Which wine to choose with cassoulet?

April 24, 2024

Cassoulet is more than just a dish; it's an institution in French gastronomy, emblematic of the southwest region.

Deeply rooted in the culinary traditions of Toulouse, Castelnaudary and Carcassonne, this rustic and generous stew symbolizes comfort and conviviality.

Origin and history

The origins of cassoulet go back several centuries and are shrouded in legend. One of the most famous is that it was first prepared during the siege of Castelnaudary by English troops during the Hundred Years' War. The inhabitants, gathering the remaining supplies - mainly beans and meat - created a substantial stew to feed and invigorate the town's defenders.

Over the centuries, cassoulet has been refined and diversified, reflecting regional specificities. Today, there are three main variants: Castelnaudary cassoulet, considered the most traditional, Toulouse cassoulet, which is richer in meats, and Carcassonne cassoulet, which often includes lamb.

Dish composition

Cassoulet is a harmonious combination of long-simmered white beans, Toulouse sausage, duck confit, and sometimes pieces of pork or lamb. Each ingredient is carefully chosen to contribute to the overall richness of the dish. Beans are the foundation, absorbing the flavors of the meats while providing a creamy texture. The meats, particularly the confit, add an incomparable depth of flavor.

Preparation and cooking

Preparing cassoulet is an art that requires patience and precision. The process begins with cooking the beans, followed by mixing them with the separately prepared meats. This mixture is then slowly cooked in a cassole, a special type of terracotta pot, which helps to develop the flavors and form a golden, crispy crust on top, the hallmark of a good cassoulet.

Food and wine pairing

Accompanying cassoulet with the right wine is essential to enhance its flavors. A Madiran red wine, with its robustness and black fruit notes, marries perfectly with the richness of the dish. Alternatively, a Minervois or Corbières, with their spicy, earthy characteristics, also complement cassoulet well, bringing a balance between power and rusticity.


Cassoulet, with its deep flavors and comforting texture, remains a mainstay of French cuisine. A dish that has endured through the ages, it continues to captivate those who enjoy it, whether in a family setting or on special occasions. Served with the right wine, cassoulet transcends its simplicity to become a truly rewarding culinary experience.

If you'd like to find out which wines to choose from your cellar to go with your next meal, download the Oeni app (available on iOS and Android) and use our food and wine pairing recommendations feature!