Pairing help, please.....
I'm making a Lentil and Garlic Sausage Cassoulet with smoked bacon for a dinner party next week.
It has a lot of meaty/roasty-flavors but may not be very rich - fat wise (e.g. butter/cream). If that is the case, I'd say most reds will work I'd avoid very dark plummy wines or really tannic wines such as Australian Shirazs Malbecs/some Cabs.
Pinots/Burgundies, Temparnillos, some Riojas, Grenache blends all would work.
+1 for grenache blends. That's most Chateauneuf-du-Pape wines and Cotes-du-Rhones-Villages wines.
+1 to Brad's comments about CdRs, as well as CdPs. I love the interplay of the Southern Rhone's funky, "barnyardy" scents and flavors with garlicky dishes -- it's somewhat magic. BTW, that same Grenache-Syrah-Mourvedre-Cinsault blend is represented in several different subregions from the Southern Rhone, especially Vacqueras, Gigondas Lirac and Nimes. Wines from those four areas, as well as from other CdR subregions, often cost much less than CdP, most of which start around $25 and go up from there ...WAY up. (We're talking to you, '89 Beaucastel.)
Of course, CdR roses are lusty and hearty, since they're made from the same grapes that are in Southern Rhone reds. Likewise, they're super with garlic-seasoned dishes.
If you can get your hands on a good entry-level Northern Rhone red -- a dusky, smoky, brooding Syrah -- you're onto another great garlic match. I've also enjoyed how well entry-level Nebbioli (plural for Nebbiolo, I'm guessing) and Pinotages go with garlic swimmingly well..
A traditional Cahors is a natural pairing with cassoulet. Agree with Madiran. A well-made wine from Languadoc or Roussillon would also be appropriate.