Englishmen in the sweet wine vineyard of Bordeaux
Englishmen in the sweet wine vineyard of Bordeaux

October 14, 2016

Englishmen in the sweet wine vineyard of Bordeaux

Four English journalists discovered the Sweet Bordeaux vineyard during the 2016 harvest. A great time to understand what is special about these wines. They also met with winemakers and discovered amazing wine and food pairings, especially with vegetables and cheese.

2016 harvest in the heart of the Sweet Bordeaux vines

The aromatic richness of the Sweet Bordeaux wines comes from the botrytisation of the grapes. The famous “noble rot” concentrates the aromas, which then appear during the winemaking. The harvests are therefore a crucial time when the pickers perform several passages (known as successive selection), to pick the grapes perfectly botrytised.

The harvest is a great time to meet the winemakers. We saw the grapes and this is particularly interesting with the Sweet Bordeaux. We learn to differentiate between bad rot and botrytis. We see how the wine is made and we realize the quality of the expertise of the winemakers“.

Kerstin Rodgers, blogger, Ms Marmite Lover

During their stay, the English journalists took part in the harvest, exchanged with winemakers (particularly women) and met a botrytis specialist.

Sweet Bordeaux, not dessert wines!

On her blog MsMarmiteLover, Kerstin Rodgers talks about her three passions: food, wine and travel. In the Bordeaux Sweet vineyards, she didn’t come as an expert, but “as someone who loves cooking, drinking and enjoying wine while eating“. A good thing as during her stay she could taste amazing food and wine pairings. Enough to sweep preconceptions.

My most important discovery is that these so-called “dessert wines” don’t actually have a suitable name, because they do not go well with desserts. In France you have the aperitif and it’s much more interesting to drink them at that time or with cheese“.

Englishmen in the sweet wine vineyard of Bordeaux

The Sweet Bordeaux appellations wines can also be enjoyed throughout the meal. The young chef Aurélien Crosato offered them a vegetable based menu: fennel and brulées oranges salad, crunchy artichokes, marinated eggplant and even a cheese platter (Stilton, Gouda, Comté, Roquefort, Fourme marinated in Sauternes). Chef Olivier Straehli suggested a shepherd’s pie with pumpkin and coconut milk, a carrot puree, orange blossom cream and trout roe, with roasted pineapple for dessert.

Following her visit, Ms Marmite Lover is considering new recipes. Upon returning to London, she cooked, for example, garden tomatoes with Sauternes and Espelette chilli and served them with fresh pasta.

How about you, what dish do you like to enjoy a Sweet Bordeaux with?