And by local I mean the type of pairings that were born in Burgundy. A usual rather than giving you just one name I will give you styles that should match and why. This way you can describe the type of Chablis you are after at a restaurant or in wine shop.
- Gougères: Puff pastry, cheese probably one of the most iconic “dish” you will find everywhere in Burgundy. Perfect for a snack on the go it is also usually served as part of a buffet or for an aperitif. The whole of the Chablis range can actually match this crusty cheesiness. Let’s keep the Chablis Premier Cru and Grand Cru aside for a more complex occasion but the freshness and sharpness of a Petit Chablis or young Chablis will cut through the fattiness of the Gougère. You can also try a fruitier, rounder, grapier Chablis to counter balance the cheese.
- Jambon persillé: Literally parsleyed ham .. or ham with parsley stuck together with some jelly. Usually cubed and served as an aperitif or cut into a couple blocks served with some salad as a first dish it can be paired with pretty much every level of Chablis you will be able to find. I would keep away from the pure minerality some Chablis offer and try and find a fruity, richer, smoother Chablis or Chablis Premier Cru to go with the meaty, herby ham.
- Andouillette de Chablis: Are you sure you need the description? Well it is basically tripe sausage and by tripe I mean what is inside. The tube shape is coming from intestines and it’s just a beautiful meaty, gamy and spicy dish you can eat cold for an aperitif or grilled as a main dish. While a Chablis with a lot of personality and concentration can work I’m thinking fruity, fully ripe and oaky, a Chablis Premier Cru will definitely be a match because of its complexity. Ask for either a wine with an earthy minerality or for something that is rich, powerful and certainly ripe.
- Snails: If you never had snails you really are missing on something. They are usually served in their shells with a lot of butter, garlic and parsley so don’t really taste of anything and can be rubbery. Snails cans also be exquisite when prepare with a bit of respect you then discover a very delicate meat both tender and slightly earthy that can be served with just a touch of spices. I try to add just a touch of curry and sometimes a bit of pancetta and some sage. The way you serve them is then what is going to lead in choosing your wine. A good rule of thumb is trying to find a Chablis or Chablis Premier Cru that are either quite powerful and round or maybe a Chablis Premier that had time to age to gain new aromatics with a buttery, foresty or mushroomy scents.
- Jambon au Chablis: Every one in Chablis has a personal recipe for this dish. The base for the Chablis sauce is pureed tomatoes, shallots, cream and of course Chablis. It is quite rich and creamy so anything to young, fresh and simple won’t make it. You are indeed trying to find a Chablis, Chablis Premier Cru or Chablis Grand Cru which is full bodied, charming, round and rich rather than fresh and packed with minerality. Old vines, a touch of oak and older vintages should do the trick.