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Wine/pairing w/venison liver


This fall I successfully hunted a young doe. It is tradition to soak the liver in brine overnight to remove blood then to coat slices lightly with flour then sauteed in olive oil and butter mixture only a few minutes. the liver remains pink but fork tender. Of course that is accompanied by sweet onions, sauteed as well. This year they were vidalia onions. Cabernet, which is highly favored here to pair w/venison, was just too heavy. I'm thinking more on the white side. Can you help with a suggestion or two?
Thank you!

Hi Celia

This is a great question--and very timely, since I was just consulting with a restaurant yesterday about the very same dish!

We tried quite a few things, but the wine we liked the best was a Carneros Pinot Noir--a lot lighter than Cabernet, but still with enough body to stand up to the flavors of the liver.

The other option might be a Riesling from Germany or Alsace--they often serve similar dishes there with those wines.

Hope that helps!

Paul Wagner  


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Paul Wagner


Wines of the world, wine a food matching, wine and food service questions. I currently teach Wine courses at Napa Valley College, am an international wine judge, written many articles for publication, and have been a guest speaker at way too many wine conferences to remember. 25 years in the business. With Liz Thach and Janeen Olsen, I authored the definitive book on wine marketing: Wine Marketing & Sales, Strategies for a Saturated Market by The Wine Appreciation Guild, which won the Gourmand International Award in 2008 for the best wine book for professionals! With Rick Kushman of Capital Public Radio, I host a radio show and podcast called Bottletalk at, where I answer questions about wine and food on the air.


30 years in the business.

Society of Wine Educators, Academy of Wine Communications, American Wine Society

Vineyard and Winery Management Magazine, Fine Wine Journal, les Amis du Vin Journal, Society of Wine Educators Journal, and more.

I have taught at Napa Valley College for the last twenty years.

Awards and Honors
Spanish National Wine Fair: A lifetime dedicated to wine award. Espaderino della Castelania di Soave in Italy.

Past/Present Clients
Wineries include Caymus, Wente, Parducci, Shannon Ridge, Paul Dolan Wines, Vigilance, and others. Wine regions include the Union des Grand Crus de Borcdeaux, Union des Grands Crus de St. Emilion, Consorzio di Chianti CLassico, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Consorzio di Franciacorta, Rioja Alavesa, and others.

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