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What to eat with d'Yquem?

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  • berna Jan 16, 2011 06:21 AM
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I was gifted a bottle of '05 and would like to share it with family and friends. I'd like to make a series of small bites including a torchon of foie and some roguefort or maybe proscuitto de parma since sweet and salty is always good. Any other ideas would be greatly appreciated.

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  1. Absolutely roquefort!

    1. The torchon and Roquefort both work great. I also love popcorn and good peanut brittle with Sauternes.

      1. Don't eat anything with it...for at least 15 more years, bare minimum.

        3 Replies
        1. re: invinotheresverde

          Truly. Don't even think about drinking it for a long time. It's not what it's intended to be yet. You'll be disappointed and not understand what all the hubbub is about.

          1. re: maria lorraine

            Ditto on the not opening it for good long time. Like maybe when your baby graduates from college....

            1. re: ChefJune

              Hold it ... but also purchase some half-bottles of 01 La Tour Blanche or Rieussec for drinking now!

              Your d'Yquem is not merely slightly young or a tad wet-behind-the-ears. It's not even an infant. A mere fetus, if even that. Practically a zygot.

        2. Just a thought.:
          I, for one, am not absolutely convinced that a blue cheese is the best pairing for Sauternes.
          Though I love the two together, a cheese that's sublimely creamy and less competitive in flavor, like a perfectly ripe Pierre Robert or the less-expensive St. Andre, often seems better suited.

          Texture is an often-overlooked quality when pairing Sauternes. The texture of the food must be creamy (since the wine has a creamy round flavor even with its high acidity) accompanied by a bit of crunch. Creme brulee fills the bill with its crunchy top, a creamy cheese or pate with an inobtrusive cracker, a creamy dessert with an almond tuile -- you get the idea.

          And with rare Sauternes, sometimes nothing is the ultimate pairing.

          2 Replies
          1. re: maria lorraine

            In my experience a good Rocquefort or the like with an aged wine like a Sauternes or Tokaji (or other, less common, European wines along those lines) -- and maybe some simple toast or crackers -- can be uniquely pleasant, a glorious end to a great meal. But it matters both that the wine is aged, and has significant acid (as these types normally do). Both the sweet-acid balance and the caramel that forms over time are part of the magic chemistry with blue cheeses.

            But I agree with others that while opening a very young rare Sauternes might be enjoyable, it's somewhat eccentric, it's not how the wine is made to be used, and it will not be the experience that led to so many people suggesting pairings here. That must be clearly understood by anyone using these wines young.

            I argued this point with Gaiter and Brecher (wine columnists at Wall St Journal) when they strangely suggested a newly bottled Ridge Monte Bello Cabernet for an autumn holiday (US Thanksgiving) dinner. This leading American Cabernet is widely known, well beyond the US, but what it's mainly known for is how it drinks at maturity, vintage-dependent but often 15-20 years. (I've bought this wine periodically for three decades now.) Gaiter and Brecher told me they'd wished to recommend currently marketed wines, which is fine, but utterly missed my point. If recommending such a wine, they should have disclosed that it is made for and known for the experience at maturity, not right after bottling.

            (Given the intense and esteral, even orchid-like, aromas of a young Sauternes, I might favor the meatier pairings like the cold cooked foie gras. Some coarse salt on top per maria. But I'd buy an inexpensive decent Sauternes for that, and save the extremely rare Yquem for the aging it's made for. If you don't have proper storage then find someone who does, whom you can trust.)

            1. re: maria lorraine

              <I, for one, am not absolutely convinced that a blue cheese is the best pairing for Sauternes.>

              Interesting you should say that, ML. I agree that not just any blue cheese goes with Sauternes. However, Roquefort is different from all other blue cheeses, and imho it goes SO well with Sauternes. OTOH, my favorite American blue (Point Reyes) goes not at all.

              OTOH, not sure I would pair anything with Yquem. I think it's like swallowing liquid gold, and belongs solo as dessert.

            2. if you have a place to cellar it, keep it (well, at least try to) for a couple of years, if not, don't bother keeping it in the cupboard (or in a closet).

              I'd drink it now since I don't have a place to keep it (and don't trust my friends!!)

              I'd eat foie gras, or maybe something a bit saltier (my taste).

              1. Lobster! Lobster and sauternes is one of my favorite pairings! Working on a grilled lobster and sauternes offline at Hamilton Grill Room in Lambertville, PA as we speak. -mJ

                PS: I too agree and would wait another 10-20 years before even thinking about opening this.

                2 Replies
                1. re: njfoodies

                  I always have a lobster dinner w/an old pal every summer but we drink Quart du Chaume or Layon. It's a great combo, none better

                  1. re: njfoodies

                    It is wonderful. Most recently I had a glass of Sauternes with a lobster bourride.

                  2. Roquefort many years from now is great advice. A couple pairings that have not been mentioned are foie gras and lobster. If I serve it with dessert I keep the dessert simple, like a vanilla creme brulee.

                    1. Thank you everyone for your suggestions. We will hold on to this bottle for awhile before enjoying it.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: berna

                        All very good suggestions - Had it with prime rib once - wow was it great.