Valentine’s Day is all about perfect pairings. Good company and great food, wonderful music and a relaxing atmosphere, Sauterne and Foie Gras, Caviar and Champagne – the list of perfect pairings at Bel Canto goes on. Not all perfect pairings are easy to make, however, and it took us some time, and a lot of research to find the ideal wine to match with our decadent Fondant au chocolat – but find it we did. Introducing our Maury Grenat Mas Mudigliza.
Maury is a sweet red wine from the Roussillon region in the South of France, known as a “vin doux naturel” and frequently compared to port. Made predominantly with black Grenache grapes, the wine’s sweetness comes from the addition of fortifying spirits (such as port or brandy) mid-fermentation. This process stops the wine yeast activities, leaving behind the natural residual sugars. One of the sweetest and most popular Maury is Mas Amiel, but it would have overpowered the subtleties of our chocolate dessert, so we decided to opt for its subtler cousin, the Maury Grenat Mas Mudigliza.
This delightful wine is grown in a small vineyard, owned by organic farmer and winemaker Dmitri Glipa and has received extremely good scores from the various critics. Highly dedicated to his craft, Glipa works the soil by hand, hand-harvests his grapes, and has been known to sleep in the wine cellar for a week while his Maury is fermenting. After moving his business to Roussillon from Bordeaux in 2005 he has built a reputation for creating perfectly-balanced wines with great precision and our Maury of choice is no different. Medium-bodied, this wine carries notes of forest fruits, black cherries, and sweet spice, with a clean nose and beautifully integrated sugars and acidity.
Its rich, fruity tones make it an excellent pairing for foie gras or blue cheese, but really, this wine was made for chocolate. Pairing chocolate and wine can be difficult to get right, but there are a few helpful tips you can use. The darker the chocolate, the darker and fuller-bodied the wine should be and – most importantly – the wine should always be sweeter than the chocolate. If it is less sweet, it will taste bitter. When correctly chosen, your wine will bring a natural sweetness to the dish, balanced with a fresh acidity which will cleanse the palate, ready for the next mouthful.
Our Maury does just that – but don’t take our word for it! Why not book your Valentine’s dinner with us and try for yourself?