Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Peanut Butter and Jelly

With the latest food scare upon us—peanut butter of all things!—I’d like to recommend a replacement of sorts for that much-loved, and now all-but-verboten, lunchtime staple.

Actually, I can’t claim responsibility for this one; that honor goes to Scott Turnbull, the brilliant Sommelier at the amazing Fountain Restaurant in Philadelphia’s Four Seasons Hotel. Toward the end of the exquisite anniversary dinner that my wife and I enjoyed there, Scott followed the waiters over to our table bearing a mischievous smile and a mysterious bottle...

Farra D’Orazio, the Director of Public Relations at the hotel, was well aware of my wife’s peanut butter obsession, and had arranged for a special dessert that would play right into her every sweet-tooth tendency: Baked chocolate and peanut butter napoleon with raspberry coulis. And Scott, in a wildly successful effort to further clarify the peanut-butter-and-jelly nature of the dish, had brought along a bottle of Banfi’s Rosa Regale Brachetto d’Acqui, the sweet, perfumed, sparkling Piedmontese red that far too many people still don’t know enough about.

Brachetto d’Acqui is one of those hidden gems that offers ten times more pleasure than its price or lack of familiarity would seem to indicate. And the Rosa Regale bottling, with its rose petal and raspberry perfume, is that rare wine that’s both stimulating to the intellect and thoroughly, blissfully gulpable.

My wife liked the earrings I bought her, but she loved her peanut butter and jelly dessert. Sometimes, jewelry just can’t compete with a perfect pairing.


Joseph D'Antoni on April 17, 2009 at 3:00 PM said...


Was the Rosa Regale not too sweet? I'm looking for a pairing with a similar dessert, but I'm not sure what to go with...


Brian Freedman - WineChateau.com on April 20, 2009 at 5:42 PM said...

Hi Joseph,

Good question--you always have to be careful pairing sweet wines with desserts. If you're not careful, it all just becomes a sugary mess. But in this case, because the napoleon was not too sweet (in fact, it had a great savory note to it), it paired beautifully with the Rosa Regale. This is yet another example of how a touch of salt in a dessert can not only enhance its own flavor, but also make it far more wine-friendly, too.



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