Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wine Blogging Wednesday #66: Your Tender-est Twosome - Skylite Cellars Syrah and Cheesecake

This month's host for Wine Blogging Wednesday is a goddess – a Domestic Goddess. Jennifer Hamilton of The Domestic Goddess has selected "Your Tender-est Twosome" as February's theme. She has asked us to pair a wine with a dessert as she believes that after several great entrees the focus of the meal is long gone. Jennifer says, “Every once in a while, dessert deserves the attention given to a main course; and a wine to match.”

As a fan of a good dessert, I have to agree with Jennifer. However, I typically do not keep a lot of dessert around my house other than a canister of licorice and a apothecary jar of Hershey Kisses on one of the kitchen counters. It's almost more for looks than anything. But a few weeks ago I had a very memorable dessert that was paired with a memorable wine. The pairing of the two were just - - well - - memorable!

Cheryl Hodgins, co-owner of Skylite Cellars in Walla Walla invited me to the winery to enjoy a wonderful spread of food and Skylite Cellars wine pairings. It was a great evening catching up with all of the exciting news going on at the winery, as well as our own gossip. You see, it seems like I have known Cheryl forever as in our "early years" we spent a lot of time together working on charitable causes in Walla Walla.

There were many “perfect pairings” of nibbles and Skylite Cellars wine, but that will be another blog at another time. The evening ended with the exact focus that Jennifer Hamilton of Domestic Goddess is looking for - - a slice of cheesecake topped with a rich cherry sauce and a glass of Skylite Cellars Columbia Valley Syrah - 2006. Nope. Not a dessert wine, but a dry Syrah served with a dessert - - and it worked. Oh my how it worked! The sweetness of the cherries and the creamy mouthfeel of the cheesecake paired oh-so-well with the spice and the meatiness of the smoky Syrah. After a bite of cheesecake, the finish of the Syrah still left a dark cherry flavor on my palate, but almost like a dark sweet Port. The finish of the wine and dessert alone was an experience.

The "twosome truth" about this pairing is the wine and the cheesecake, along with the cherries, really complemented each other. I honestly don't think an off-dry wine, such as a late harvest or an icewine would have paired as well. A dessert wine would have taken away from the focus on the plate and the wine leaving the experience a cloyingly sugary mouthful of just exactly that - sugar. The Skylite Cellars CV Syrah - 2006 enhanced the experience from the cheesecake to the finish of the cherries. Indeed, it was a Tender-est Twosome!

2 comments:

Shannon O said...

I would love to give Skylite Cellars Columbia Valley Syrah, 2006 a try.

I'm personally not a fan of dessert wines, and favour something dry.

I adore cheesecake! Sounds like this pairing is right up my ally.

Thanks for sharing,

- Shannon O | Confessions of a Loving Wife

Liza said...

Syrah and cheescake? Syrah and cheesecake! That sounds like something I HAVE to try! My dry wine pairing did NOT work, so I went for the very sweet. Nice to see one where dry wine clicked!