A GUIDE TO THE GAME OF WINE & FOOD MATCH-MAKING
Following this introduction is the text of an André Simon lecture presented by Sid Cross, an Underground Contributing Editor and a resident of Vancouver who is recognized globally for his knowledge, tasting abilities, and connections within many wine regions of the world (to read Sid’s biography click here).
It was presented at the recent International Wine and Food Society World Festival in Vancouver.
André Simon (1877–1970) was a French wine merchant, gourmet, bibliophile, wine connoisseur, historian, and writer. He also founded the International Wine and Food Society in 1933. His stated purpose was “To bring together and serve all who believe that a right understanding of good food and wine is an essential part of personal contentment and health, and that an intelligent approach to the pleasures and problems of the table offers far greater rewards than the mere satisfaction of appetite.”
Here is a note on the International Wine & Food Society taken from their website:
“The International Wine & Food Society (IW&FS) is the world’s oldest and most renowned gastronomic society. The Society’s mission is the promotion of a broad knowledge and understanding of both wine and food, the enhancement of their appreciation, and the nurturing of camaraderie among those who share the pleasures of the table. The Society thrives today, more than 75 years after its founding. Branches exist throughout the world, consisting of more than 6,000 members in 130 branches in 30 countries.” (To learn more about the IW&FS click here).
The following article is very detailed and interesting and features the following:
If you love wine and food and enjoy trying new wine and food matches this article will be of great interest.
In Vino Veritas,
PREVIOUS ANDRÉ SIMON LECTURES:
When I was first approached to give this Lecture I was somewhat reluctant. I suggested instead they tap the knowledge of one of you attending out-of-town experts. However, I did take the opportunity to check with London on what had gone on before. I reviewed copies of the last four which were:
2011: “German Viticulture, The Last 20 Years” by Tom Scott
2010: “The Search for Australian Wine Regional Identity” by David Lowe
2009: “The South African Wine and Culinary Journey, Some Reflections” by Mutle Mogase
2008: “The Effects of Climate Change on Viticulture and Wine Production” by John Avery
On further checking of my notebooks I reminisced on some older Lectures like Maynard Amerine on October 4, 1974 on the history of California wine starting back with the first plantings in San Diego in 1770; Max Lake provoking us all in good humour on the sexual innuendos of smelling and tasting wine; and even 3 long Lectures delivered on March 19, 1980 at our Australian Festival by Graham Gregory on New Grape Varieties; Allan Antcliff on New Breeding Programs including that exciting Tarrango, a cross of Touriga & Sultana, resulting in large berries with little tannin, and Donald Francois on Oysters. Those three went on indeterminably and I promise not to approach that time frame this afternoon.
My two favorites which I highly recommend you read are “Would André Be Proud of Us?” by Hugo Dunn-Meynell on October 8, 1983 and the first Memorial one by Michael Broadbent on October 18, 1971. Those two really shone a bright light on the great Andre Simon!
Dave Felton continued to pressure me to do this Lecture and I had lots of topic advice, the most common one being British Columbian Wines with now some 209 active wineries that no one outside of British Columbia know exist. Finally I enthusiastically agreed to do it but advised them that BC wines was unlikely to be my topic.
ANDRÉ SIMON REFERENCE MATERIAL:
Decided I had to go back to some of my early experiences with IWFS. I recalled visits to the London Offices then at Marble Arch House 44 Edgware Road. On one visit on May 15, 1973, my wife Joan and I spent most of the day there with the Secretary Claude Morny sipping Avery Special Cuvee Epernay Champagne followed by a variety of wines including a Berry Bros Pomerol Clos Deltour 1964 (already 9 years old) and finishing up with Warre’s Nimrod Tawny Port. The passing office parade included such dignitaries as Gabor Denes, Patrick Matthews, Harry Yoxall, Jennie Hame, Caroline Thomson among others. Harry Yoxall was a Burgundy expert authoring The Wines of Burgundy and later from 1981-82 was Honorary President of our Society. He had just published his new book The Enjoyment of Wine in which Chapter 13 was titled “What to Drink with What.”
I admire some of Yoxall’s quotes:
“They say that anyone should drink anything that he personally likes with food – say a Clos de Beze with a sorbet.”
“…met someone who thought Clos de Tart was a wine for tarts. I mean, to drink with tarts. I mean, to drink while eating tarts.”
“There is, by the way, an anomalous fashion growing up of advocating red wine with fish. It is particularly associated with salmon, which is said to be a “fat” fish and therefore to require a “fat” wine. (As if all white wines were thin!)”
Interesting to note this quote by Harry Yoxall is 17 years before the book of Red Wine With Fish – The New Art of Matching Wine With Food was published in 1989 by David Rosengarten and Joshua Wesson advocating flavor matching.
“Food is good and wine is good. Good food and wine improve each other by arithmetical progression. But when they are not only good but harmoniously assorted, then they advance by geometrical progression.”
Claude Morny, the Society Secretary, also autographed for us his 1972 anthology A Wine and Food Bedside Book with a selection of some 70 articles from the journal Wine & Food when it was edited by Andre Simon.
André provides three wonderful definitions:
“Gourmand” is the greedy fellow who does not mind very much about quality so long as he gets a lot: even when he is not actually asking, he is hoping for more.
“Gourmet” is the choosey eater with definite likes and dislikes of his own, who prefers quality to quantity.
“Gastronome” is the cultured and knowledgeable gourmet: his approach to all that is best to eat and drink is that of the epicurean philosopher who recognizes the ethical value of the amenities of a gracious way of living; it is not that of the materialist whose chief concern is merely sensual gratification.
As President of the Vancouver Branch at the time, we often entertained foreign visitors from the Society in our home. On July 13, 1977, we hosted in Vancouver from England Eileen & Captain John Stewart who kindly presented us on behalf of the Society with copies of an Autobiography by André Simon titled By Request (1957) and In The Twilight (1969).
Rereading those books has brought home to me the real efforts made by André in forming our Society on October 20, 1933 during difficult economic times, insisting that the word Wine be placed first in the name before Food and fighting back from criticism even by the Manchester Guardian among others. The Society nevertheless grew to 483 members by year-end and to 1092 by the end of 1934. The repeal of Prohibition in the USA on December 5, 1933, eased the possibility of a trip abroad. Two days after the Society’s 13th meeting on November 13, 1934, attracting 495 for a sit-down dinner at the Savoy, André was off sailing to America spreading the word in New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco (with Georges de Latour “whose Beaulieu Vineyards and Winery he visited and greatly admired”), Los Angeles and New Orleans. “Had it not been that the American members kept up their subscriptions most loyally all through the war years (of the early forties) I could never have secured the necessary paper for Wine and Food, and the paper question was by far my worst headache.”
Also during the seventies, four of André’s earlier small books made a profound impression on me and have influenced me throughout my life in my continuing passion for wine and food matching:
“Wine is ‘a good familiar creature,’ as Shakespeare called it, a creature with a personality and a temper of its own. At first – when it is born and for a while after – wine is rough and unready, drinkable but ungracious. When it is given time and proper care, wine grows comely and may become lovely, possessing that easy poise and charm …”
“Champagne and lobster are a gay and happy pair, but any of the finer French white wines will be equally welcome.”
“Red Burgundy is the usual partner for pheasant, and also for the other game birds, whether served roast or braised, or in hot or cold game pies.”
3. What About Wine? (1953)
4. Partners – A Guide to the Game of Wine & Food Match-Making (1951)
After I had reviewed all this material again after such a long absence from it, I was convinced more than ever that I enthusiastically wanted to take this opportunity to shine the spotlight again on the many contributions of André Simon which had been so eruditely delivered by Hugo Dunn-Meynell in 1983 and Michael Broadbent in 1971.
It was really this last little 20 page booklet that inspired me to try so many of André’s very specific recommendations and to experiment with new pairings of my own prepared by my own fantastic personal cook, Joan. Partners was out of print and my copy is now very dog-eared. The only other copy I located was the author-autographed one cherished by John Danza of Chicago. John kindly downloaded his copy onto the internet and we have been successful in getting copies printed only last week in London and just shipped here for everyone attending today. It also will be on our IWFS website. John previously posted on our website his intriguing article of “The 1870 Cellar of Charles Dickens.” There are also some very helpful and informative articles that I recommend to you already posted there on Wine & Food Matching by the amazing Dr. John Fischer of Omaha.
“Which wine is the right partner for each food? It is just a matter of taste, always, and also a matter of luck, often. The place, the company, the weather, the mood of the moment all have something to do in the happy or unhappy match-making of wine and food. No book can tell us. Yet, because of the insistence of so many people asking to be given some guidance in the game of the partnering of wine and food, this little book has been prepared with the greatest diffidence.”
“Hors means before and oeuvre means the meal, and whether there be one melon or grapefruit served before the meal, or a dozen different vegetable salads, there is still but One Meal, which is why oeuvre remains in the singular.” This was the first time I learned this correct spelling for more than one which is still so commonly mistaken today with most menus showing an “s” on oeuvre. Today I still am always correcting chefs and menu writers on this common mistake.
-Suggestion of Caviar with Vodka. I prefer Champagne but André (who worked so long for the House of Pommery) states: “Champagne has not been given as a partner for any particular food or dish, not from any lack of recognition of the excellence of Champagne, but, on the contrary, because Champagne may be enjoyed at any time, before, during or after meals.”
My wife Joan heartily endorses this philosophy and tries to follow it!
-Second his recommendations of these all work well:
Oysters with Mont de Milieu Chablis (killer 2008 William Fevre)
Smoked Salmon with Wiltinger Kupp, Moselle
Foie Gras with Riesling Reserve, Alsace
Cantaloupe with Oloroso, Sherry
Always tricky but some 38 specific matches are suggested.
Turtle Soup works wonderfully with Sercial Madeira as we all know and I like his pairings of Potato Soup with Pouilly-Fuisse and Mushroom Cream Soup with Puligny Montrachet, both from Burgundy.
However, some are a bit more unexpected but may work for you such as Scotch Broth with Chateau Montrose from St. Estephe, Cabbage Soup with Volnay les Caillerets, Red Burgundy and Pumpkin Soup with Chateau Doisy-Vedrines Sauternes.
Some beautiful pairings among the 33 ideas expressed.
Trout with Moselle, Lobster with Meursault Charmes, Grilled Salmon with Batard-Montrachet, Sole Bonne Femme with Corton Charlemagne, and Fresh Grilled Sardines with Vaulorent Chablis (by the way, the 2008 from William Fevre is outstanding!)
Lots of beef and lamb dishes prepared in different ways. I generally prefer Pinot Noir with beef and Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc or Merlot with lamb. Friends of ours prefer the exact opposite. André differentiates depending on the dish: Boeuf a la Bourguignonne with Chambertin Clos de Beze being a natural (rather than with sorbet) but Boeuf Stroganoff calls for Chateau Cheval Blanc (but not what Miles in “Sideways” had in mind when he enjoyed the 1961 in a styrofoam cup). Lamb Chops for André suggest Beaune Clos de La Mousse Burgundy while roasted leg of lamb says Chateau Brane Cantenac, but for roasted loin of lamb Chateau Nenin from Pomerol.
Poultry and Game
My favourite is Quail with Clos des Lambrays from Morey St. Denis but confess I have had it much more often with the neighbouring Clos de Tart (for which André’s preferred mate is Coq au Vin). Roast Pheasant with Nuits St. Georges Les St Georges isn’t bad either though most Red Burgundy or Pinot Noir works like a charm as well. At Thanksgiving and Christmas I have tried several times the Roast Turkey recommendation of Domaine de Chevalier Rouge from Graves (the underrated 1983 is delicious). Pigeon with olives for Chateau Petrus but this was before it was so very expensive and when it was often greener. Sub in another right bank wine or maybe a Carmenere from Chile. Lots of different ways to prepare chicken with a variety of wine choices listed.
We have tried fewer of these matchings.
Usually opt for Champagne or Sparkling wine with a brunch including eggs.
We have enjoyed the tarte aux oignons with White Hermitage from the Rhone – particularly Jaboulet Chevalier de Sterimberg, Chapoutier’s Chante Alouette, and older Chave. Italian wines for Italian dishes always seems to work well.
This whole section needs expanding.
Of course many more wine choices and fast food choices available these days.
Lots of Port suggested. Port was the big promotion along with Champagne during André’s early days.
Did try the 3-age ranges of Vintage Port with Blue Cheshire (10-15), Stilton (15-20) and Wensleydale (20-25) but found I liked the older Port best with all three cheeses but understand his reasoning. Brilliant suggestion made to have the milder Gruyere with Chateau Ausone St. Emilion. Never have been a fan of serving mature top Bordeaux with any cheese (with the possible exception of Parmigiano Reggiano). Perhaps a more minor St. Emilion like Chateau Ripeau could work with a Brie that is not too ripe or an earthy lesser vintage of Cos d’Estournel from St. Estephe with Camembert.
However, I would never pair a strong salty Carre d’Est from the Lorraine with any vintage of the elegant Chateau Palmer from Margaux! Interesting to note the lack of white wines – except for Le Clos Blanc from Pommard- for serving with cheese as these are now often the popular and preferred pairings.
Sweet and Dessert Fruit
Some more brilliant matches developed by André here. Another big fav of ours is Toasted Walnuts (or Pistachios) with old Vintage Port. Don’t dare serve Vintage Port without this magical formula!
Good use of Sauternes but I have asked 2 world experts on those and will give you more details later.
André was the first to step forward with such very specific wine and food matching ideas that I so admire. He is to be congratulated for both his wisdom and for doing it! It is thought provoking indeed as to why he made such choices. You will notice going through this that in 1951 the Old World wines completely prevailed. No New World wines yet. How that has changed. Time now some 60 years later to have a Partners Revisited.
I always liked the very specific advice by the late Johnny Hugel to only serve his memorable 1976 Gewurztraminer Selection de Grains Nobles “wìth passion fruit sorbet or freshly cooked hot apple pie.”
Recently I have been asking many people – particularly chefs and winery owners – for their thoughts on wine and food pairings. Some chefs advocate strongly their sometimes specific and unique opinions. Reminds me of the famous chef Jean-Louis Palladin of the Watergate Hotel in the eighties who insisted that he would only prepare Foie Gras for the beginning of a meal if it was served with Beaumes de Venise and never Sauternes. Also he would only serve white truffles with a dish even if it contained seafood if it was paired with Brunello di Montalcino from Biondi Santi. Most chefs however are much more flexible but often only recommend wines within a narrower range of their limited personal wine exposure.
We are lucky today to have our own chef, Blair Rasmussen, who is also a great student of wine. We told him the wines for the tasting (Bouchard Pere top White Burgundies and Comte de Vogue Reds) and the reception (2008 Chablis Vaudesir Drouhin, 2008 Cedar Creek Pinot Noir Platinum, 1998 Charmes-Chambertin Drouhin, and 2007 St. Clement Cabernet Sauvignon Progeny Vineyard) and he gave it wise thought and used his vast experience to come up with what I think will be some memorable dishes as follows:
-Seared Oceanwise Tuna, shaved fennel, trout roe
-Smoked Sockeye Salmon, caviar, green pea blinis
-Minted Edamame Crostini, shaved parmesan
-Nova Scotia Lobster Salad, gruyere gougere
-Duck Confit, shiitake ravioli, fresh peas and chives
-Sakura Pork Belly, Dashi braised daikon, Japanese mustard foam
-Carved Beef Tournedos, porcini cream, seared foie gras
-Mini Coq au Vin free-range chicken
-Serrano Ham, young manchego and truffle bikini
-Dungeness Crab and Halibut Cheek Cakes, saffron aioli
Blair gives me some wise words:
“ It is truly a pleasure to create hors d’oeuvre to pair with classic wines from Burgundy. I have always approached my cuisine from a classical French starting point, so it is great to be coming back to the roots!
I know here in BC there is a movement away from oak in wine, and the opposition is particularly strong towards Chardonnay. Many people think Chardonnay is difficult to pair with food when oaked, but I find an oaked White Burgundy with the requisite fruit, minerality, and a good level of acidity to be perfect with lobster. An oaked Chablis, Meursault or Puligny-Montrachet (depending on the richness of the dish) is often a very fine pairing. Tonight I have prepared a lobster salad in gougere, so mid-level on the richness scale…Meursault would be my go-to here.
On the red side, one only needs to look at the cuisine of Burgundy to know that rich dishes pair well with their red wines. The acid in Red Burgundy paired with salt pork and charcuterie, earthy wild mushrooms, roast duck and braised beef are all classic shoe-ins. One of my favorites in a modern/fusion vein is our Sakura pork belly braised in dashi and daikon. It is an earthy, umami-laden dish which I would pair with a full-on Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru or Bonnes Mares. Earth to earth!
Please try the many possible combinations and write up on our website the most memorable matchings for you among all these.
I did receive some interesting comments from a few of my friends in wine and include some of these for your consideration:
LUC BOUCHARD of Bouchard Pere :
Beaune St. Landry: Rabbit terrine or mature Epoisses Cheese
Meursault Genverieres: Fish like Sea Bass
Corton Charlemagne: Tuna Sushi or Goat Cheese
Chevalier Montrachet: Shellfish – crayfish, langoustine or lobster”
Recall being with Luc here the first time he experienced the marvelous matching of our local fresh Dungeness Crab with his top grand cru William Fevre Chablis Les Clos and how really excited he was about that pairing!
JEAN-LUC PEPIN of Comte de Vogue:
“Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru (declassified Musigny VV from young vines below 25 years of age): Game Birds, other Poultry and Lamb
Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Amoureuses: the silkiness and minerality of this wine pairs well with delicate white meat like veal or with fish like Turbot poached in red wine, or with Red Mullet. Not to forget with pheasant stuffed with truffles.
Bonnes Mares Grand Cru: the generosity and “wildness” of this wine lacking the minerality of the other reds of Chambolle, pairs very well with venison (game animals)… but also with red or black fruit sorbet! Harry Yoxall might be surprised with this!
Musigny Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru: this wine known as “an iron fist in a velvet glove” pairs well with poultry, but also with game birds. Not to forget with lamb. Being more specific 2002 pairs well with a breast of (wood) pigeon while 1999 pairs sublimely with a roasted saddle of lamb stuffed with truffled mushroom ravioli and rosemary-lamb jus.”
There are now so many new expanding wine areas around the world especially for the consumer in this market featuring Australia, Chile, Argentina etc. All are trying to find and suggest appropriate foods to go with their different wines.
LAURA CATENA of Catena in Argentina is a good example:
“Young Malbec like her 2005 Catena Zapata Nicasia Vineyard goes with Venison & berry chutney.
Malbec does well with anything that is slightly fatty and sweet.
Argentine Cabernet Sauvignon has a classic style with nice acidity, moderate alcohol and fine tannins so an older one like 1995 Catena Alta matches Sirloin Steak with Bearnaise Sauce.
With their 2002 Catena Alta Chardonnay from Adriana Vineyards at almost 5000 feet elevation, a regional dish of Humita en Chala is marvelous – cornmeal in its husk made slightly spicy and cooked in a mud oven.”
MAY DE LENCQUESAING ex of Pichon Lalande and now Glenelly in South Africa:
“1983 Pichon Lalande: Elegant and complex nose, the fruit on the palate shows great intensity, there are lots of layers of bouquet and flavors with a still fresh finish.
Pheasant & Mushrooms
1982 Pichon Lalande: Full body, rich fruit and powerful tannins with a long velvety finish.
Duck Magret with a crispy skin
One of May’s grandfathers was a big Burgundy Wine Collector (which was very rare in Bordeaux at the time) and she grew up also enjoying White and Red Burgundy.
She is now making a vibrantly citrus, lime, zesty, minerally Chardonnay at her Glenelly Estate in South Africa and recommends serving the 2011 with a firm white fish with a light aioli sauce.
2007 Grand Vin de Glenelly has rich ripe Shiraz fruit contributing pepper-spice along with the Bordeaux varieties that she serves with Springbok Carpaccio with some Truffle Oil.
2009 Lady May, a 94 pointer on eRobertParker.com is Glenelly’s Flagship Estate Wine of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon of Southern France) and she recommends Beef Wellington as a great pairing!”
ERWAN FAIVELEY of Faiveley:
10 wines each with a very specific one of two food matchings in French, which will be posted on our website.
Mercurey Blanc Clos Rochette 2007 – Plateau de Fruits de Mer ou Vol-au-Vent et son petit mesclun (Raw and cooked seafood or puff pastry with mesclun)
Mercurey La Frambosiere 2006 – Risotto aux Cepes ou Navarin d’Agneau (Risotto with cepes or Lamb Stew with Spring Vegetables)
Mercurey 1er Cru Clos des Myglands (monopole) 2008 – Gigot d’Agneau ou Perdrix aux lentilles (Leg of lamb or partridge with lentils)
Meursault 1er Cru Blagny 2009 – Mousseline de brochet sauce aux ecrevisses, terrine de homard (Mousse of pike with crayfish sauce, lobster terrine)
Puligny-Montrachet 1er cru La Garenne 2010 – Poelee de Saint-Jacques, ecrevisses a la crème (Crayfish in cream sauce, Saint Jacques style)
Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er cru Les Damodes 2006 – Cuissot de chevreuil au vinaigre de framboise ou magret de canard roti au poivre vert (Haunch of roe deer in a raspberry vinaigrette or roast duck breast in green peppercorns)
Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Les Porets Saint Georges 2007 – Civet de lievre ou Pigeon aux petits pois (Wine stew of hare or pigeon with petite peas)
Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Les Cazetiers 2000 – Magret de canard aux baies de cassis ou Filet de Biche (Duck breast with cassis berries or filet of doe)
Latricieres-Chambertin 2000 – Pave de Charolais et sa poelee de girolles (Filet of Charolais beef and sautéed chanterelles)
Corton Clos des Cortons 2009 – Filet de Sanglier a la moutarde, ou Caille rotie ou Fromage bien affine (Citeaux) (Filet of wild boar with mustard or roast quail with well ripened cheese)
Mostly we still see sweet wines being recommended with dessert. In fact some producers have done most of their marketing in this direction. An example would be Andrew Quady and his many years of sponsoring Dessert Competitions finding the magical dessert to go with Essencia from Orange Muscat (or the low alcohol version of Electra) and with Elysium from Black Muscat. Quinta do Noval are starting their second year of finding the best chocolate dish to match their 2005 Late Bottled Vintage and also 10 year old Tawny Port. Sauternes and sweeter Riesling have traditionally been the same but this is rapidly changing. Jeannie Cho Lee the first Asian Master of Wine has a book out called Perfect Pairings and recommends German wines with many Asian flavours. Particularly those with some sweetness such as many Shanghainese dishes and Indian coconut curries are perfectly suited for Riesling Auslese. Jeannie is presently promoting with the 2-star Michelin Shang Palace at Kowloon Shangri-La in Hong Kong the mini custard Sauternes Moon Cake with specifically Chateau Guiraud. There was a similar seminar last year at Vin Expo in Bordeaux promoting Sauternes with many Chinese dishes prepared on the spot. Pretty soon all the Sauternes produced will be headed for China. So as a follow up, I thought I should ask the world’s two most experienced Sauternes experts for their present ideas.
BILL BLATCH ex of Vintex in Bordeaux:
The world’s number one authority on all Sauternes professes to be “a fervent promoter of Sauternes with all food!” He likes André’s selections with Sauternes but comes up with a few alternatives for himself:
Chateau Climens: A.S. Apple Charlotte; B.B. Oysters on the half shell (especially salty ones)
Chateau Guiraud: A.S. Peach Melba; B.B. Crab/Langoustines/Ecrevisses a la Nage au Safran
Chateau Suduiraut: A.S.Nectarines; B.B. Szechuan/Spicy Indian food
Chateau Rabaud: A.S. Raspberries; B.B. Pork Chop with a touch of pepper
Chateau Lafaurie-Peyraguey: A.S. Strawberries; B.B. Grilled Sausages/Baby Back Ribs
Chateau d’Yquem: A.S. Peaches; B.B. Roast Turkey
As for dry whites and reds he confesses to becoming more and more American about this, tending to drink half the bottle in the kitchen before eating. Some things that work well with the other half are:
Ch. de Fontenille Clairet 2011 – Melon & Prosciutto
Ch. Chalon 1996 Mossu – Mersey Natives (the nutty ones)
Ch. Senejac Blanc 1990 – Poached Lobster Tails
Ch. Ausone 1985 – Escalope de Veau with no sauce
Ch. Montrose 1991 – Leg of Lamb medium rare
Ch. Thebot 2003 – Grilled Sirloin Rare
Couvent des Jacobins 1998 St. Emilion – Roast Chicken and roasties
ALEXANDRE DE LUR SALUCES ex of Chateau d’Yquem and now Chateau de Fargues:
Another very knowledgeable Sauternes friend likes matching d`Yquem, de Fargues and all Sauternes generally with seafood. Particularly crab, lobster, crayfish, oysters, scallops with a younger Sauternes from 2002, 2006, or 2008. Ris de Veau also are very enjoyable with a young Sauternes like 2005.
“I must confess that I like it with Foie Gras which is not a scoop! I like it even better if slightly poele (butter braising) with some 1967. When going to Asia, I love Beijing pork, with the skin caramelized with the 2001. However, maybe this millesime should be kept for the future as it is a great one too young to be already consumed – therefore take 1998 with it now. With cheeses I like Roquefort or Stilton with a solid millesime like 1990. Raise a bit of a controversy with desserts. It is too late in the meal and the confrontation of the sugar remaining in the humblest dessert eclipses the natural sugar of the wine emphasising too much its necessary acidity. If I must, I choose then Blanc Manger which Richard Olney loved with his d`Yquem.
Many of the great chefs I know prefer serving a fruit tart or mango or pineapple with an outstanding vintage like a 1975.”
ALFRED TESSERON of Chateau Pontet-Canet:
The owner of Chateau Pontet-Canet in Pauillac perhaps sums it up best.
“Over the years both of us have had many different vintages of Pontet-Canet and we realize that they go well with a lot of dishes – I think it is a question of personal taste! At home I often serve my red wine with sea-bass”!
As you can see there are lots of new matching ideas out there.
Some thirty years ago there was an article published in Western Living Magazine by David Rodger profiling me in some detail because of my intense wine infatuation. At that time I was quoted about how much I admired the work of the IWFS and André Simon as well as his original Partners booklet and how I promised in the article to have it updated one day. Now here I am a generation late attempting to do just that. Because there are now so many match making game possibilities with so many wines from the New World I thought it rather presumptuous of me to just list mine. Certainly there are already lots of books and websites out there trying to do this with “What to Drink With What You Eat,” “Perfect Pairings,” “Matching Food and Wine,” Wine Spectator tips on how to match, Natalie MacLean’s Wine & Food Matcher, etc., but a search on Google to find the food you need to complement the wine you are opening is still difficult.
I believe we can do it much better and be more specific and reliable from the personal experiences of so many of our knowledgeable members.
Therefore the purpose of this Lecture is two-fold. Firstly, to bring back into focus our respect for and fond memories of André Simon but also to encourage each of you here today and all IWFS members to list one or two cherished wine and food pairings and share it with us by posting it on our website.
I have Andrea Warren at the International Secretariat in London already on this asking our wine consultants for the Vintage Card from the regions around the world to submit with their current 2012 year harvest reports a few of their best wine and food matches. Eventually next year our goal is to correlate all these recommendations using this input from all of us and to publish another little Partners Revisited booklet in tribute to André Simon. Please help us out and send in your best wine and food matches!