Just a few weeks ago, I was approached by a PR agency for French food and wine to take part in a challenge. To be more specific, it is a challenge in food and wine pairing. After last year’s very hectic Royal Selangor – Get Your Jelly On – 30 Day Challenge, I didn’t even think twice to enter this challenge that sounds very interesting – food & wine pairing.
This challenge has been sponsored by Chablis wine. The Chablis region is the northernmost wine district of the Burgundy region in France. The Chablis region gets a calcareous soil and semi-continental climate. The grapevines around the town of Chablis are almost all Chardonnay, making white wine renowned for the purity of its aroma and taste. There are 4 different appellations of Chablis which are: Chablis Grand Cru, Chablis Premier Cru, Chablis and Petit Chablis. Nearly 35 million bottles of Chablis are produced every year.
I have to admit that I am not an expert in wine. I know what kind of taste and aroma I like but I never really know much enough to be able to discuss and share anything about wine. The Chablis blogger challenge has been really rewarding and I have learnt some basic but important notes about wine. It gives me a general understanding – one who drinks wine should at least know. There are 3 simple steps to tasting wine.
Appearance – Take a look to see if the wine is clear and bright. White wine ages darker to tawny brown. Swirl the glass to watch the droplets. Have you ever wonder why this is done? Basically it is to see the droplets – “legs”, which indicate the alcohol content. The greater the number of legs, the higher the alcohol content. The speed of these legs fall tells if the wine is sweet (slow) or dry (fast).
Aroma – The aromas of wine may remind us of fruits – grapefruit, apple, peach/apple cherry, plum, etc. Flowers – chamomile, jasmine, rose, etc. Spice – vanilla, cinnamon, etc. Or vegetal – asparagus, mushroom, etc.
Palate – Think about the aromas you found take an initial sip. Then try to link the taste to the sense of smell and take another sip and draw air through your mouth as if you are taking a mouthful of spaghetti. The tasting experience will intensify. The longer the taste lasts, the more expensive the wine.
I was given 2 bottles of wine – Chablis Premier Cru, Month de Milieu, 2008 and Chablis Domaine de la Boissonneuse, 2009.
Chablis Premier Cru 2008 – it looks really clear, has very pale intensity with a lemony shade. When swirl the glass, the droplets appear to be a lot, which indicates high in alcohol content and the droplets fall reasonable fast, which I personally think it’s medium dry. It has really clean smell, light intensity of aroma of grapefruit, lemon and rose. There is also a slight hint of spice. Taste wise, it is slightly off-dry and very low in acidity. The taste lasted around 5-6 seconds in the mouth.
I personally think this light body white wine will go really well with steamed plaice & spinach rolls. Steamed plaice and spinach roll is a very delicate and light dish, which doesn’t have a lot of seasonings. It can be served as a started. So, to pair it with Chablis Premier Cru 2008 is a great choice as the light body white will not overpower the steamed and light dish but will complement each other well.
Chablis Domaine de la Boissonneuse 2009 – it looks clear, slight medium intensity with almost light golden shade. When swirl the glass, the droplets appear to be moderate, which indicates medium to high in alcohol content and the droplets fall slow, which I think it’s medium sweet. It has really clean smell, medium intensity of aroma of peach and camomile. There is also a slight hint of spice. Taste wise, it is medium sweet and high in acidity. The aroma of spice and citrus can easily be tasted. The taste lasted around 2-3 seconds in the mouth.
I personally think this medium body white wine will go really well with chicken with figs and honey. This is a comfort food that is suitable to be serve as a main. It is a dish that is more to the sweet side instead of savoury. Whereas Chablis Domain de la Boissonneuse is high in acidity, I think to pair it with the chicken and figs with honey will bring a harmonious balance. Bring a slight contrast, allowing both the wine and dish to receive same amount of attention, rather than one catching all the attention!