• The ultimate indulgence: Sauternes with Maggie Beer Ice-Cream

There is no better way to relax on a long weekend than to indulge.  And as a sweet loving foodie, I decided the best would be luxuriating in dessert. Not just any dessert, but a fine ice-cream and dessert wine.  And not just any ice-cream but Maggie Beer’s ‘Burnt Fig, honeycomb and caramel’.  And not just any wine, but a 1981 Rieussec, Grand Crû, Sauternes which Michael had bought a few years after the vintage and had in the fridge for the last year awaiting my return.

First things first, I had not enjoyed a fine French wine since living at the winery in France.  I missed it.  Someone recently asked me about my experience in the Rhone Valley and my face lit up as I described it. 

“It is good to see you so passionate,” said my friend watching me retell the adventures of wine making.  Perhaps I should consider that career change.

The Riessec was dark orange in colour (perhaps not captured in the lighting of the photo).  The beautiful scents were of oak, caramel and orange peel.  When I took my first mouthful, I was beaming: not only had the wine lasted, but it was delicious.  A good cork can save a wine, and it seemed that the sideboard cupboard where the bottle had been stored, was not such a bad place after all.

The tastes were of delicious orange peel and raisins with a slight creaminess on the finish, as well as an extremely subtle bitterness on the end.  The finish of the wine could not linger, but it was not cloying and had held up extremely well. Whilst it was no longer complex in texture, the fruit was fascinating.  And to think this wine was 32 years old!

Somehow the wine tasted even sweeter and creamier with the ice-cream.  It was as if the combination brought out the best of each.  The bitterness of the burnt figs made the caramel taste burnt also.  It was creamy and rich and absolutely indulgent.

The wine was outstanding.  Only made better by the combination of the ice-cream.  The only question was would the large bottle of wine last one more day if properly  sealed...this was easy enough to solve.

Wine: “Rieussec”, Grand Crû Classé 1855, Sauternes, 1981.

Ice-Cream:  Maggie Beer’s “Burnt Fig, Honeycomb and Caramel Ice Cream”.