Sunday, December 25, 2005

A Very Sweet Christmas

For me, Christmas is the time to relax with my family and friends and indulge in rich food and wine. Our Christmas eve dinner started with a terrine of foie gras and two excellent bottles of Sauternes that we tasted side by side.

This was an enlightening exercise. The 2001 Château Rayne-Vigneau had a light golden color and a mild nose of candied pineapple. On the palate, it was lively and medium sweet with a refreshing acidity on the finish.

The 1999 Château Rieussec was very different. It had a deep golden color and a more intense nose of nuts, honey and dried apricots. On the palate, it was rich with a mouthfilling, unctuous texture and a long, lingering finish.

Both wines were fantastic with the foie gras but which one did I really prefer? The Rieussec was definitively richer and more complex but the Rayne Vigneau had a freshness and acidity that worked well with a side dish of caramelized apples that we served with the foie gras.

Merry Christmas!

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