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Blanc on food, Bava on chocolate in Decanter anniversary lineup

One of Britain’s greatest chefs, and a renowned Italian winemaker and chocolate expert are presenting two extraordinary Decanter masterclasses this November.

Wine and food matching with Raymond Blanc, and chocolate and wine matching with Roberto Bava are two events set for the 10th anniversary edition of the Decanter Fine Wine Encounter.

‘First of all we’re going to have fun,’ Blanc, chef-proprietor of the Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons, told decanter.com.

The Michelin-starred chef intends to use six wines – three French and three American – and six seasonal dishes to demonstrate some classic food and wine matches.

He will also show how different flavour components in a dish – salt, acidity, sweetness and bitterness – can make or ruin a wine.

‘We’ll do this in front of the class with a burner. It’s going to be fascinating,’ he said, adding that the dishes chosen would be ‘seasonal: shellfish, and smoky, autumnal flavours.’

He has not yet decided on the wines but will be raiding the Manoir’s cellars for ‘something great from Margaux, and some great Californians – possibly Opus One.’

Then Roberto Bava of the family-owned Bava winery in Piedmont, and president of the Italian Compagnia del Cioccolato, is going to destroy the sacred assumption that there is no wine that goes with chocolate.

‘There are so many different chocolate flavours nowadays, from cardamom to rosemary, and even chocolate appellations, that even sommeliers are beginning to realise there are wines that go brilliantly with chocolate,’ he said.

‘Some chocolate is specially made to accompany wine, like a praline made with the rare Barolo Chinato Cocchi or with Moscato di Pantelleria.’

Bava is unwilling to give away too much at this early stage but said, ‘For the masterclass we’ll prepare a rare hand-made Giandujotto from Turin, the famous hazelnut praline.’

And he hinted at other matches: Vin Santo, Austrian Eiswine and other Moscatos. ‘It will be unforgettable,’ he said.

Other masterclasses at the 10th Decanter Fine Wine Encounter include Chateau Margaux with director Paul Pontallier and owner Corinne Mentzelopoulos, Jancis Robinson MW on Truly 21st Century Wines, the Fine Wines of Spain, Fine Wines of Tuscany, the Medoc, and Mas de Daumas-Gassac.

The 2006 10th Anniversary Decanter Fine Wine Encounter

Written by Adam Lechmere

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