Francois Chartier was tittled Best Sommelier in the World (Grand Prix Sopexa) in 1994.
Since he has researched and developed extensive theories about how to match wine with food based on the molecular similarities they have.
To put it simply, certain families of food, and certain families of wine share similar components that make them pair well, even though they may not obvious or traditional associations.
In this first of a series of exclusive guest posts for Social Vignerons, Francois Chartier shares with us a scallops recipe that marries particularly well wines that have been barrel aged.
Learn more about our guest with our Interview Francois Chartier – Best Sommelier in the World (Grand Prix Sopexa 1994).
Recipe, and wine and food matching from François Chartier “Créateur d’harmonies”
Since all the ingredients here are complementary to wines that have been barrel-aged, it is that aromatic path that should be followed.
The wine should be served chilled, but not cold, around 14 ºC is the ideal serving tempreature, as is the case with all generously aromatic and slightly woody white wines.
This basically includes all chardonnay-, grenache blanc- and rolle-based white wines from the South of France.
But all the chardonnays from the New World and other whites dominated by either the roussanne or sémillon blanc grapes will match perfectly.
Also fitting in this category, I selected a wine dear to my heart for my own wine collection: Le Blanc Chartier 2013 Pays d’Oc I.G.P. by Chartier Créateur d’harmonies from Pic Saint-Loup, Saint-Mathieu-de-Tréviers, France.
Because the aromatic track of this dish is that of perfumes brought by the barrel, dare one red, with soft tannins and oak to the fore, as can some Pinot Noir from the New World.
The beauty of it is that you might have on the table various white and red wines of the same aromatic family, and harmony would be to go with all the wine!
12 U10-grade scallops
50 g (1 cup) of Brazil nuts
Zest of 1 blood orange
30 ml (2 tablespoons) of olive oil
4 g (1 teaspoon) of fresh grated ginger
1 tin of coconut milk
Juice from half a lime
Salt, ground white pepper
Few drops of olive oil
Fleur de sel
Remove the muscle on the side of the scallops, place them on a paper towel and reserve in the refrigerator.
Using a cheese grater, make a fine meal of the Brazil nuts.
Place the blood orange zest in the olive oil.
Grate the ginger using a microplane. Note: This is easier if the ginger has been frozen ahead of time.
Empty the coconut milk tin into a saucepan. Add the ginger and lime juice. Season to taste. Heat and emulsify using a hand mixer. Harvest the foam that rises to the top.
Place the Brazil nut meal in a salad bowl and drizzle half of the olive oil and blood orange zest onto it. Salt sparingly.
Heat a bit of olive oil in a non-stick pan and seared the scallops for 2 minutes on each side.
Place the Brazil nut couscous on a plate, top with the pan-seared scallops and ginger-lime coconut milk emulsion. Top each scallop with a few grains of fleur de sel and drizzle with a little zested olive oil.
Perfect for lovers of generous, textured and woody red wines, this recipe will be best served with a white wine (!) created for red wine afficionados!
The pan-seared scallops, Brazil nuts, coconut and ginger are all foods that are complementary with oak barrel aged wines, especially chardonnays, grenache blanc, roussanne and/or viognier, such as the Le Blanc Chartier 2014 Pays d’Oc I.G.P., Chartier Créateur d’harmonies, Pic Saint-Loup, Saint-Mathieur-de-Tréviers, France – who lead us to a perfect aromatic match with all the ingredients of this easy to cook but so surprising recipe!
The Brazil nut couscous is foolproof, requires no cooking and really magnifies the flavor of that nut which, ironically, does not taste much when eaten straight… An extremely simple recipe that allows for great creativity and fabulous wine matching!