Match of the week
Passionfruit and tarragon with Jurancon
There were so many outstanding pairings in the meal I had at the Michelin-starred Casamia in Bristol last week I don’t know quite where to start.
Not with Frerejean Frères premier cru champagne with a dish of turbot with truffle and a champagne sabayon although that was perfect (I wrote about a champagne pairing a couple of weeks ago and I wouldn't want you to think I'm a one-trick pony!)
Nor a lovely little warm vegetable and sheeps' curd salad with a delicate Portuguese field blend* from the Alentejo called Equinocio, impressive though that was.
It’s got to be a wonderfully summery dessert of passionfruit and tarragon - a combination that was recommended by chef Peter Sanchez’ herb supplier Jekka McVicar with a 2015 Uroulat Jurançon dessert wine from south-west France.
I’m not sure how to begin to describe the dessert which was like little explosions of passionfruit and tarragon popping in your mouth - the slightly aniseedy tarragon perfectly counterbalancing the exotic sweetness of the fruit. Apparently it was passion fruit gel, seeds and sorbet made using a syringe and liquid nitrogen I later learnt from Peter. With tarragon meringue and tarragon infused custard. (Honestly, mindblowing.)
The wine, which was young enough to have retained all its freshness, had a lovely peachy flavour that echoed but could have been cancelled out by the passionfruit but was thrown into relief by the tarragon.
Not obviously a dish you can replicate at home (which is why we go to restaurants) but I'm wondering if you could make a tarragon ice cream and serve it will grilled peaches to similar effect ....
* a field blend is a wine made from vines that are all mixed up in the same vineyard rather than from varieties that are grown separately. It gives them a particular vivacity.
I ate at Casamia as a guest of the restaurant.
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