This classic French dish never goes out of style. Find the best-quality chook you can, add lashings of brandy and red wine, fragrant herbs and mushrooms, and let it slowly blip away for an hour in a low oven. Rustle up some mash potatoes, and you'll have an elegant coq au vin dinner on the table.
Drink pairing: Beaujolais comes in two very distinct styles. On one hand you have an ocean of Beaujolais Nouveau and basic Beaujolais Villages – mostly simple, cherry-juicy red wines made using the carbonic maceration technique (fermenting whole, uncrushed grapes to maximise fruit and colour extraction). And then you have Beaujolais from the 10 best granite-soil vineyard areas (or 'crus') in the region: wines which take the succulence of the gamay grape, ramp up the concentration and add some firmer structure and complexity. The 2005 vintage was an excellent one for Beaujolais, and the best wines have even more mouthwatering deliciousness than usual - just the thing for washing down this classic bistro dish. - Max Allen