On St. Martin’s Day, now some two weeks ago, a goose dinner is customary in some parts (especially the Germanic ones) of northwestern Europe. In Sweden this tradition is particularly strong in the southern parts of the country, in particular Scania/Skåne, since that’s the part of the country where most geese are bred. The tradition is also fairly common among fine dining-interesting people in the rest of Sweden. However, unlike some other countries, there is no celebration of the saint behind the name of the day, Martin of Tours, since that is not part of the Lutheran tradition. But then again, neither is eating a rich dinner in rememberance of 4th century saints other than on this day… Although the tradition of goose eating at this time of the year is spread over several countries, I get the impression that the accompaniments and the overall composition of the goose dinner shows distinct national traditions. The traditional Swedish/Scanian goose menu was created in the mid-19th century, and it consists of a first dish of “black soup” made from goose blood (fortified with some those “other” parts of the goose anatomy that tend to be included in the package when you buy it), roast goose as the main dish and finally apple cake as dessert. The goose is usually filled with apple pieces before sending it into the oven, and common accompaniments are usually chosen from fried apples, cooked red cabbage, sometimes other forms of cabbage, roast potatoes, and often some sweeter things such as prunes or blackcurrant jelly. By the way, it’s basically only around St. Martin’s Day that goose is eaten in Sweden. The tradition of Christmas goose, found in e.g. Germany, doesn’t exist in Sweden.
In any case, a roast goose is an excellent excuse to uncork a couple of top class mature Pinot Noir wines from the cellar. To honour the poor goose, I decided on two grand cru Burgundies. We also decided to be a little less traditional, and omitted the black soup from the menu.
Dom Pérignon 2000
Champagne, approx 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay.
Nose: noticeably toasted with toasted hazelnuts and some toffee, cocoa powder, rather ripe fruit, some spice.
Palate: medium bodied+, ripe yellow fruit – mostly yellow apples, apple compote, slightly spicy, some mineral, a hint of grapefruit bitterness. Aftertaste with apple notes and some mineral.
Nice development, rather foody style. It has gotten quite a lot of development since this vintage was launched a couple of years ago. However, it is not as firm, elegant or mineral as the 2002. 91 p.
First dish of chicken liver on toast
Weinbach Gewurztraminer Altenbourg Cuvée Laurence 2004
Alsace (Grand Cru)
Nose: honey, dried fruit, noticeably flowery with rose scent, spice, and some “nice” solvent notes.
Palate: a hint of sweetness, ripe and sweet fruit, some honey, some spice, balancing acidity. 90 p
On one hand slightly sweet, like many Weinbach wines, but in my opinion rather firm and elegant for a Gewürztraminer – the type that I would imagine works well with spicy Asian food – rather than the oily and powerful style. It is not extremely expressive for a Gewürztraminer.
Roast goose with roast potatoes and red cabbage
Perrot-Minot Charmes-Chambertin 1995
Burgundy Grand Cru, Pinot Noir
Appearance: bright red colour, lighter red at the edge.
Nose: mint, red berries – sweetish cherries, flowery notes, mineral, elegant.
Palate: red berries, well integrated sweetness of fruit, some spice, softened tannins, good acidity.
Rather fully developed, but could be cellared more. 90 p
Raymond Launay Chambertin 1989
Burgundy Grand Cru, Pinot Noir
Appearance: bright red colour, lighter at the edge.
Nose: ripe red berries, some mint, spice, some oak.
Palate: red and some dark berries, rather good spiciness, some tannin, a hint of “foody” bitterness.
Slightly deeper colour and with more “oomph!” than the 1995. Fully developed, 92 p
Apple cake with whipped cream
Moulin Touchais 1989
Loire, Chenin Blanc
Appearance: bright yellow colour, slightly golden.
Nose: ripe, partially dried yellow fruit, some tropical fruit, spice notes with arrack/rum, hints of petrol and wool.
Palate: semi-sweet, good concentration of fruit, yellow apples, some citrus, some honey, good acidity, some spice.
Rather young, 89 p.
Cooking wine for the red cabbage
Campos de Luz Garnacha Old Vine 2011
D.O. Cariñena, Spain. Grape variety: Garnacha.
Appearance: medium red colour, faint blue tinge.
Nose: fruity and sweetish with red and some dark berries, flowery with an impression of candy flavouring and winegum.
Palate: medium bodied, berry-dominated with red and some dark berries, some sour berry impression, a hint of bitternes and some tannin. Rather good concentration of fruit and clean aromas.
Fairly simple and candy-styled, but flawless and definitely OK. 81 p
The Swedish version of this post can be found here.