Dessert: it’s universally acknowledged as the best meal of the day. Who could argue?
It’s also the most popular time to enjoy one of our most treasured wines: our beautiful tawny. Sweetness with sweetness: it’s tried and tested. But we want to rally against the idea that it’s just a dessert wine. And it’s more than just an accompaniment to cheese.
Although we really do set store in that combination: of wine and cheese. But there is something beyond that, and we think you’ll all agree. One of life’s beautiful pleasures is the pairing of wine and food. That’s why there is so much written about it, and that is why matched-wine degustations are so popular. But this exclusion of fortifieds in this mix doesn’t make sense to us: we’re convinced it’s a big mistake.
We know it’s possible and that it’s amazing: we did a whole five-course matched fortified dinner!
Our menu featured such culinary delights such as Ravioli filled with Braised Lamb Shank, as well as Duck Terrine with Port Wine Jelly, Cornichons and Baguette. These were chosen to demonstrate Tawny’s value as a savoury ingredient, and tawny port’s value as an ingredient in fine savoury food. And to demonstrate that you can enjoy fortifieds in a similar way as you can table wine.
But you don’t need to be a sommelier or a world-class chef to get this right. Cooking can be kept to a minimum.
Red meat is a popular accompaniment. You’ve probably seen a port wine jus on a menu before – served with a rare steak. Or port used in a marinade or stew. Red meat, red Tawny – perfect match!
Our white fortified has serious untapped matching potential, too. The partnership here might be obvious, but they’re delicious. It’s here that you’ll find white meats, like fish and seafood paired. If you’re brave and have a special occasion, lobster is a great partner. If you’re just starting your evening, lightly chilled white port and salted, hand cut crisps come highly recommended.
Again, if you’re not much of a chef, you might find yourself relying on the good old cheese platter.
If you are pairing Tawny with cheese, strong cheeses like Stilton are the norm. Think Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Blue d’Auvergne… Salty, strong cheeses, too, are exceptional. Parmigiano Reggiano is a particular favourite.
Aperitif, Main Course accompaniment, single ingredient…
We hope you don’t still think it’s just a dessert wine.