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Feb 7, 2011 05:05 PM

Madiran Menu

I have an important Madiran (the guests favorite wine) focused supper coming up but I am looking for some help.

I am planning on making Paula Wolfer'ts Short ribs with cèpes, prunes, and pearl onions. The recipe uses confit of pork rind and 6 cups of Zinfandel whose peppery notes I think might go well with the Madiran and but I am unsure.

Next I was thinking about serving the short ribs with a tartiflette (substitute Jurançon, Comte or morbier) or maybe Dauphinois. Though my gut gut tells me these are a bit heavy the guest of honor loves dauphinois and it appears that this wine cuts fat well. Would baby potatoes roasted in duck fat be better? I will serve with haricots verts.

Duck Confit. rillettes, cassoulet and foie gras are out. Please help with a some additional suggestions. Could a starter with good smoked sausage/meat or some dates stuffed with bacon and cheese do the job? Pancetta, fresh fig, and smoked mozzarella appetizer?

Finally, I am thinking about opening with endive leaves studded with Roquefort, walnuts and Asian pears and a Dijon honey dressing but I think the honey puts this in the white wine category for which a suggestion would be most helpful.

TIA as I am stumped,

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  1. Most of our post involves things I'm not ll that familiar with. All I can tell you is that I believe that Madiran is made from Tannat and the only Tannat wines I've ever had were from South America and were probably the heaviest, most tannic I've ever tasted. If Madiran is like them, it will cut through steel (so to speak) so strong cheeses and fatty meats would seem appropriate.

    I'm hoping some more knowledgable folks will reply so that I can learn more about Madiran.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Midlife

      Several California wineries produce Tannat, including Tablas Creek, Cambiata,
      Ursa Vineyards and Putah Creek. I recommend the first two.

    2. What a glorious menu! Indeed. Madiran is a robust wine made of at least 60% tannat and compliments strong flavours very effectively. Go for the ribs, and yes,yes,yes to the dauphinois (the richer the better). Forget about baby potatoes, even roasted in duck fat they will loose their identity. Maybe add some bacon to the haricots verts.

      We drink Madiran with rich, characterful food. And we get through a fair amount per meal. Make sure you have enough! I would prefer the stuffed dates to the smoked sausage. I am afraid that the Pancetta/Mozarella will be too light . Roquefort is a much better choice and Madiran goes perfectly well with honey.

      If you want to serve something white with the honey, why not try a Pacherenc (sweet or dry) - Madiran and Pacherenc is cultivated side by side - in fact from where I am sitting I can see a parcel of Madiran vines bordering a parcel of Pacherenc, both belonging to my neighbour, Didier Barre of Berthoumieu. He does some of the best, he bought me a bottle of his Charles de Batz 2002 Saturday night and it was supreme . However, I think any Madiran you choose would be honoured to accompany this devine menu. I wish I could be there!

      Bon courage

      1 Reply
      1. re: Margaretha

        I agree almost completely with Margaretha. In place of those baby potatoes, perhaps a Gratin Dauphinoise? It's SO rich, and Madiran LOVES it.

      2. Thanks for the quick responses! Sounds like you are in the thick of the region Margaretha. How very exciting to get such on the spot reporting. Thanks for the Pacherenc recommendation. I'll see if I can find it here in Montreal. Sounds like it could be an interesting one for my guests to try.

        Oh I did not mention dessert-- Pots de crème au caramel salé .

        1. Fabulous menu indeed. All you need is Madiran with sufficient bottle age. Anything by Brumont, either Montus Cuvee Prestige or Bouscasse VV. For dessert you might add the Uruguan tannat dessert wine, Not as complex as a Dr Parce Banyuls, but still interesting.

          1. What a nice bunch of people you all are. Thank you for helping me lock in my menu. I am a sous chef but always feel insecure about wine selection, especially when it is an important party. I have found these so far:

            The Montus 2006 is available in Montreal for $27.00 a bottle but I also see the Argile Rouge Alain Brumont Madiran 2004 for $28.00. Other than that the prices rise quickly to $42-$49.00 for 2002 or a bit cheaper is $36.00 for the 2004 Bouscasse v v. Any feedback about where to go here is appreciated as I have 10 guests and sadly can't do many of the 50.00 bottles. I have to figure out what I can afford here, but do any of these stand out as a particularly good value? After 4-5 bottles of the good stuff what could I get away with after dinner for those who will want to keep drinking? It doesn't have to be Madiran.

            1 Reply
            1. re: chantalemarie

              Hi Chantal

              Alain Brumont makes both the Montus and the Argile Rouge - the Montus is ready to drink now. You'll never believe it, but Didier Barré is in Montreal at the moment. We went out riding and stopped to say hello to his wife this afternoon. So hopefully you'll be able to buy some Berthoumieu in your neck of the woods soon. Apparently it less less than -20 degrees in Montreal! Here in Madiran it is +16 dgrees today and we call it winter.

              Open up the bottles well in advance, DECANT and let it BREATHE at room least 1/2 hours before you need it.

              Madiran is a hard act to follow. Best to go for something completely different. Pots de crème au caramel salé...Sauterne/Lupiac/St Croix du Mont or Monbazillac maybe? Price wise the Lupiac/St Croix du Mont is your best bet.

              As for feeling insecure about wine - you know, I tend to serve the wine I love to drink, with the food I love to eat, even if it is against all the rules and regulations. I served Madiran with scallops 2 Saturdays ago (very risqué) and as a main course, and both the gourmands and the gourmets couldn't get over how well it worked. (I admit it took several attempts beforehand to get it right). Enfin, life is for living dangerously!

              Best of luck