Match of the week
Bread and butter pudding with apricots and passito di Pantelleria
It’s tough to pick out just one wine match for from the dinner I had at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons last week but I’m going for this sophisticated twist on a classic English pudding from chef Paul Heathcote which was paired with a passito dessert wine from the island of Pantelleria
Bread and butter pudding, which is basically a creamy mass of bread, butter and egg custard, isn’t that hard to match with dessert wine - it also goes spectacularly well with Sauternes - but the poached apricot Paul had served on the side provided the perfect link to this rich, marmaladey wine from top Sicilian producer Donnafugata.
Ben Ryé is their famous air-dried passito-style wine made from muscat of Alexandria grapes, known locally as Zibibbo. This was the 2013 vintage though it ages much longer.
The dinner - part of a series where TV chef Raymond Blanc is inviting back some of his most famous protegés to cook with him - also contained some other great pairings: goats cheese agnolotti with olives and honey with the 2014 O Rosal albarino from Terras Gaudas, braised turbot with asparagus and tarragon with Stéphane Aladame’s Montagny 1er cru ‘Découverte’ 2012 and Goosnargh duck with rhubarb with a 2010 1er cru Beaune ‘Reversées’ from Jean-Claude Rateau.
Paul’s signature black pudding with ‘baked beans’ (not Heinz!) and sweetbreads which kicked off the meal was also served with the albarino but he hinted it would have gone better with champagne. (The Laurent Perrier 2006 which was served as an aperitif would have been spot on.)
An amusing sidenote: apparently the bread the Manoir kitchen offered Paul was too good for the pud. He sent out for the bread he always uses - a Warburtons white sliced loaf!
I attended the dinner as a guest of Le Manoir.
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