Melting is the ultimate conquering of food. Melted food has surrendered to heat. All of the extraneous textures that get in the way are removed. What’s left is the essential: creamy, concentrated and pure.
Think of the moment when the cheese-pull on your sandwich is perfect. How do you feel when melted chocolate slowly drowns a scoop of ice cream? Think about a time when you saw melted butter making a lobster tail glisten. When a melted ingredient is added to a dish, it’s a moment of joy.
Melted onions are creamy, caramelized spheres with a concentrated earthy umami. All of their sulfur is gone. What’s left of the essence of the vegetable. Maybe you don’t think of melted onions this way. Maybe you’ve never thought of melted onions at all before. But, they are a cause for rejoicing.
Each creamy bite of this melted onion custard is a moment of joy. And as with all things melted, it starts with heat.
A nice addition to this recipe is this chicken liver paté. Just put a ball of this in the center of each ramekin. It’s a little surprise for your eaters.
Wine with Onion Custard
There are a few directions you can go with this wine pairing. But in all cases, I think white wine is the way to go. Make sure it’s well chilled, young and fairly light bodied. You don’t want a wine with a lot of oak flavors or aging.
A savory white wine pairs best with this dish. You don’t want a fruity white wine. Instead, pick a wine with grassy or mineral notes. They might even have some salinity.
We had a Picpoul de Pinet with this dish, which had a grassy or herbaceous quality. The oiliness of the dish along with the herb punch of the marjoram made an interesting pairing in my opinion.
What Else Can I Pair with Picpoul?
This may be a unique pairing to some white wine lovers. It’s not sweet. There’s no oak. There’s no fruit. But to me, it works in the same way a Greek salad does. In that dish there’s oily (preferably salty) cheese, salty olives, lots of olive oil, and lots of herbaceous parsley.
Chimichurri and pesto are a similar idea in one recipe. They are chock full of herbs and oil. Each herb has a unique flavor. But, underneath that favor is a grassiness you can find in most leafy foods.
By the way, all of these dishes are great pairings with these wines.
Our Wine Recommendations
- Sauvignon Blanc
Grove Mill Sauvignon Blanc 2019
The wine has a very intense entry onto the palate starting at the tip of the tongue and spreading out towards the very back in a wave of flavour. The acidity is quite apparent with great intensity of feijoa lime and minerality leaving the palate with a very long finish.
Ktima Gerovassiliou (Κτήμα Γεροβασιλείου) Sauvignon Blanc-Fumé 2017
It has a bouquet of tropical notes including pineapple melon and a bright yellow-gold colour and toasty vanilla on the palate. Length complexity and structure are some of the oak benefits.
Rapaura Springs Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2019
Intense Sauvignon Blanc with strong guava passion fruit lime and a suggestion of nutty yeast lees character. The wine has a weighty mouth-filling texture and lengthy finish.