Can never be too sweet

Who said that raisins and molds can only accompany desserts? Here are some different ideas for savory pairings.

White wine with fish, red wine with meat and sweet wine at the end of a meal: these were, until a few years ago, the canonical rules of food and wine pairings, increasingly overtaken by the indications of less rigid sommeliers and obvious demonstrations of taste. That of relegating sweet and liqueur wines to the moment of dessert, however, remains the most difficult to unhinge, with the exception of the world of cheeses which – in particular as regards blue and creamy cheeses with flowery paste – have always found excellent companions in these goblets.

Although it is undeniable that in general the sweet / sweet combination works, perhaps looking at kitchens far from ours – where sweet and sour is a rather widespread concept – you can find some different ideas for drinking excellent bottles of this type even with food. salty. Certainly not for the whole meal but rather with a surprise entry into the menu, and taking care to serve them at the right temperature: with the cold, in fact, perceptions change considerably and this helps to soften the sensation of sweetness and alcohol content wines.

For example, serving it around 12 ° C, also the explosive sweetness (however never cloying) of the Epokale Gewurztraminer Spätlese by Cantina Tramin – forged in its spicy and exotic fruit aromas from seven years of rest in a cave located at 2000 meters high and 450 under the mountain – it will certainly accompany a Japanese-style lacquered eel, with the fat of the meat and the balanced sweetness of the lacquer balanced by the unexpected freshness and elegance of the wine.

Staying on more territorial combinations, a Recioto della Valpolicella Classico (in this case not excessively cold, at 14 ° C) such as Quintarelli‘s “A Roberto”, with its velvety and enveloping notes of red fruits in alcohol, could well accompany a traditional wild boar with cocoa or jugged – to enhance the cinnamon and other spices scents – but also a pig’s cheek cooked at low temperature in a dark chocolate sauce.

Instead, let’s look at the border between France and Germany, and in particular Alsace, to propose a decidedly out of the ordinary pairing with a unique wine born in another frontier land: Gravner s 8’9’10 – Ribolla giallo from botrytised grapes, fermented in amphora and aged at least 48 months in small oak barrels – between 10 ° and 12 ° C it can accompany not only seasoned and particularly intense cheeses such as the excellent Friulian Jamar but also a Baeckeoffe, a typical baked casserole from the French region where the meat is marinated in wine and then baked in the oven with onions and potatoes in a pan sealed with the bread dough.

Risking even more, it could be a great challenge – also ideal for the summer season, always keeping an eye on the serving temperature which in this case should be around 14 ° C – to propose Avignonesi‘s Vin Santo Occhio di Pernice, with its complex aromatic profile reminiscent of dates, dried figs, black cherries and candied citrus fruits, with a soft pizza topped with ham (or better still, culatello) and figs, instead of the usual cantucci. While in winter, even with a few more degrees, a foie gras escalope will certainly not leave anyone disappointed.

Fatty liver in terrine and blue cheeses – such as a Roquefort or a Bleu d’Auvergne, to stay in France, but also an English Blue Stilton or a very Italian Gorgonzola – are well-tested combinations for the immense Château d’Yquem, with its fascinating nuances of dried and candied fruit, honey and spices. However, we want to have fun offering you a decidedly more unusual, mediterranean and summery combination by flanking a very cold glass (around 7 ° C) with a delicious scampi or shrimp cocktail with a properly made pink sauce.

– Luciana Squadrilli 04.06.2021

Luciana Squadrilli is a professional journalist specialized in food and wine, she collaborates with Italian and foreign guides and newspapers telling the best side of Italy (and not only). Editor of Food&Wine Italia and food editor of Lonely Planet Magazine Italia, she deals with pizza and oil with particular attention, loves Champagne and is the author of several titles including La Buona Pizza (Giunti) and Pizza and Bolle (Edizioni Estemporanee).

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