Bordeaux, Château Coutet, Cos d'Estrornel, gastronomi, Haut-Brion, l'Escargot, Sauternes

intervju: Château Coutet

Jag blev intervjuad av Aline BalyChâteau Coutet i Sauternes för deras hemsida. De kommer under året att intervjua internationella sommelierer om deras förhållande till Sauternes samt gastronomi. Först ut var kollegan, vännen och tidigare sommeliervärldsmästaren Marcus del Monego. Nedan följer intervjun.

What led you to becoming a Sommelier?

Some things need time. There are no perfect wines, only perfect moments. There’s a minimum of time needed to really appreciate a GREAT wine. A great wine demands the luxury that we take that time. To really explore the beautiful dynamics and complexity in the structure of a great wine, we need to slow down, listen, reflect and feel. Imagine the millions of years it took Sauternes to form it’s shape… The years it took the vines to gain the optimum age, the pace of the growing season, the long time it took the Botrytis to grow,  all those years in the dark cellars… It slow, it’s beautiful, It’s golden-transparent and it lively… That’s why!

Was a there a specific incident/encounter that decided your career path?

I was a young waiter at Sweden’s best resaurant at that time l’Escargot i n Stockholm. The stateowned importmonopoly at that time, Vin & Spritcentralen (late 80’s) hosted a dinner at our restaurant. Guests at the dinner was Jean-Bernard Delmas of Haut-Brion and Bruno Prats of Cos d’Estornel. Amongst the wines that was served at the dinner was 1959 Cos d’Estornel and 1947 Haut-Brion. As it was time for the Cos d’Estornel to be decanted the cork went into tiny little pieces. Mr Prats saw my angst and came over to my gueridon. He told me calmly and polite ‘that I should bring the bottles in to the sommelier station in the kitchen’. We brought the bottles there. And he told med, step by step, still very polite and calm, what to do. I decanted the beutiful bottles with the old corks and returned to the dining room with a great experience. Should I tell you that Cos d’Estronel has since then been a great favorite amongts the classical Bordeaux-wines…

How important is it for a chef to consider food and wine pairings when creating and preparing a dish? How can a sommelier assist/work with the chef to accomplish the perfect pairing?

Most top chefs really don’t care about great wine and food in combination. But there are some great exceptions when the chef and the sommelier work really close together to find, not only good pairings, but great ones! To be able to make great pairings. You need as a sommelier to be a ‘foodie’, and vice versa a chef needs to be a not ‘a wine nerd’, but at least interested in wine!

What does Sauternes inspire you? Do you associate a specific memory to this wine?

In this time of the fine wine-world there are so many ‘new wines and regions’ that compete for our attention. Sure, it’s exciting with ultra-modern wines, but think how sad and boring life would be without the cassical wines. They are like the embrace of a dear old friend, comfortable and natural at the same time …

Great bottle of the 1970 Coutet tjat I got as a gift leaving Restaurant l’Escargot in june’91. We served it with Foie Gras au Torchon and fleur de sel à l’Orange from Mallorca in May 2009. It was magical how the ‘dryish’ carachter of the wine lifted the richness of the dish and played together superbly with the orange and salty notes.

In your opinion, which dish (or ingredient) makes the best pairing with Sauternes?

I am a fan of Michael Broadbent’s saying; ‘Sauternes is not a dessertwine, It’s a sweet wine!’ I don’t use it to desserts, I use it to other styles of dishes. I was gratly inspired by flavours like apricots, saffron and Swedish blue cheese (Bredsjö Blå or Sörmlands Ädel).

You decide to organize an all Sauternes meal at your place, what’s on your proposed menu?

Let´s start with something from FROM THE MEADOW; lightly smoked summer cauliflower with fresh caraway and levain bread. Served a young 1999 Château Coutet

Next stop, THE COOLING SHADE; duck’s liver with white peach lemonade and toasted seeds. Served with somtheing from early 90’s; 1990 Château Coutet

FROM THE CHEESE CELLAR; a blue cheese dish inspired by Oriole Balaguer when he did an exibition dinner at ‘Vassa Eggen’ in Stockholm in 2003. Apricots stuffed with mature blue cheese cream, served on a light summer sallad, served with mild Abbae Quelles-olive oil and fleur de Sel. Served with a really mature wine such as the 1970 Château Coutet

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