Saturday, April 17, 2010

Not Only Fine Wine

For a wine lover like myself , living in Burgundy and surrounded by Grand Cru sites is the epitome of a great life, yet great wine has to marry great food. This week I was “hosting” a Maltese friend of mine, another wine lover par excellence. Together we didn’t only discover great wines from Burgundy, Jura and the Maconnais but we also discovered great dishes to match.

My favourite dinner was prepared by a Maltese “chef”, my friend Brian. For starters we bought the Mongolfier with escargot and mushrooms, which only our favourite restaurant in Dijon can cook, Pourquoi pas? The lovely earthiness of the mushrooms and the escargot marry so well the fine parsley and crust, lovely! The second dish was prepared by Brian, as he ardently looked for all the best ingredients to prepare the best octopus ever cooked in Dijon. :) Cooked slowly in Bordeaux wine with finely cut garlic, fresh cherry tomatoes, green peppers and marrows, Brian managed to fly me back to Malta for a few minutes and taste its beauty.

One of our best lunches was in the quaint village of Pouilly-Fuissé, well-known for its Chardonnay. After a short walk around town we decided to eat at the only visibly open restaurant in town, Au Pouilly Fuissé.
After having a look at the menu we decided to settle for the Autour de la langouste menu. As the menu name suggests, this 5 course meal was a Langouste Mine d’Or . The Velouté de Langouste et ses ravioles de Foie gras, was served after the introductory mise en bouche. What impressed me about this dish was how creatively the foie gras was added to the dish without overcoming the delicate taste of the velouté.

For our third dish we were served Médaillon de Langouste et Noix de St-Jacques en gratin et poêlés de Morilles. Here the St.Jacques melted in the lovely sauce thickened with the Morilles mushrooms . As main dish we were served a Demi-Langouste rôtie au beurre clarifié. Here the Langouste Lobster was cooked only with butter leaving it to express all its elegant flavours.

Cheese is one of the most important dishes in every French menu. The cheese trolley was extremely inviting with fromage from Pommard, which is soft and covered with dijon mustard seeds, Burgundy’s famous Epoisse, Jura’s mouth watering Comté, the delicate Blue de Bresse and many others.

As dessert we were served Crêpe soufflée à l'orange, quenelle de glace chocolat et sa petite soupe de fruits rouges. Only the most tempting of desserts would get you even to try it after such a long full lunch, and this was surely one. Even if at its sight your subconscious would implore you not to eat more than just a bite, its light soufflé went down too well not to help yourself to a bigger portion.

Well, by now you would be wondering, but what wine would match this “light” lunch? :) Well, a lovely Pouilly-Fuissé, with enough body to handle all the different ingredients of this menu yet with enough acidity to refresh your palate ready for another mouth-watering bite! 

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