Sunday, July 22, 2007

What to do with a Young Burgundy

Although the year of 2007 will forever be remembered as the year when both The Cure and The Spice Girls announced their wildly anticipated reunion tours (insert squeal here), the year will no doubt linger in wine lover’s minds for yet another reason. Wine lovers will remember 2007 as the year when the tremendous 2005 Burgundy vintage was released. It’s being said that this will be the best French Pinot Noirs of the decade.
While the majority of wine connoisseurs will buy these Super Pinot Noirs with the intention of cellaring them until maturity smoothes their deep tannins and high acidity, there are those, like myself, who buy the wine to drink it. Now.
There are a couple things I do when set on consuming young Burgundies when they’re waiting to come out of their shell. First, I think Bourgogne Rouge rather Grand Cru. Bourgogne Rouges are the Burgundies that winemakers generally craft for people to enjoy while the Cru wines are aging in a dark cellar. Second, I decant them to tame their edges and introduce them gently to the world. Third I always drink these wines with food. Furthermore foods with higher fat contents, helps to cushions the high acidity and tannins inherent to young wines.

Things I’d eat with an elegant, yet fierce, young Burgundy such as the 2005 Domaine Henri Perrot-Minot “Vielles Vignes” Bourgogne Rouge:

First, charcuterie rocks. Enjoying a Charcuterie plate at the Solano Cellars Wine Bar is naturally the best choice, as it provides a diverse arrangement of Café Rouge and Fra’Mani patés, rilletes and salumies on an exquisite cheeseboard. Sometimes you even get a rosemary sprig. However, charcuterie eaten at home or on a picnic blanket will suffice. The fat and proteins in the meat will bring out the silky qualities in the wine.

With the charcuterie, I’d serve a stinky and creamy washed-rind cows milk cheese. Emphasis on the creamy and the cow. Epoisse cheese, the famous oozing cheese of the Burgundy appellation whose rind is washed with Marc de Bourgogne, would pair beautiful with the region’s Pinot Noir. When in doubt of what cheeses to serve with what wines, look to France. Cheeses and wines from the same region nearly always taste good together and can inspire other pairing. For example, Cowgirl Creamery’s Red Hawk is washed (rubbed) with salted water en lieu of Marc, but would also be an excellent choice for the Burgundy.

If I want to cook for my Burgundy, I’d grill myself a steak. But no tenderloins here- I want something marbled like a Rib-Eye or Flank Steak to coax the wine out of its shell. I’d also toss some rosemary and garlic potatoes in the oven with fennel. A roasted chicken or “chicken under a brick” might also fare well with this wine, but I’d stay away from pork unless you’re going with a fattier, heritage breed (Red Wattle) or luscious cut.

When in the mood for cooking vegetarian dishes, I’d choose a béchamel-based lasagna (tomatoes will only clash with the Burgundy) or a hearty Mac n Cheese. Think food that sticks to your bones.

The above post is an adaption of my writings for the wine shop/bar where I work. I hope that you've enjoyed it.

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Anonymous said...

I just made my first bechamel based lasagna for my husband's birthday and we paired with it a Barbaresco, Piedmont. It seemed to go fairly well but next time I will definitely try a Burgundy!

Rosé Membrillo said...

I probably would have choosesn the same wine as you, if the lasgane was meat based.
Sometimes you just never know.

Jerry said...

It was a Bechamel Ragu Lasagna- and it was super good, too! The ragu was pretty damn flavorful and rich which seemed to pair okay with the Barbaresco. I wanted to mix it up a little bit instead of just settling for a chianti or some other Sangiovese (don't get me wrong, I do fancy a tasty, tart chianti once in a while). I'm straight up breakin down gastronomic walls, yo!