Pairing report: chestnut soup, green curry scallops, cheeses
Thanks to those who offered advice on pairings for a dinner I hosted this weekend - thought I'd report back on the results.
Kientzler Crémant d’Alsace.
Started off by nibbling on things like roasted prosciutto-wrapped prunes, duck rillettes and toasted pecans tossed with rosemary, brown sugar and cayenne and drinking what turned out to be perfectly nice, perfectly inoffensive bubbles, but I remain a Champagne girl at heart. (For the record, though, Kientzler is one of my Alsace faves – his François Alphonse Riesling is flinty and balanced and lovely.)
Gutierrez Colosia Oloroso Sec
Moved to a chestnut soup garnished with foie gras, and a special callout to Delucacheesemonger and zin1953 for steering me in the direction of sherry: The pairing was truly a vinous revelation. I do NOT care for sherry, and this was just...stupendous. The nutty, almost butterscotch nose shifted into a stone dry hit to the palate, and then in combination with the chestnuts and foie gras draped itself over the tongue like...I don’t know what. Something warm and toasty. A mink throw of a pairing. Zowie.
2004 Domaine Weinbach Riesling Schlossburg Cuvée Ste-Catherine L’Inédit
2004 Domaine Weinbach Gewurztraminer Altenbourg Cuvée Laurence
The main: seared scallops with Thai green curry sauce, coconut risotto cakes and mango salad. The curry was QUITE hot, so although I’d intended to do two Rieslings, I opted to switch one for a Gewurz. Big mistake...
The Inédit was a spot-on match. The nose was mostly minerals and citrus (grapefruit, Meyer lemon), followed with more minerality and citrus on the palate, with a touch of white-pepper spice. It handled the heat of the curry and the sweet tang of the mangos perfectly. I don’t think 2004 was a particularly distinguished vintage, and the wine is among the more restrained Weinbachs I’ve had, but I’m glad I’ve got a few more bottles, to see how it ages.
The Gewurz was a pretty thing: densely golden, with a limestone and honey nose, and an initial impression of litchi, honey, mango and beeswax. Moderate acidity with a floral finish, but not much spice. It proceeded to toss the scallops up against the wall and then sat on ‘em for good measure. Way, way too heavy for the dish. What was I thinking?
I threw a bunch of stuff on the cheese plate because I knew we’d have three bottles open and I love looking for fantastic wine-cheese pairings. Gobbi di garb (firm Sardinian sheep’s milk), Fougerus, 18-month-old Gruyère, 36-month-old Gouda, le Père Trethy (washed rind Belgian cow’s milk), persillé de Tignes, Reblochon, Have to say that the Riesling and Gewurz didn’t produce any big winners, but OH MY, the sherry with the Sardinian cheese was extraordinary. I live for stuff like that.