Match of the week | Chocolate and orange cake and Chateau Climens

Match of the week

Chocolate and orange cake and Chateau Climens

I’ve always considered Sauternes is too delicate a wine to pair with chocolate unless it’s accompanied by something like passionfruit with which it chimes in but it turns out if the wine is old enough - and good enough - it can handle even a chocolate cake.

The cake - chocolate marmalade slump cake - is an old favourite from food writer Lucas Hollweg’s Good Things to Eat and in fact I discovered I’d recommended it with Tokaji 8 years ago, back in 2014! But it was the wine - an astonishingly fresh half bottle of Chateau Climens 1989 that stole the show. With orangey notes of its own you might have thought it would be eclipsed by the marmalade and orange zest in the cake or overwhelmed by the dark chocolate chocolate but it was one of those rare combinations where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

The only problem is procuring a bottle that old at an affordable price. Even the 2010 is £60 a half bottle these days but if you can lay your hands on an equally old Sauternes go for it!

The best food pairings for Sauternes

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