Match of the week
Duck a l’orange and Gramenon Poignée de Raisins 2011
It’s such a long time since I’ve eaten duck à l’orange that I’ve rather lost track of the best match for it but the vivid, joyous Gramenon Poignée de Raisins I was offered last week by the sommelier at Brasserie Chavot proved the perfect pairing.
Eric’s twist was to serve the duck, which was cooked rare, with caramelised endive (chicory) with created a bittersweet note that chimed beautifully with the dark sweet flavour of the orange-spiked sauce. (You can easily overdo the orange in this dish but he judged it perfectly.)
What you want is a bright red to pick up on that orange - a bit like a Cumberland sauce. Pinot Noir, my usual go-to for duck, seems a bit sweet on this occasion. I would normally have gone for a good Beaujolais like a Morgon but this ripe, delicious young Rhone - mainly Grenache from an organic and biodynamic estate - was the ideal counterpoint. It’s made pretty naturally with no fining or filtration and only the minimum of sulphur. (Poignée de raisins means a fistful of grapes.)
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