As Mike and I were discussing food/wine matching:
Duck with fruit sauce isn't my favorite, especially as a wine match. But I
never stand in the way of Betsy wanting to try a new recipe. She saw a recipe
in NYT yesterday for duck with a blueberry sauce. We're having friends over.
My normal duck fallback is Burgundy, but (a) think blueberry sauce would
overwhelm, & (b) guests are definitely more the big red types.
I thought of Amarone, but would be infanticide of my lone bottle of '99.
Allegrini Pallazo d. Torre instead?
I'm leaning towards a Southern Rhone, what say ye?
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I would think that the Amarone might class with the berries. Southern is
much better than northern rhone (Can you imagine a big bacon smoked Syrah?
hmm St. Joseph?), CdP might do the job, St. Emilion (or that oft of late
mentioned Pomerol) might be my pick. But damn she couldn't find a harder
one to match. Blue berries in the North American mode are damn sweet with a
big broad taste. It is the flavor clash that seems to be the problem
switch to rapspberries or cherries and it is easy!
It might just be me and my love of German wine but I always have a fine
spatlese Reisling or Gewurtz with duck, had this combo recently at XYZ
restaurant at W hotel in San Francisco- duck with diced roasted yams and
pickled huckleberries in duck reduction paired with a reisling spatlese-
In article ,
I would put my vote in here for any good Paso Robles Syrah as well as a
fairly powerful Rhone. Blueberries overwhelm everything to my taste buds
so you will need something with teeth and not delicate. While Zindfandel
is not a bad choice there seems to me some clash with a Zind and
blueberries for some reason I can't figure out.
Kenneth, that's a good idea- I think a good Riesling matches
surprisingly well with duck with red fruits. But I have trouble
imagining Riesling and blueberries. I opened a Strub kabinett last
night- will have it on the table, too. We'll see.
The unkown is how sweet and spiced the blueberry sauce will be. If made
from fresh blueberries with little or no sugar and spice added, then a
wide range of up to rather dry wies might work. If made from frozen
sweetened blueberries, blueberry jam, and/or if highly spiced with
cloves, cinnamon, and such, you have a very different animal.
If the sauce is somewhat sweet, I might try a late harvest Zinfandel
that has a bit of residual sugar but that still has good fruit. Ridge
has made some such Zinfandel in the past.
I believe you can shop in NYC where you can find a huge selection of
wines. You might try a Ruelander Spaetlese, or even auslese if the sauce
is rather sweet, from the Kaiserstuhl region of Baden in Germany. Some
good wines are made at Steinfelsen, Achkarren, and Ihringen. These wines
can be difficult to find in the US, so you probably will have to
experiment with the few you can find. These wines have much more body
than most other German whites.
If the sauce is somewhat sweet, you might try a Recioto della
Valpolicella. This wine is slightly sweet, unlike Amarone, but is rather
strong. Even a sparkling version sometimes is found. This wine is made
by many of the better Amarone producers such as Allegrini. However it
can be very difficult to find in the US. You probably can find a store
in an Italian neighborhood of NYC that has it. Yes, I know many turn up
their nose at a somewhat sweet red wine. However I have observed that
many of the same people will gladly drink your vintage Port. Just
because much of the worst US red wine was sweet in the past does not
mean that all sweet red wine is bad.
An interestng garnish for the dish might be some preserved fruit with a
bit of mustard in it. This sometimes is imported from Switzerland. It
tasted much better than I thought it would, and the mustard taste was
rather smooth and mild.
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In Oz one of the big (almost traditional now) food & wine matches in Xmas
day Turkey, Cranberry and Sparkling Shiraz (or Durif or Cabernet). Whether
or not the match will work depends on the sugar level of the sauce but I
think it could work quite well. We had a Peter Lehmann Black Queen 1997
Sparkling Shiraz Xmas just passed and it was magnificent.
An explosion of black fruits and chocolate on the palate, gentle tannins
and a long finish. There are great Shiraz fruit flavours and an attractive
cracked yeast character from the secondary bottle fermentation.
I thought about the Petite Sirah idea, but only one I had was a Lava
Cap that is WAY too tannic to serve with duck at moment.
So I served :
Claude Dugat bourgogne (rebottled in 375, refrigerated earlier in week)
Strub Kabinett (because it was open)
3 Thieves Zinfanfel (because my guests love Zin, and are always looking
for budget ones)
well, first of all the match wasn't as bad as I feared. Betsy said
"duck in blueberry sauce", and I had visions of purple duck (a
blueberry version of duck l'orange). But what she actually served was
roast duck with a blueberry sauce (made with fresh blueberries, not
extraordinarily sweet)on the side.
With just duck, my favorites (in order) were: Burg, CdR,Zin, Riesling.
With duck and a touch of sauce: CdR, Burg, Riesling, Zin.
The couple of experimental bites heavy on sauce: Riesling, CdR, Zin,
Burg (with only the Riesling being even a halfway good match).
Thanks for your help!