A Taste of SW France … Duck Confit and Cote de Bergerac

Pairing:  Duck Confit Paired with a 2009 Chateau Thénac Côte de Bergerac

Food:  Duck Confit is one of the renowned regional specialties of Gascony in South West France, considered by many to be the quintessential French dish. Confit is a centuries-old process of salt-curing, cooking and preserving the meat (usually duck, goose, or pork) in its own fat. Curing the meat for a week or two, or preferably a few months results in an extraordinary flavor. Gascony, by the way, is the home of d’Artagnan, the legendary character in Alexander Dumas’ historic adventure novel, The Three Musketeers.

Duck Confit

Wine:   Bergerac is a small sub-region and appellation of the extensive South West France wine region. Bergerac has a long  history of winemaking dating back to Roman times. Later, around the 11th Century, monks were the first to produce some well-regarded wines. The Bergerac wine region is located just east of the far more famous Bordeaux region, arguably the most prestigious wine region in the world. Bergerac’s vineyards are planted on both sides of the Dordogne River. The river flows west emptying into the Atlantic near the city of Bordeaux. The wine made in Bergerac has a similar profile to the wines of Bordeaux … the reds comprised mainly of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot … the whites made up of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon.

Chateau Thénac was built on the ruins of a 12th Century Benedictine monastery. They have added Cabernet Franc and Malbec to their red Côtes de Bergerac, while their whites include Muscadelle in their blend.

Bergerac

Tasting Notes:  Decanted two hours ahead of dining. A deep purple color, almost black. Aromas of fresh blueberry and mace. The palate has layers of blueberry, plum, nutmeg, mace, fig, and buttered whole wheat toast. Extraordinary! Big, rich, mellow, fresh, balanced tannins. Fabulous with the salty richness of the confit. Complemented well the sweet touch of the red cabbage and the peppery roast potatoes. An amazing pairing of wine and the regional food.

Other Food That Pairs Well with This Wine:  Roast Lamb, Cassoulet, Grilled Steak or Sausage, Mushrooms (Porcini, Shiitake)

Other Wines That Pair Well with This Food:  Cahors (France), Saint-Émillon (Bordeaux, France), Merlot (Italy), Pinot Noir (California)

Views of the Bergerac Wine Region: Bergerac Vineyards

A Source:  K & L Wines

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