Wintery Coq Au Vin

With Syrah such a versatile food partner, it is a reliable choice when you are looking for a red wine friend for dinner. It goes well with the smokiness of a barbeque, the sweetness of marinades, the flavour and spice of mild curries, the fattiness of lamb and the earthiness of game and mushrooms - and of course it is always a winner when served with steak.

In the days of the early Cape, hunters made sure that there were venison on the table. Venison is much more than Springbok and Kudu and game birds such as Guinea Fowl used to be very popular. In celebration of our French food heritage, Chef Eric Bulpitt shares a recipe for a very traditional French “coq au vin”. You can try it with guinea fowl or the more traditional chicken. 

Coq au vin


Yields 8 Portions

1 Guinea fowl or 1 Chicken

80 g Butter

30 ml Canola oil

150 g Smoked bacon

250 g Button mushrooms

50 g Flour

300 ml La Motte Syrah

300 ml Chicken stock

4 Garlic cloves

40 g Tomato paste

4 Sprigs of thyme

4 Bay leaves

50 g Flat leaf parsley

Salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 160°C. Cut the fowl into 8 pieces. In a casserole pot, heat the oil and butter and brown the fowl pieces until golden.

Remove some of the excess oil, add some more butter and sauté the onions and bacon. 

Add the mushrooms and sauté for 5 – 10 minutes. Stir in the flour, coating all the vegetables and add the wine, stock, garlic, tomato paste and herbs. Bring to the boil.

Add the fowl, cover and cook for about 2 hours in the oven. (slightly less if you use chicken).

Add some fresh parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Serve with creamy mashed potatoes and 2017 La Motte Syrah.