Food and wine pairing heaven: Sweet Vouvray and blue cheese

Foreau Demi Sec 2011Some wines are for everyday… you knock them back without a care or thought.  Those are freeing and ephemeral days. But then, there are wines that give pause… stay in your memory like your first dance with a sweetie. They grab you and hang on for the ride.

I recently experienced a sexy slow dance.

Tasted back in November, I still remember the wine’s sensations and flavors. But not necessarily when I drank it alone — it’s really too sweet for my palate. But when I paired it with some salty, creamy, thick-veined blue cheese, it transformed. My tweet read: “Blue cheese + Foreau Demi Sec is freakin’ unbelievable”. Not sure I need to say more.

But why so fabulous together?

The Foreau Demi Sec Vouvray hails from France’s Loire Valley, where Chenin Blanc reigns. The Sybil of grapes, Chenin Blanc can be sweet or dry, austere and acidic, or viscous and aromatic, depending on where it’s grown, how it’s tended and the winemaker’s mood. This demi sec (literally translated “half dry”) falls on the lush, aromatic spectrum, packed with ripe pear, apricot, baking spices, peach and mango, and sprinkled with minerals, honey and roasted nuts. But, as with many Chenin Blancs, it also sports a crisp, citrus, chamomile finish that cuts through some of the sweetness.

That acid also helps it out in another department — cutting through the fat richness of an oft-pungent blue cheese. To mellow out the forward personality of a blue, you need a smooth, sweet partner. Foreau Demi Sec is the 100% compatibility to this mostly brusque cheese. Serve this wine for dessert or have the pair for dinner… nothing wrong with creamy, sweet goodness as a main course.

Sweetness: 6 out of 10
Price: $34 – $38
Occasion: Tasted at an industry event.
Availability: Fine wine stores or online retailers. (Buy it here)

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