How about a Banyuls with your blue cheese or your chocolate dessert….? Well, it’s a great pairing, but perhaps you’re not familiar with the wine. Banyuls is what the French call: Vin Doux Naturel. These are essentially sweet fortified wines.
Today’s Wine Pairing: Banyuls x Dessert/Cheese
(For those of you of a technical disposition, they are made by stopping the fermentation by the addition of grape spirit before all the sugar has been converted to alcohol.)
VDN come in both red and white versions (the whites are typically made from Muscat), with Banyuls being the appellation for red VDN made primarily from Grenache. Banyuls itself is in France’s deep south, adjacent to the Spanish border, and produces wines redolent of a bowl of stewed berries, with a sprinkling of cinnamon, allspice and a hint of caramel. They are delicious!
And the best thing is their versatility. With a rich blue cheese they are stunning (similar to a ruby port with stilton), and with the classic pears poached in red wine they are ideal. Banyuls, like Port in fact, is one of the wines that can stand up to chocolate. So don’t be shy to pair it with something indulgently chocolatey.