20060508

Acid test: Matching seafood and Sauvignon (Dourthe No. 1 2004)

Dourthe No. 1 2004
White wine often makes a nice apertif. Sauvignon Blanc is no exception. In fact it is the perfect before-dinner drink. Zippy and refreshing, this grape does a good job at waking up your tastebuds and getting them ready for meal that lies ahead.

There is a reason for this. Sauvignon Blanc can pack dangerous astringency -- both in the form of citrus flavours and heightened levels of acidity. It is the kind of combination that can often grind to a halt the enjoyment of creamy and rich courses. (You'll be disappointed if you blindly pair this wine with fish -- a salmon-based rosé sauce on pasta, for example is a screamingly bad partner for most Sauvignon. I know because I tried it.)

WINE AND FOOD RATIONALIZATION

That does not mean that Sauvignon Blanc should be removed from food settings. There are so many great matches for it. You are just advised not to match it with your creamier dishes. Cheese can work and work well, especially cheese on a pizza. The tomato sauce will complement the acidity in the wine. I recommend a seafood pizza in particular. The crab-meat, shrimp and scallops will make your meal sing.

And here is the song: Dourthe No. 1 2004. From Bordeaux, this wine falls under the general Bordelais appellation (AOC). This means it's a good value (click on the bottle image for retail information).

NO-RISK DRINKING

Vignobles Dourthe has always been a reliable bargain-priced producer of international grape varieties. This 2004 vintage, which for the first time is indicated as a Sauvignon Blanc varietal on the front label, is no different.

The 2004 Dourthe No. 1 is a pale golden colour. On the nose, hints of brioche and yeast emerge while luscious white fruit and a touch of spice are clean and crisp on the palate. There's a slightly racy edge to it but everything remains well-balanced. Its bracing mouthfeel is replete with starfruit banana-like fruit notes. It's got a bit of toast to and a nice even finish.

Parempuyre, France. 12%

Backwash
Blogger's been a bad boy.

Last time it was my own boring drivel that prevented a timely update. This time it was a Monday post turned into a Tuesday-at-two, I'm-at-work-but-now-that-I've-finally-got-a-blogspot-window-I'd-better-upload-on-company-time. Zut alors!

2 comments:

Collin C. said...

It is funny what getting older does to you.
For instance...When I was younger, I got excited when reading about the acid tests in the sixties in San Fransisco....Now I get excited about acid tests involving wine. Who'd of thunk it?!

I guess if your interest doesn't shift (mature?) you end up like Keith Richards, falling out of 16' palm trees & waking up in hospital beds.
:)

g58 said...

Ha!

It's in the interest of maturity that I republish this emailed response to my acid tests. This reader makes a fair comment about my findings by bringing up food fattiness (though I might still argue that this wine's weight prevents it from being a match for heavy sauces):

"I always tell people to go for the high acid wines such as riesling, chenin blanc, sauv blanc, or Chablis when they are having dishes that are high in fat. These dishes would be things such as Fois Gras, Fricassee, Lobster with butter.... What happens is the fat coats the majority of your taste buds and the wines with lower acid, such as chards, pinot blancs, these wines float over top of the fat and you lose the wine over the richness of the food. In general, high fat foods prefer acidic or tannic wines to mitigate the fat. It's one of the odd times you want a contrast instead of a compliment. Along the same lines as a sweet wine with salty foods."