Decanter – Sweet and fortified wines for the Christmas
16 November 2020
How to serve and preserve They’re among the best value, and most delicious, wines in the world. But there can still be uncertainty among wine lovers around how best to enjoy these classic and characterful styles. Anne Krebiehl MW asks the experts for their food-pairing tips.
We all know what to do with white, red, rosé and sparkling – but what about sweet and fortified wines? These unmatched, flavour-laden classics – because that is what they are – are often overlooked simply because we’re not sure how, when and with what to serve them. We have therefore consulted the experts to provide practical answers and some surprising food pairings. It turns out there are whole worlds to discover beyond the delicious but clichéd PortStilton and Sauternes-foie gras combos of yore (…)
Aline Baly, who runs Château Coutet in Barsac, Bordeaux, has perfected the art of serving sweet wines with every course. While her ‘absolute favourite’ pairing is lobster, she swears by shellfish starters, roast chicken for main and fresh strawberries for dessert. So don’t restrict yourself to aperitif or dessert for these intense, golden wines.
Baly avoids small dessert wine glasses and goes for white wine glasses instead. She recommends serving at 9°C-10°C, but suggests, ‘a cooler temperature when wines are served with a spicy dish or a sweet dessert. Cooler is also better for very young and much older vintages. Middle-age wines can be served a couple of degrees warmer to allow the warm baking spices to express themselves.’
Leftovers keep well when refrigerated. ‘These wines are resilient,’ Baly says. ‘That you can keep a bottle open for more than a week is a fact unknown to many.’ Schröck agrees: Auslesen last for 10 days, while concentrated Ausbruch can keep for up to three weeks(…)
Anne Krebiehl MW