Think truffles, foie gras or even caviar and you will be spot on what this article is going to be about … pairing luxury food with the wines of Chablis. As usual I will not give specific names only styles so you have a chance to find the right Chablis wherever you are.
- Truffles: Probably one of the most recognisable aromas out there truffles have this heavily powerful earthy mushroomy scent. A Young Chablis will just not do. You need time and age to reach the same level of intensity. An older Chablis Premier Cru or Chablis Grand Cru will evolve to notes of honey and mushrooms which will just be perfect … be patient or find someone who carries older vintages like S.Chablis.
- Lobster: Brittany, Scotland, Maine … if you are talking about origins those will probably stand out when thinking about Lobster just as much as Chablis is standing out when talking about white wine. Just as with any of those fantastic dishes less is more and lobster really is at its best without heavy sauces or spices (personal opinion). A touch of butter is usually enough to bring the experience to another level. So if you are going for this naked version a Chablis Premier Cru just out of it’s first years will bring a citrusy yet deep and rich backbone that will always add some minerality to counter balance the sweet meaty flavour of lobster.
- Foie gras: This has long been and probably still is sweet wine territory. But think of it this way sugar, fat, alcohol and spices while they can work tend to cover the mouth and tastebuds. I can think of to other types of pairing for foie gras a heavy dense and rich south-west red or a cleaner leaner white from Chablis. We are now talking Chablis Grand Cru level to make sure you reach the same level of complexity and aromatic intensity both with the wine and the dish. You can of course go with a wine that had time to age to reach the honey, buttery, mushroomy stage but a ripe, fuller bodied, rich and grapy Chablis Grand Cru is also a very good idea.
- Ris de veau/Sweetbreads: Let’s not get into details as to what sweetbreads are and let’s concentrate on their creamy subtleness. You will not need anything to big or rich a Chablis or Chablis Premier Cru that had time to evolve will do the trick. You probably don’t want pure freshness and high minerality either. I’m think old vines, a touch of oak to round the corners and overall a very balanced wine between elegance and charm.
- Caviar: No introduction needed even if quality levels and tastes vary from one country or maker to another. Caviar can indeed be fairly subtle or quite pungent. You are going to need minerality, a lot of complexity and some length. Oak or no oak will really depend on the style of caviar and age isn’t really what you are after. Think Chablis Grand Cru with a touch of freshness, a layer of minerality and a full range of aromatic complexity.