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Bordeaux's New Match Game
June 19, 2012  | 

A lone beet paired with Bordeaux's most legendary wines? Leave it to the pioneering Chateau Haut-Brion to not only dare this combination but to pull it off - and in the presence of hundreds of international journalists and winemakers, no less.

The event was last June's biennial dinner for the press hosted by the Conseil des Grands Crus Classes en 1855. Exemplifying a growing trend among Bordeaux chateaux toward more sophisticated cuisine and precise pairings, Haut-Brion had invited a trio of three-star chefs - Anne-Sophie Pic, Yannick Alleno and Alain Passard - to prepare the meal, asking each to create a different course to compliment the Medoc and Sauternes served that evening. Passard's dish - betterave pourpre en robe des champs a la vinaigrette aigre douce, cacao et miel d'acacias - was the most provocative, stimulating lively discussions about the many ways food and wine interact.

Such conversations are increasingly commonplace here, with many winemakers now paying nearly as much attention to what's on the plate as to what's in the glass. On the following pages, we take you into the kitchens and dining rooms of some of the region's most famous estates to discover just how fascinating and fun this new March Game can be. As one chef knowingly observed, "More than ever, drinking Bordeaux in these chateaux is like drinking it no place else in the world."

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