One Bottle at a Time Dessert Gastronomer Lifestyle

One Bottle at a Time: The Dessert Issue

Written by Guillaume Celante with Thanakorn Bottorff

June issue ‘Dessert’, 2023

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Each month, we ask resident sommelier Guillaume Celante and friends to tell us about their favourite wines. This is your one-stop for cellar recommendations. Build your knowledge of wine, “One Bottle at a Time”. This month, it’s all about desserts.

Guillaume Celante: The Dessert Issue makes me hungry just thinking about it! Wine pairing for dessert is actually a very important part of the meal, as it’s the last chance for the dining experience to make a lasting and hopefully positive impression on the diner. This kind of pairing is a delicate subject, as in my opinion, no wine deserves to be reduced to just a “dessert wine”. As explained in the previous April Issue, sweet wines can be paired with an endless list of recipes. Conversely, desserts can be paired with many different types of wines—it’s a bit more complex than pairing sweet with sweet. 

Like savoury dishes, distinct flavour profiles of certain types of desserts match particular wines. And not only the ingredients themselves, but how the chef prepares them in his sweet creation plays a role in the selection of the wine pairing. Personally, my favourite is chocolate with red wine—very simple, but so good! For my selections this month, I have included what I think would make great dessert pairings to the wines, while our guest sommelier, Thanakorn Bottorff, head sommelier of Inddee, shares two of his favourite bottles. 

Domaine Rebourgeon-Mure Pommard 1er Cru “Grands-Epenots” 2015
100% Pinot Noir

Pommard wine, named after the French commune it is produced in, has long been reputed for its deep red colour and for being powerfully aromatic, solid, and trustworthy. The Rebourgeon-Mure is one of the oldest wine properties of Pommard, established in 1552. Today, the domaine has spread over the villages of Pommard, Beaune, and Volnay, producing 12 different appellations, including eight premiers crus. At the beginning of the 19th century, Rebourgeon-Mure acquired their Grands Epenots vineyards, known for producing high-quality Pinot Noir wines with very great character. I feel as though the character of this 2015 vintage has been even further evolved. Tangy and spicy with dense and massive tannins, it is rich and beautiful on the palate and pairs perfectly with my dark chocolate mousse with Espelette pepper, saffron, and Griottines syrup. 

Château Suduiraut, 1er Cru Classé, Sauternes, 2021
100% Sémillon

Château Suduiraut is situated in the commune of Preignac, with its vineyards adjacent to those of d’Yquem. The current château, constructed in the 17th century, was commissioned by the Suduiraut family, who enlisted Le Nôtre to design a magnificent garden. Since 1992, Suduiraut has been under the ownership of AXA, which also possesses remarkable properties such as Château Pichon-Baron in Pauillac and Quinta do Noval in Portugal.

Covering 90 hectares, Suduiraut’s vineyards are predominantly planted with 80% Sémillon and 20% Sauvignon Blanc. Winemaker Pierre Montégut has consistently crafted exceptional wines at Suduiraut, exemplifying power, complexity, and harmonious qualities.

During a tasting at Château Pichon- Baron in Pauillac, I had the privilege of trying the Château Suduiraut 2021 shortly after the “En Primeur 2022” release. This wine showcased remarkable precision and brightness, offering notes of pineapple marmalade, candied orange, and a refreshing saline finish. It boasted a wonderful extraction that provided structure, coupled with vibrant acidity. This Sauternes is truly gorgeous, displaying power, elegance, and remarkable length, making it an ideal companion for a fresh seasonal fruit salad or a classic tarte tatin.

Dessert Issue Wine One Bottle at a Time Gastronomer Lifestyle

Thanakorn Bottorff: As a sommelier with a decade of experience, I have developed a deep appreciation for the art of wine pairing. A crucial aspect of curating an exceptional wine list and offering selective wines by the glass is the ability to create memorable dining experiences through well-executed pairings. Often, I find myself requesting chefs to prepare my favourite dish, which alone brings me immense joy. However, when complemented by the perfect glass of wine, the dining experience reaches new heights.

Jacques Selosse Lieux-dits ‘Les Chantereines’ Avize NV
100% Chardonnay

I have always been a big fan of Grower Champagne—champagnes produced by the vineyard-owning estates themselves, (champagnes produced by the estate that owns the vineyards where the grapes are grown). I find them to be multi-layered in personality, charming and complex. I happened upon a rare opportunity to indulge in Jacques Selosse’s Lieux-dits, when one of my guests came to the restaurant and shared the champagnes with me. Among the six Lieux-dits wines, it was unanimous at our table that Les Chantereines was the standout, earning the title of “star of the night.” The first aromas were that of orange peel, smoky butterscotch, and freshly baked brioche, while the first sip coated our palates with a chalky, mineral sensation akin to oyster shells. Undoubtedly, this was one of the finest champagnes I had the pleasure of experiencing in years, rivaling the excellence of Charles Dufour’s Bistrotage.

Dominio del Águila, Albillo Vinas Viejas 2016, Castilla y León, Spain
100% Albillo

In early 2020, prior to the pandemic, I embarked on a quest to explore more artisanal producers and discover rarer grape varieties that would enhance my dining experiences with guests. It was during this pursuit that I came across Dominio del Águila, founded in 2010 by Jorge Monzón and his partner Isabel Rodero. Focused on showcasing indigenous Spanish grape varieties, Dominio del Águila’s wines exude a captivating richness, boldness, and elegance reminiscent of Meursault premier cru Chardonnay, albeit with a more intense and perfumed nose. The wine in particular is aromatic and expressively smoky, spicy, and flinty with a savoury long finish. The Albillo comes from 100-year-old vines and only produces around 5,000 bottles a year, rendering the difficulty of getting an allocation.

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