To pair food and wine is not always straightforward. Even if my principle is “pair it as you like, what you personally prefer”, there are some foods that are trickier than others and deserve more thinking. Foie gras is one of them.
We served foie gras yesterday with toasted pain d’épices (sweet, spicy bread) and coarse salt (sea salt). I had prepared a tomato-onion salad to go with.
We enjoyed the foie gras with Loupiac (AOC), Château Martillac 2012, and considered it was a successful match (7.80€ the bottle).
However, one does have many choices apart from Loupiac, and below you have a list of my favorite foie gras & wine pairing options. I have tried to mention wines that are fairly easily available, too.
1. Champagne: the emperor of the drinks, goes with everything, anytime! If you don’t like sweet wines (the rest are sweet and white), then opt for champagne.
2. Sweet Jurançon: Located in the southwestern part of France, near the Pyrenees, this AOC is probably my favorite among sweet wines. In addition, it has an interesting history: “Jurançon wine occupies an auspicious place in French history. As the story goes, when the future King Henry IV was christened in 1553, his infant lips were touched with a drop of Jurançon wine, which was said to give him lifelong vigor. This practice is repeated to this day at many local christenings.” (http://www.winesofsouthwestfrance.com)
3. Sweet Côtes de Gascogne (IGP): Located in the same region as Jurançon, but a little bit more north, this is another excellent, slightly less-known wine-producing zone.
4. Sweet Monbazillac (AOC): 100 km east from Bordeaux, this is another excellent sweet wine.
5. Sweet Sauternes (AOC): very near Bordeaux, this is probably the most common sweet wine to go with foie gras.
The list is obviously not exhaustive and of course there are many other great wines like for example Le Rêve de Pennautier, “Vendanges d’Après” Vin de France by Maison Lorgeril from Languedoc-Roussillon that I enjoyed over Christmas. This said, what you serve with your foie gras?
PS A tip for the non-French: if you want sweet wine, look for the word vin moelleux in the bottle.