|A favorite painting of ours by our friend, Donn - he captures the light so beautifully.|
• Cahors, an appellation from the Sud-Ouest wine region made from the Malbec grape, native to Southwest France
• Armagnac, the Gascon brandy often paired with prunes, and
• strawberries, which are coming into season in many markets in the northern hemisphere, probably in Gascony, too!
Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh - a wonderful dessert wine reminiscent of a Sauternes. Win made the suggestion that this particular wine begged for a cream-based dessert. As I am not one to argue with authority (or cream), I made a minor addition to the original recipe by topping it with a dollop of unsweetened crème fraîche. Thanks to Win, it was an amazing pairing.
Wine and Armagnac Marinated Strawberries
Minimally adapted from Kate Ratliffe's A Culinary Journey in Gascony
1 bottle Cahors wine
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 cup sugar
zest of 1 lemon
2 pounds ripe strawberries, hulled
1/2 cup Armagnac
1 cup crème fraîche
The night before you plan to serve this, place the wine, cinnamon stick, sugar and lemon zest in a large, non-reactive saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. Place the hulled strawberries in a glass or ceramic bowl. Strain the cooled wine mixture over the strawberries and let marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
Just before serving, add the Armagnac and divide strawberries among 8 bowls or goblets. Add a couple of tablespoons of the wine-Armagnac mixture to each serving. Top with a dollop of unsweetened crème fraîche and serve.