What to eat with d'Yquem?
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.
The torchon and Roquefort both work great. I also love popcorn and good peanut brittle with Sauternes.
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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.
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.)
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.