Four perfect wines to drink with casseroles and stews from around the world

John Wilson: Every country has their own version of warming stew that can be perfectly accompanied by wine

Once the weather closes in, it is time to start cooking warming stews. Every country has their own version, usually based on humble ingredients that slowly transform into a magical dish. Here are four traditional autumn/winter dishes matched with wines from the locality.

France boasts a wealth of stews including pot-au-feu, beef bourguignon and cassoulet. I have chosen the latter. The ingredients are hotly contested locally, but this substantial dish always includes beans, sausages and pork.

Cassoulet originates in southwest France, so you could certainly go for a Cahors or Madiran. However, I would prefer a full-bodied ripe red from the Languedoc region, or look further afield to the soft, warming wines of the Rhône Valley.

Like France, Italy has many warming stews. Vegetarians would enjoy caponata, a wonderful Sicilian stew. My favourite is osso buco, a lighter stew, so you could drink white wine, but for me that veal (Irish rosé veal if possible) calls for a medium-bodied red wine. The local option would be a medium-bodied ripasso.


Locro is a native Andean stew, considered a national dish in Argentina. Made using squash, corn, beans, beef, potato and other vegetables, this is a hearty, thick stew. The natural accompaniment might be Malbec, but it would need to be a lighter version to match the corn and squash. Alternatively, you could go for a richer white wine such as a fruit-filled chardonnay.

Rich, rustic and full-bodied, cocida in Spain or cozida in Portugal is a classic winter dish. You could try callos, featuring tripe and chorizo, but cocido Madrileño is probably the best-known version, featuring a hearty mix of chickpeas, potatoes, various vegetables and either pork, beef or chicken. Drink a full bodied red with these stews.

Specially Selected Buenas Vides Malbec 2022

13.5%, €8.99

An elegant Malbec to partner with Locro, as well as vegetarian bean-based casseroles.

From: Aldi

M&S Classics No.6 Valpolicella Ripasso 2021

13.5%, €12

Medium to full-bodied with ripe piquant cherry fruits, and a touch of spice. Perfect with osso buco and other lighter braised dishes.

From: Marks & Spencer

Estibals 2020, Domaine de l’Ostal, Minervois

15%, €13.95 down from €17.45

Voluptuous, warm, ripe plum fruits alongside subtle herbs and spices. A full-bodied wine, at a great price, to partner with substantial casseroles or roast red meats.

From: O’Briens

El Bon Homme 2021, Rafael Cambra

14%, €16

Full-bodied with fresh dark fruits. A good match for cocido, fabada and other bean stews.

From: Taste of Spain Camden Street and Capel Street; The Corner Butcher, D8; Mc Curtain’s Wine Cellar, Cork; Baggot Street Wines; Clontarf Wines; Martin’s, D3.