Category Archives: Food Pairing

Duck sauce – Domaine Rimbert 2009 Saint-Chinian Comocolo

I really don’t consider myself a foodie. I mean, I enjoy good food, but I don’t have the curiosity and passion behind what’s on my plate as I do for the wine in my glass. In general, I consider the dish to be secondary and my wife prepares meals according to the bottle I plan on opening. Last night, however, was food night!

Since we’ve come to the South of France, we’ve been firing up the barbecue practically everyday, and this time, we decided to go all out and try our favorite meat: duck. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures, as I haven’t acquired the food porn reflex, but this magret (duck breast) was absolutely magnificent! I won’t try to describe it either. So why do I even bring it up? Because of the wine (of course!) and the incredible food pairing that resulted.

Domaine Rimbert

Domaine Rimbert is situated in Berlou with about 30 hectares of old-vine parcels spread across the slopes of the Languedoc’s Saint-Chinian AOC. From what I could read on the French website, the bon-vivant Jean-Marie Rimbert [video] runs his 28ha estate since 1996 in good humor (francophones, check out the very funny lettres on the home page), specializing in terroirs of schiste, or slate. In fact, the first time I encountered his wines was the very elegant and rose scented “Mas aux schistes“. You may chuckle, the pun is intended.

2009 Saint-Chinian Comocolo

Domaine Rimbert 2009 Saint-Chinian Comocolo (Despite the cute chick on the label, it's with a grilled duck magret that this wine truly shone.)

Domaine Rimbert 2009 Saint-Chinian Comocolo (Despite the cute chick on the label, it’s with a grilled duck magret that this wine truly shone.)

Despite the cute bunny on the label, it’s with a grilled duck magret that this wine truly shone.

Impression (+)

The Comocolo is blend of the southern varietals (Syrah, Carignan, Grenache) and is the more accessible bottling by the estate. As such, it does not offer the complexity of the Mas, but is more fruit forward and youthful. In fact, this is a straight up fruit bomb. The ripe crème de cassis aromas explode, covering the entire palate with a juicy coating of sheer pleasure, while the smooth tannins do their best to scrub it off so that the wine doesn’t feel heavy and finishes in style.

Food and Wine Pairing: Duck Magret (++)

Although I would normally pair duck with a classic Pinot Noir, I was really itching to try the remainder of this Saint-Chinian with the magret (I also didn’t have any Burgundy on hand). I figured the incredible fruit would pair nicely with the bloody red meat, while the extra southern power could provide balance with the char-grilled skin. I had no idea it would be this good though!

My wife didn’t prepare the usual red wine and balsamic reduction to go with the duck, since we wanted the simple grilled experience. The wine replaced the sauce however, and our meal was transformed into a magret au cassis with every sip, while retaining the character of the tender meat and crispy skin.  My favorite part is that the wine delivered tons of fruit without the sweetness of a sauce or reduction. When you think about it, what better to serve duck “sauce” than in a glass?

Cooking for Wine

Last week, I came across Mas Jullien 2009 Languedoc Rosé which was so good that it has become one of my recent favorites. So I brought it home the other day when my friends were supposed to come over. I decided to serve them with this exquisite wine at dinner. But the question was what kind of food I should cook for the get together that not only tastes great but also goes along with this amazing wine. The first dish that popped up in my head was fried foie gras with toasted brioche and caramelized apples. That moment, I knew, the dinner was going to be fantastic.

cooking for wine foie gras

On my first sip, the first thing that came to my mind was the strawberry fruit yogurt I have been a fan of since ages. The color was red but not as it red as it should be. The wine is exquisite but it lacks the wildness it deserves. It’s more sober in nature than wild and active. I mean, drinking it wouldn’t make you act all crazy, rather it will give you that peaceful and passive sensation that makes you do nothing but watch as the show goes on.

I wanted to get the best out of this drink and the only way to do that was to take it with the food that would complement it in the best way possible; something that could go along with the fruity flavor of the wine; something like fried foie gras and toasted brioche with an addition of caramelized apples. And that ended up being the final menu for the night.

Food and Wine Pairing: Fried Foie Gras (++)

The crispy taste of the fried foie gras, the scent of the toasted brioche and the sweetness of the caramelized apples would perfectly match the fruity flavor of the Mas Jullien 2009 Languedoc Rosé. The fried foie gras has a livery taste with a smooth and buttery texture and is usually used in preparing desserts and other sweet delicacies. Preparing it might not be so easy if you are trying it for the first time, it takes a lot of experience and expertise, not to mention the sincere effort you need to put into it to make it.

The fried foie gras with its buttery and melts-in-the-mouth properties along with the toasted brioche and the caramelized apples with their sweetness go perfectly well with the red Mas Jullien 2009. I knew it from the moment I tasted the first drop of this delicious wine. Trust me when I say that the food and the wine went along like peanut butter and bananas. The taste food was delicious, not to forget the soothing sensation of the wine. The combination made the entire dinner look like a sweet and heavenly feast.

NOTES:
Oh and by the way, I did not mention what deep fryer I used to make fried foie gras. It was Waring one, and I would say this is a decent fryer with a decent number of options. Good even for delicate and soft foie gras. I found it here – check it out if you want to know more!