Lauraine Jacobs

Food Writer and Author of Delicious Books

Lauraine’s blog

6 May 2010


Yesterday at Quay, a Sydney restaurant that sits smack-bang opposite the Opera House on Circular Quay, I enjoyed one of the world’s prettiest desserts. Quay was recently named number 27 on the list of the world’s San Pellegrino Top 50. The service, the extensive excellent wine list, and chef Peter Gilmore’s meticulously crafted food combine with one of the most stunning views a city could offer to reinforce the judges’ choice of catapulting it into international fame forever.

The ‘pretty’ dessert (pic above) was a plate of delicate fraises des bois and fresh raspberries with cream, jellies, sorbets, lovely crunchy bits and tiny violets. And with that I had a glass of perfectly matched wine. Bugey Cerdon, a sparkly demi-sec (slightly sweet) wine from a small producer in the Jura mountain region of Eastern France was crisp, fruity with only 8% alcohol. Made from Gamay and Poulsard (a local variety) grapes, it added a little bit of lift without drowning out the delicacy of the dessert. And with a gentle rose pink colour it totally was in tune.

The combination made me think about so-called dessert wines. When it comes to the end of a fine meal, I want something sweet, but the cloying nature of many ‘stickies’ as they are often called in NZ and Oz, means that the flavours in puddings are completely upstaged. So most often I will give up on the sweet course and have a sweet drink instead. My ideal dessert wine is the wonderful Encore from Pegasus Bay, a late harvest Riesling that just seems to last forever. Their Finale, made from late harvested Chardonnay grapes is equally splendid. I also love the exceptional Gewurztraminer from Dry River, the Halo from Sacred Hill, and on a lesser budget, Saints Gisborne late harvest Semillon is superb.

But the gentle fizz and restrained sweetness of the Bugey Cerdon would take first prize for me, but as I am back here in NZ, I think it may be a long search to find another bottle of such a gorgeous wine.

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