SAUTERNES: IT’S NOT JUST A DESSERT WINE!

December 16th, 2013

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This was the fun topic I was asked to present last week for the BC Liquor Distribution Branch at their largest wine specialty store 39th & Cambie kitchen. My wife Joan and I put together some different food matches for the Sauternes specifically omitting the usual foie gras and sweet desserts. So many of these pairings were sublime!

The inspiration for this forward thinking seminar came from the great Alexandre Lur Saluces of Ch. de Fargues (www.chateau-de-fargues.com) and expert Bill Blatch of www.bordeauxgold.com.

The 8 wines:

The 9 food items:

2003 Lafaurie Peyraguey Gougere & Blue Cheeese (St. Augur, France);
2003, 2005, and 2007 de Fargues Roasted Pistachios; Walnut halves roasted with Indian spices;
2007 Armajan des Ormes Pork Tenderloin with Dijon Mustard & Garam Masala, grilled pineapple;
2007 Raymond Lafon Maenam Thai duck salad prepared by Chef Angus An;
2009 Guiraud Sea Salt Potato Chips; Chicken Breast skewers with five spice & garlic;
2009 Suduiraut Mango salad, lime juice with zest & long black pepper syrup; Almond Frangipane apple tart;

The vintages showed their distinctive styles with 2003 all ripe sweetness and exceptional fat opulence harvested over an unusual short period of September 19-25; 2005 a drought year with many waves of picking over a month between September 27 and October 27; 2007 aromatic like 1988 from a long protracted harvest from September 11 to October 24 with the miraculous botrytis the latter part; 2009 shows power and age ability rivalling the better acidity 2001s with Alexandre’s quote “… this 2009 is so honeyed and delicious, it makes the taster feel as though he is turning into a bee!”

Bill Blatch is a big fan of spicy chorizo sandwiches or grilled sausages with very sweet Sauternes like the 2009s. He believes so wisely that salt is the key – “after all fast food thrives on the sweet/salt combination, no?” Accordingly those salty potato chips are fantastic with Sauternes as is the saltiest of cheeses – blue. Bill prefers his Oriental food with the aromatic vintages and that Thai duck was brilliant with these 2007s.

Encourage all of you to do more experimenting by pairing Sauternes with a wider food selection to behold some new found magic.

Will you be drinking Sauternes this holiday season?

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December 16th, 2013

One Response

  1. In Niagara we did an Icewine tasting with non dessert foods at Inniskillin, tasting a range of different varietal icewines. We found that in general the foods paired well with the Icewine made from the varietal that they would have paired with made dry.

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