushed
4 cloves
1 large bunch of parsley stalks (tie the parsley stalks together with a string, which makes them easier to remove at the end)
Fine sea salt to taste


For the sauce
20g flour
20g butter
120g double cream
150g small button mushroom (halved)
1/2 lemon juice and zest
A pinch of flat parsley
A pinch of celery leaves (optional)

For the quinoa pilaff

250g white quinoa

50g red quinoa
100g white onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, inner stem removed

2 sprigs of lemon thyme

2 bay leaves

10 cloves

1 small cinnamon stick

1tsp coriander seeds
½tsp cumin seeds
½tsp garlic powder
375g water
1 tsp Knorr chicken bouillon
½tsp fine sea salt
Ground white pepper
Fine sea salt
50g butter
50g olive oil

Rinse the veal under cold water for five minutes, then drain and place in a large pan. Cover with cold water, add a couple of good pinches of fine sea salt and bring to a gentle simmer. When gently simmering, skim the surface to remove any impurities. Add all of the ingredients for the broth. Mix well, then bring back to a gentle simmer and cook for 40-50 minutes, until the veal is tender throughout. When done remove from the heat and leave to cool in the broth. If making the day before (the method I prefer), keep in the fridge until the next day. If not, remove the meat and garnish from the broth and cover with clingfilm or a damp cloth, then strain the cooking liquid in a sieve and reduce to 500ml.

Next, soak both quinoas in cold water, then sweat the onions, garlic and thyme gently in the foaming butter and olive oil, in a stainless steel saucepan, with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Then done, add all the remaining ingredients (apart from the quinoas) heating gently to release their aromas. Add the drained white quinoa and season, mixing thoroughly. Cover with the simmering hot water season with the bouillon and salt, cover with a cartouche (baking paper cut into a circle that snuggly fits on top of the ingredients in the saucepan) and a lid, then cook in your preheated oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas mark 7, for about 20 minutes.

While the white quinoa is cooking, cook the red one in salted boiling water for about 20 minutes and drain when done. Remove the white quinoa from the oven and leave to stand for a couple of minutes. Before serving, remove the bay leaves, sprigs of thyme and cinnamon stick.

While the quinoa is cooking, make the sauce. Start with a roux by melting the butter in a stainless or glazed cast iron pan (not aluminium or copper as it will be disastrous for the veloute). When foaming, add the flour and cook gently for a couple of minutes, but don’t allow to colour. Start to add the broth in a continuous stream while whisking all the time to obtain a smooth sauce. Bring to a gentle simmer; add the mushrooms and the cream. Cook gently for 15-20 minutes. Check the seasoning and add the meat and garnish. Simmer until hot, then balance with the lemon juice, folding the zest in. Top with parsley and celery leaves, if you have them, before serving with the quinoa.


What to drink?

Château du Prieure des Mourgues, Domaine des Aspes, Chardonnay, 2013, £11.99, Old Butcher’s Wine Cellar, or Sarl Domaines Paul Mas, Grenache Syrah, 2014, 13.5%, £8.99, Waitrose.

What Jane says

This Chardonnay is crammed with nutty, waxy richness and a hint of olive oil too; full of tropical fruit and with a creamy finish. If you’d prefer a red, generous ripe cherry and black fruits with a little bit of creaminess. The gentle tannins and the kirsch flavour make it easy-drinking.

Daube de boeuf provençal

Meat wine pairing French cooking

Serves 4

1.2 kg beef feather blade or beef cheeks, trimmed
6 smoked bacon rashers
250g tinned tomatoes
2 onions, diced
300g carrots, sliced
1 celery stick, sliced
1 sprig rosemary
4 sprigs lemon thyme
10 black peppercorns
4 cloves
½ cinnamon stick
Orange and lemon peels from ½ an orange and a lemon
750ml red wine
375ml white wine
500ml veal stock (use good quality beef stock cubes if you can't find veal stock)
Fine sea salt to taste
1 tbsp vegetable oil

Gently season the beef and colour in a heated frying pan until golden all around. Remove the meat and set aside. Quickly colour the bacon rashers, then set aside with the beef. Using the same pan, gently colour your vegetables until golden brown, soft and sweet.


Add the tinned tomatoes and cook gently for a couple of minutes. Remove the mixture from the pan and drain in a small colander, then deglaze the pan with the wine, bring to a gentle simmer and reduce by half.

Place the beef in an ovenproof casserole dish; add your bacon, vegetables, wine, veal stock spices and herbs. Bring to a gentle simmer, cover with a paper cartouche (baking paper cut into a circle that snuggly fits on top of the ingredients in the saucepan) and a lid and place in your preheated oven at 210C/430F/Gas 6½. Cook gently for up to 3 to 3 ½ hours. When done the meat should feel soft to the touch and have no resistance when your prick it gently with a fork.

When ready, remove from the oven, and leave to stand until tepid. Remove the meat gently from the casserole into a deep dish, and cover with clingfilm.

Strain the sauce through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan and reduce to a nice shiny sauce consistency. Add the meat when done.

Serve with a creamy mash potato and a garnish of glazed button onions; glazed baby carrots, nicoise olives, semi-dried tomato and char grilled baby artichokes.


What to drink?

Pierrick Harang, Cuvée Balthazar, Syrah, 2013, 13.1%, £11.49, Waitrose, or Sarl Domaines Paul Mas, Vinus Malbec, 2014, 13.5%, £7.99, Morrisons.

What Jane says

Bursting with intense black fruits, this is a bold, rich and serious Syrah with a lovely dry spice flavour to lift the richness of the tannin. However, I’d also recommend this malbec for beginners, alive with black fruit and black pepper with a gentle grip to the tannin.


About Eric Chavot

“The best chef in London without a doubt” is how Marco Pierre-White described Eric, whilst A A Gill wrote “This is as good as you can eat in London....This was three-stars-and-bars cooking; a faultlessly assured, elegant, thoughtful, poignant, intelligent, top-of-the-range, exceedingly-rare handmade dinner”. Eric opened up “Brasserie Chavot” in Mayfair in March 2013, which finally put an end to the incessant queries about “when is Chavot back?” ! He returned to the UK in 2012, after two years of cooking for Selfridges’ owner, Galen Weston, in Florida, and is living his dream of having his own “Brasserie de luxe” style restaurant, where he continues to provide honest and uncomplicated food  - the “flavours of Chavot”-  with  his usual high Michelin standard execution.


About Jane Parkinson

Jane Parkinson is an award-winning journalist, author and broadcaster. Winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition Communicator of the Year award in 2014, she is a wine expert on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen Live, author of Wine & Food and contributor to the soon to be released 30-Second Wine. Jane is the wine columnist for several UK magazines as well as one of five members in The Wine Gang. She is a regular wine commentator on television, radio and in person when hosting events, plus she judges in international wine competitions. Jane is a previous recipient of the Chairman’s Award at the Louis Roederer International Wine Writers’ Awards for “rising rocket-like” through the world of wine writing.

Click here for more information about Pays d’Oc IGP wines

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