An Update on Madiran
This is my third blog post on Madiran. For a wine that is so hefty in tannins, this is quite a versatile wine when it comes to food pairings. Madiran is one of my favorites. It is rustic and has so much character.
In my first madiran post, I matched it with seared foie gras – this has got to be my favorite food and wine pairing ever. Check out the post here: Madiran wine and fresh foie gras? Move over Sauternes!
Then I did an post that paired this wine to a multiple course dinner – even dessert! Check out: A wine to go with every course of dinner: Madiran. There, I mainly featured the appetizers and the dessert but only briefly talked about main course: duck. I thought it was about time that I give the main course some proper attention.
This past summer my friend Kelly brought me a bottle of 2011 Chateau d’Aydie by Famille Laplace. This is a lovely wine: bold with tannins and lots of black fruits.
Because Madiran has lots of tannins, the first thing that pops into my mind is rich and fatty foods. Fat does a great job smoothing out tannins. One of the richest dishes I can think of is cassoulet – a rustic casserole from the southwest of France that contains meat (pork sausage and duck confit – the protein in the meat is also very effective in mellowing out tannins), white beans, and lots of fat (the New York Times recipe calls for a quart of duck fat!). Even though cassoulet is so rich, there is enough acidity in the wine to lighten things up. Finally, the rustic flavors of duck and pork not only mirror the rustic qualities of the wine but they also contrast very nicely with its fruity elements. Duck in particular naturally goes so well with Madiran.
Making cassoulet is a labor of love and it takes a long time to gather all of the ingredients and prepare it! If you’re not in the mood for cassoulet, then just go with duck confit. It provides all the elements of the cassoulet to pair well with Madiran: it’s rich (it’s cooked in its own fat, after all), it’s protein, it has rustic and earthy flavors, and it’s delicious! I actually love my duck confit on the crispy side so I always put it under the broiler for a few minutes to crisp up the skin.
You could add a splash of reduced balsamic vinegar to the dish and that would also be delicious.
If duck isn’t your thing, I could also think of a rich boar stew as a great pairing with Madiran – such a versatile wine! If you haven’t already had Madiran, try it today. You won’t regret it 🙂