A Summer Wine Pairing With Strawberries

July 7, 2011

Although purportedly in the Loire Valley on a wine trip, after our first evening there (and our first taste of strawberries) our small group made a pact: if there were strawberries to be had, we were going to get them. Naturally my brain, palate, and stomach started collaborating overtime to find the best wine pairing.  And though we would have happily been served a bowl (or bucket) of unadorned strawberries to further our wine pairing research, a dish at La Table de la Bergerie served with mint tea ice cream atop a semolina cake and scattered with almonds really got me excited about what was poured into my glass. We were served a Cabernet d'Anjou rosé from Domaine de la Bergerie, which was a mix of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc with a touch of sweetness. Normally I am a bit of an iconoclast about my rosé. I want it super-pale and bone-dry. Dry as the desert! Drier, even! But this rosé was so lovely with the strawberries and so fun to drink. What's wrong with a little sweetness, anyway? It was a tremendous wine pairing. Sure there's steak and Cabernet, oysters and Chablis, but I'd like to chisle a new iconic match onto the Mount Rushmore of wine pairing: strawberries and Cabernet d'Anjou.

loire valley wine rose

 This, however, was one of many stellar wines from Domaine de la Bergerie; I especially loved the Chenin Blancs, which went perfectly with impeccable seafood:

loire valley seafood

And I must mention that I fibbed a bit about dessert. Truth be told we had an additional dessert in liquid form. The Quarts de Chaume (a region producing intense, sweet Chenin Blanc) was a rich, golden elixir that made me so content I never wanted another wine to touch my lips again. (At least until the next day.)

loire valley wine quartes du chaume

Full disclosure: I was a sponsored guest of the Loire Valley Wine Bureau on this trip.