Is it any surprise that Mlle. Dusoulier would choose chocolate as the theme for her edition of Wine Blogging Wednesday?
Yes, she charged us with selecting a wine that would pair well with an intense chocolate cake. While she provided a recipe, participants were allowed to use their favorite recipe to create a dense, moist and nut-free cake.
Derrick is proving to be a very good person to know (and live a mere 10 blocks from) on WBW. Last month, I used his notes on Dashe as my own personal cheat-sheet. Yesterday, we got to enjoy his foie gras terrine & fig jam for his SFist article and then wrapped the evening with his divine flourless chocolate cake for our wine challenge.
He brought a youthful vintage port (isn't that an oxymoron??), while we provided a '95 Colheita Madeira.
Madeira, for those not in the know, is a style of (often) sweet wine made by essentially cooking the grape must and oxidizing it completely. Only then is the wine fortified with brandy, like port.
This renders Madeira generally impervious... to anything... except maybe a pair of klutzy hands. The wine is already oxidized, so an open bottle will last ages -- longer than it will take you to drink it, I assure you.
Wine: Broadbent Madeira Colheita
Appellation: Madeira, Portugal
Price: $45, though I believe our bottle was purchased for $38
Nutty burnt caramel. Beneath that, a layer of burnt rubber, but this was not unpleasant.
Deep, burnt amber, caramelized sugar.
Beautiful acidity supports the hefty sugar in this wine. The nose follows-through to the palate with toasted, caramelized nuts and rich vanilla. A little bit of rich, tangy raisin leads to a slightly dry, very long finish. Just delicious.
I love this wine. I think its reasonable price tag belies a quality that is comparable to many of the vintage Malmsey's I've had. It's a wine that we are likely to keep on-hand as our "house oxy".
How did it fare with the dessert? Well, it was really quite perfect with the chocolate cake. However, the raspberry sauce clashed slightly, making Derrick's vintage port a better pairing with the overall dish.