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A request – suggestions for wines to accompany Kangaroo and Reindeer. My knowledge is sadly lacking in this important culinary sphere so I called on a couple of internet friends to lend some advice.

For Reindeer one of course turns to Anne in Sweden – “I do indeed eat reindeer! It’s a very lean meat, and it doesn’t taste of very much in itself. Not very “wild”. I haven’t had much deer, but it’s pretty similar. I usually buy frozen reindeer meat, flaked (like for Japanese yakiniku?) and fry it with onions and mushrooms, then in a cream sauce. I like it with rice or pasta – great comfort food. And very readily available here. A lot harder to find it fresh though.

Now, I’m not much of a pairing-wine-with-food person, preferring generally to stick with water for dinner and wine by itself or with cheese, but I’d say go with the flavors of the rest of the dish. The reindeer won’t be very overpowering, at least.”

Down in Australia from Matt the Abstract Gourmet – “Kangaroo eh… well I have to go right back to the start of my archives to find the last time I cooked it, but I do like to savour our national emblem on occasion… this recipe turned out really well… but make sure you let people know that kangaroo need to be cooked till just above pink if you really want to get the flavour and texture without turning it to rubber.”

No wine suggestions but I would go for a bouncing Australian red.

Jeanne, the famous CookSister!, has surpassed herself in providing the following info -

It seems zebra is not that popular (together with elephant, monkeys and carnivores) as it’s not spectacularly tasty. However, that’s what some people say about liver, so who knows. One reference that I found said that it tastes more like beef than horse, but sweeter. Who woulda known.

Here is a recipe from a 1958 South African cookbook:

Zebra Stew

  • 1 ½ lbs. zebra meat, using topside
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • good pinch of mixed herbs
  • 1 lb. tomatoes, peeled
  • salt and pepper
  • pinch of celery salt
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 large onion
  • pinch of paprika
  • 1 cup stock or Knorr-Swiss onion soup
  • ½ cup cream

Cut meat into stewing pieces, dip in seasoned flour and brown in oil. Add tomatoes, quartered and seeds removed, then the stock or soup and seasoning. Simmer until tender, depending on age of zebra. Just before serving add cream and a little red wine, if available.

And here is one from a site selling game, including African game, that I think I might try soon www.alternativemeats.co.uk:

Zebra with Red Wine and Shallot Marmalade
Ingredients – Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns, cracked to a medium grind
  • 2 tablespoons pink peppercorns, cracked to a medium grind
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 4 8oz Zebra Steaks

Red Wine-Shallot Marmalade:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 cups shallot, peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper

Combine the ground peppercorns and salt and liberally coat the zebra steaks.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan on medium-high heat melt the butter with the oil and sugar. Add the shallots and caramelize them for 10 minutes. Add the wine, turn down the heat to a simmer and reduce liquid to ¼ of its original amount. Remove from heat. Add thyme and season.
On a hot grill, cook the steaks to the desired doneness. To serve, top each of the steaks with a spoonful of the shallot marmalade. The marmalade can be hot, warm or room temperature.


  1. Grapefan says:

    I can certainly agree with Ann that reindeer doesn’t taste of much. Fortunately it’s aroma – liver – doesn’t translate into a taste of liver as that’s a meat I don’t care for. My wine pairing of Hunter Valley semillon and Chilean pinot noir wasn’t too far off the mark given the lack of strong flavours all round.
    I am sure it’s a healthy meat as Ann says. Like the bison and zebra we also ate there was no fat. According to the butcher who sourced the meat, a 3 oz serving of bison has 93 calories and 1.8g of fat compared to beef which has 183 calories and 8.7g of fat.
    Maybe next Christmas reindeer will take off!

  2. Cru Master says:

    Kangaroo and Reindeer!!! Im looking forward to reading about the wine pairings for those two!
    I have heard that Kangaroo tail is fairly good eating!!
    I don’t think that Zebra is that widely eaten here in south Africa but I hear that it is in fair demand in europe
    Zebra meat is sweeter than beef but still retains a game flavour. A deep red meat with a medium grain – which is probably related to the type of meat u get from ostrich, nice and sweet!
    I’d go for a juciy Cab Sav – Springfeild Whole Berry perhaps!

  3. Per & Britt says:

    Another comment from a Swede…
    As a “standard” pairing, disregarding any specific ways to prepare, I would pick a fairly full-bodied red wine to the reindeer. A Rhone valley wine for instance. Or why not an Australian, but one that does not have too much fruit sweetness in it but more of the structured style – that would make it a nice meeting of the extremes wouldn’t it?

  4. Jeanne says:

    So many meats, so little time. And yes – I agree with the CruMaster that the Springfield Whole Berry would do a great job. In fact, give me ANY Springfield wine, any day ;-)

  5. hwarren18 says:

    Are they both a “red” meat?

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