Duck and Pinot Noir are one of those classic food and wine pairings so it was an easy choice this month when I saw Neven’s delicious duck confit, potato and onion pie on the menu.

The slow cooking method produces a meat that is tender and flavoursome and as it is cooked in duck fat, you want a wine with good acidity to cut through the fattiness. As Pinot Noir is a light to medium bodied wine, it is often paired with lighter dishes. However, this meal has a lot going on so we’re opting for two Pinots that have a bit more complexity, travelling from Germany to New Zealand. I also think it will work very well with the chocolate semi-freddo as the bitterness in the chocolate will accentuate the fruitiness of the wine.

While red wine is the more traditional pairing, if you are a white wine drinker, fear not. There are certain white wines that will also really work with this dish. I’ve chosen Riesling a few times in my wine pairing column but usually it’s with spicy dishes as the subtle sweetness in the wine really complements the heat of Thai or Indian food. But it’s a very versatile wine that will also work great both with the starter and main course. Goat’s cheese is traditionally paired with Sauvignon Blanc but one of the characteristics that makes this classic combination work is the acidity. Riesling rarely meets a cheese it doesn’t like and while it has that lovely acidity, it’s also a rounder wine and the mellow milky flavour of the cheese will enhance the floral, fruity flavour of the wine. Equally, this aromatic wine has that acidity we’re looking for. You don’t want to go too sweet with this meal. A dry or off-dry Riesling will work a treat. If you’re looking to try something new, a dry Gewurztraminer is also a good alternative

Palataia Pinot Noir

M&S, €13.50

Germany is the third-largest Pinot Noir producing country in the world and Pfalz is the country’s largest red wine region which makes it a good place to start. There is a real focus on stylistically finer wines and this complex Pinot is evidence of this. The fruit flavours exhibited include strawberries, raspberries and cherries but it’s complemented with those earthy forest flour flavours and even a little leather. A touch of oak adds a lovely roundness.

Marlborough Pinot Noir

Tesco Finest, €15

We’re off to New Zealand next where the climate is really important for producing more complex Pinot Noir. The warm days ripen and concentrate the wine and the cold nights seal in the flavour and preserve natural acidity. As a result, this wine has lots of juicy, dark flavours of cherries and blackberries while the oak aging gives a subtle spice and a smooth finish.

Mosel Riesling

Van Volxem & Friends, Handverslesen, Riesling Feinherb 2021 Lidl, tbc.

This is a new addition to the Lidl range and one we anticipate will be popular. Immediately you get that lovely white stone fruit of apricot and peach accompanied by pear and some floral notes shining through. It’s got that lovely vibrant acidity that we’re looking for. There is a bit of residual sugar, making it more of an off-dry wine. Very good value for money.

Lingenfelder Riesling.

O’Briens. €19.95, reduced to €16.45 until 31 October.

We’re heading back to Pfalz region in Germany. The Lingenfelder family who make this wine have lived in the region since 1520 and the winemaker is 13th generation. It is a ripe and crisp wine with peach and grapefruit shining through. Excellent acidity contributes to a memorable finish. This fresh light-bodied wine will continue to perform right throughout the meal.

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