Perfect Pairing | Forage’s signature cheese puff &

La Frenz Liqueur Muscat

by | May 8, 2019 | Perfectly Paired

Our friends at Forage proposed a different take for this edition of Perfect Pairing. They invited us to come on down to see if Forage sommelier Peter Sullivan’s pairing of a Muscat Liqueur with their well-loved Cheese Puff is truly a perfect pairing. The odds were obviously stacked in their favour, but when someone invites you to eat and drink at Forage, you don’t say no..

The Cheese Puff has been a staple of Forage since day one, but finding the perfect wine to pair it with has proven to be a never-ending quest. Then Forage sommelier, Peter Sullivan thought outside the box and pair it with an unsuspecting Liqueur Muscat from La Frenz winery in Naramata Bench but is the quest Forage’s quest for the perfect pairing over?

There’s a lot of elements to the Forage Cheese Puff. It comes out looking like a giant dough ball atop a scoop of vanilla ice cream, cradled by Unruly Gin-spiked blueberries and finished with a swirl of elderflower syrup. Cut through the dough ball and you get a healthy helping of Neufchâtel soft cheese from Golden Ears Cheesecrafters.

The soft texture and creamy flavour of the Neufchâtel cheese is given a sharp kick by the Unruly Gin-soaked blueberries from Comox Valley’s Wayward Distillery and brought back to earth with the aromatic flavours of elderflower and vanilla. It’s sweet, but not too sweet and the flavours are balanced and complex.

So what do you pair it with?

The Liqueur Muscat is a fortified wine produced by La Frenz winery from the Naramata Bench. They make the wine by leaving Muscat grapes on the vine for as long a possible, so that they begin to shrivel up and raisin. They use three different Muscat varietals and age the wine in oak barrels. Each year they blend wines from different barrels of varying ages to make their Liqueur Muscat – a method called the Solera System – which means that every year the average age of the blend becomes older.

Sweet on sweet is often a recipe for overkill, but the La Frenz Liqueur Muscat walks the line between sweet and savoury adding a hint of herbal to the combination, giving the dish another layer.

Liqueur Muscat from La Frenz. Photo // Abby Wiseman

When paired with the Cheese Puff the Liqueur Muscat suddenly went from being sugar forward and dense, to intense in herbal tea notes and savoury flavours. Vice versa, the sharpness of the gin-soaked blueberries was enhanced and the Neufchâtel became the balanced the booziness of the pairing. It was aromatic, sweet, sharp and smooth, but was it a perfect pairing?

Like we said before, the odds are stacked in Forage’s favour and it was is an absolutely perfect pairing. That being said, I get the feeling that this is one of those dishes that doesn’t quit and that Sullivan will continue his quest to find another perfect pairing.

Full disclosure: Forage is a Small Batch Member, which means they support Small Batch Vancouver and we support them by sharing their news. Our opinion on this Perfect Pairing is our own.

Sitting in for Ashley Linkletter for this edition of Perfect Pairing is Small Batch Vancouver creator Abby Wiseman, who is not an expert in cheese or wine, but likes to eat and has been told she has a good pallet. She is also the creator, editor and general human behind Small Batch.

Find her personal portfolio at abbywiseman.ca.

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Excellent work. Well done you. Bravo.

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