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Wine Pairing Dinner: Four courses paired with Chenin Blanc

For a Father’s Day gift this year our California son and his family gave me something that was unique and a very special treat. They phoned Russ Anderson, owner of The Caviste Wine Shop in Winston-Salem North Carolina and asked him to suggest some wines that would go with a special dinner. Russ knows we are adventurous wine drinkers and always searching to find new and delicious food pairings, so he suggested four wines from France’s Loire Valley. Each wine was made from Chenin Blanc grapes in the Vouray region. But, from this commonality they each diverged into a unique and individual wine. This single grape can be used to make wine from bone dry to dessert sweet and includes still and sparkling wines. When we picked up our wines we received some excellent pairing ideas…one of the added extras that always comes with wine purchased at The Caviste. So with that introduction here’s our menu and what we thought about the wines and their pairing with the food.

Four Course Chenin Blanc Menu:

    1st Course. Four cheeses (Asiago, Gouda, goat and brie) with thin-sliced French baguette.
    Champalou Sparkling Vouvray Brut Méthode Traditionelle

    2nd Course. Green Salad with fresh pears, goat cheese, toasted walnuts & honey, pear olive oil and balsanic vinegar.
    Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Haut Lieu Sec 2010

    3rd Course. Grilled scallops over grilled granny smith apple slices and a lemon sauce; buttered fresh green beans and basmati rice (mushroom & onion) pilaf.
    Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Haut Lieu Demi-Sec 2009

    4th Course. Tarte Tatin with a dab of whipped cream on top.
    Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Haut Lieu Moelleux 2009

The dry sparkling Brut served with the first course started the meal with a festive beginning and the different cheeses paired well with its abundant apple and mineral taste. With the slightly floral aromas and fresh effervescent it was an excellent beginning to our Chenin Blanc wine pairing dinner.

The very delicious Le Haut-Lieu Sec was a perfect accompaniment for this course. The fruity aroma and taste picked up the pear and honey and the penetrating acidity smoothed the goat cheese with every sip. The wine was simply spectacular…full of rich apple, tropical fruit and mineral, but at the same time overflowing with fresh acidity. It was one of the best pairings too.

When we got to the third course the Demi-Sec offered just the slightest sweetness that paired perfectly with the grilled granny smith apples and lemon sauce on the scallops. Aromas of honey and melon, tastes of honey and concentrated citrussy fruit, and a richness that turned this course into a VERY harmonious combination of flavors.

Our fourth course Moelleux was clearly honeysuckle sweet, but when paired with the Tarte Tatin it was one of those perfect combinations where the food and wine create a harmony of tastes that are greater than the sum of the parts. Ripe apple aromas give way to citrus, honey and lots of delicious mineral tastes. Even drinking alone the sweetness was not over-powering and the fruit and acidity were equally important. This was my favorite pairing.

Early Spring in the Domaine Huet vineyard

Simply an OUTSTANDING gift, wine, and food pairing, and when accompanied with good friends the whole experience was memorable!!!

Learn more about the Domaine Huet vineyard and wines