September's vintage of Wine Blogging Wednesday is here, and our host, the food blogging sensation Clotilde of Chocolate & Zucchini has chosen chocolate cake as our first WBW pairing partner, even providing us with a recipe.
From the moment Clotilde first mentioned her theme idea to me...my mind started to work (harder than usual). I love quality dessert wine, so that was the obvious route, but what kind would be best?
I honestly wasn't sure because I'm the type of person to drink (and even serve) a nice dessert wine in lieu of dessert (instead of with dessert).
So, after a little research, Sauternes popped up as an option. Wanting to stick with my usual wine region (you all know where that is by now), I picked up a bottle of Jamesport Vineyards 1998 Semi-Glace ($20) (a semillon dessert wine) instead.
After a quick look in my cellar I found a couple more dessert wine options, emerging with both a raspberry wine ($18) and a blueberry wine ($10) from Baldwin Vineyards in New York's Hudson Valley. And finally, as I shopped for some cava or prosecco to serve with brunch last Sunday, I picked up a bottle of 2004 Rosa
Regale Brachetto d'Acqui D.O.C.G. ($20).
Knowing that my in-laws (who were in town) read LENNDEVOURS and love trying new wines...I thought dinner last Friday night the perfect time to unleash these wines...along with a cake Nena baked following Clotilde's recipe.
The meal was a lot of fun. I won't spoil the upcoming post about the menu and non-dessert wines too much...but our new pasta maker (a wedding gift) was employed and Nena made a excellent, earthy wild mushroom pesto that I'll not soon forget.
Wine #1: Jamesport Vineyards 1998 Semi-Glace
I was happy to find the 1998 vintage of this wine (2001 is the most recent, and last, vintage of this wine)...but it was obviously not stored properly. Though it was laying horizontally when I bought it, I think the cork had dried out at some point. It came out way too easily and the wine was pretty oxidized. Didn't work out at all on it's own or with the cake. Strike one.
Wine #2: Baldwin Vineyards 2004 Blueberry Wine
This is Baldwin Vineyards' first blueberry wine and I thought it was pretty good. Not nearly as intense or fresh tasting as the raspberry wine, but I think that's mainly the result of differences between how a fresh blueberry tastes compared to a fresh raspberry. To me, as much as I love blueberries, very few fruits rival a fresh rasperry. Not a strike, but not a hit either. Let's call it a foul ball off the first base line.
Wine #3: Baldwin Vineyards 2004 Raspberry Wine
I've written about this wine before and it was outstanding with the cake. Chocolate and raspberry is a classic combination and the intense, fresh raspberry flavors of this wine were near perfect. Even if you don't like fruit wine (you snobs know who you are) this combination is undeniably delicious. A triple down into the right field corner. My mother in law absolutely loved this wine.
Wine #4: Rosa Regale Brachetto d'Acqui D.O.C.G.
This fruity (raspberry and rose petals) sparkler is low in alcohol (7%) but it was far and away the winner for me (and for Nena). The flavors were perfect with the dark chocolate and the bubbles curbed some of the cake's richness. I've wanted to try this bubbly for quite a while...and I'm glad I finally did. I think it would be great on it's own, with any dessert or even with BBQ (seriously). With the raspberry wine already on third, Rosa hits a 500-foot bomb into the upper deck. Two-run home run to win the game.
Clotilde...thank you so much for hosting and for coming up with such a great theme. I think this is going to be the biggest WBW to date...and hopefully this will be the first of many food-pairing themes!