April 11, 2011

Dessert Wine and Apple Pie with Sharp Cheddar

My first post should definitely be about a memorable wine and food combination that really blew me away. I did not come up with it myself, I have to admit. It was the dessert course during a wine dinner that I attended. The combination struck me as very odd, I must say... I was definitely worried.
The wine was a 2005 Raptor Ridge Blanchefleur Pinot Blanc from Willamette Valley, Oregon.

It is a white dessert wine. Up until that point, I had never really tasted a white dessert wine before which I had liked. They had all come across as too sweet, too cloying, very much like liquefied honey.
Then there was the dessert itself. Apple pie. The all-American dessert. Well enough. But... with sharp cheddar cheese. Vanilla ice-cream... perfect. Whipped cream... bring it on. But cheddar cheese! Will it be melted on top? Baked into the crust? Actually, it came on the side...

And what can I say? The combination was absolutely wonderful! The wine had notes of apple, cantalope and honey. It was sweet, but with a nice citrus finish. It paired perfectly with the sharp cheddar and the cinnamon apple flavor of the pie.
I loved this combination so much, that I purchased a bottle of the wine and re-created this meal at home. This was definitely one of those cases where the end result was greater than the sum of its parts. You should give it a try.
And maybe you can tell me where this apple pie and cheddar tradition comes from. I have heard different stories there... Vermont, Boston, from the Pennsylvania Dutch, from German settlers,... Oh well, it tasted great, I guess that's what really matters.

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