I have never been a fan of avocado.
The texture was simply something I could not accept.
I remember being young and being told that certain things in life were an acquired taste and that an appreciation for them would more than likely come with age.
For many years I wasn’t sure that this was true, until, lo and behold, my absolute distaste for avocado disappeared.
Slowly but surely I invited this green fruit into my life and I started experimenting with its flavours. Strange how that happens.
How the adults turned out to know a thing or two at the end of the day.
Another food that I have had the same experience with is blue cheese.
The thought of it when I was younger turned my stomach (and my nose).
It was off putting to know that mold was grown in the cheese (on purpose!), the taste was pungent, the smell oh-so-over powering rushing into my sinuses with a less than agreeable result and that people actually ate it AS A SPECIAL TREAT!?
Now, in my later years, I enjoy a mild blue cheese and won’t say no to it especially with a fig on top.
My new found love for blue cheese and avocado started me thinking about the wines that I drink.
Being a stone’s throw away from some of the best wine estates in the world have given me a unique opportunity to expand my palette and begin appreciating some phenomenal wines.
I have always loved dessert wine. For obvious reasons, it is sweet and pleasing to a novice wine drinker.
In the same way, I have learned to appreciate new tastes with a maturing palate, I am loathed to admit that I had forgotten the delights of some of my younger forays into dessert wine and had all but excluded it from my repertoire.
Revisiting some of my earlier favorites, I’ve fallen in love with dessert wines all over again
Appreciating the nose of a wine and the tasting notes have definitely come with age.
I found the perfect opportunity with this Lourensford Noble late harvest to pair up some unique flavours that will not only test your palette but please it right down to its nuanced sensibilities.
The wine has a certain richness to it and could be a dessert all on its own.
With its liquid gold colour and an inviting nose of rich tropical fruits, I decided to pair it with saffron poached pears served with blue cheese and walnuts. It’s a flavour symphony that will sing in your mouth and should be kept in your arsenal for Christmas, which is just around the corner, complete with a list as long as your arm of demands for indulgent desserts and treats.
Cook time: 1 hour 15 minutes.
- 4 pears peeled
- 1 cup of castor sugar
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- pinch of saffron
- 4 cardamom pods
- 4 whole cloves
- peel of 1 lemon
- 3 star anise
- 100 grams blue cheese
- 80 grams walnuts
In a medium pot add the pears, sugar, cinnamon, saffron, cardamom, cloves, lemon peel and star anise.
Fill the pot halfway with warm water. Place on a medium heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 40-50 minutes or until the pears are soft when pricked with a fork.
Remove the pears from the pot and set aside. Reduce the syrup in the pot for another 15 minutes. You want it to become slightly thick.
Serve warm or cold topped with syrup, blue cheese and walnuts crumbled on top and the perfect glass of dessert wine from Lourensford!
p.s this can be made the day before and the flavour gets even better!