I love the game season. It signals the arrival of robust, full-flavoured fare at the table. I start to open bottles that I wouldn’t have considered during summer. Game is a broad term, though – it can be light or dark, feathered or furred. Each animal can vary hugely depending on its age, diet and how long it has been hung. White wine is still a possibility with dishes like partridge, where the meat is more white than dark. You will want bottles of depth, texture and weight, though: food whites rather than sipping-al-fresco ones. Game usually means red but this, again, depends on the treatment of the meat. It can be roasted and served pink, resulting in restrained flavours; or slow-cooked to bring intensity. The subtleties of pinot noir or mid-weight claret might work with the former, a meaty southern Rhône with the latter.
There are no set rules when pairing wine with game. The best approach, if you have sufficient drinkers, is a multi-bottle one with a couple of different styles open. And since you might be serving them with a dish from one of the country’s most quintessential hotels, it is to the classics of Europe that you should look.