Black Forest Cake Square

Black Forest Cake Square

 

CHAPTER 10: BLACK FOREST CAKE, GERMANY

A match made in heaven. The famous Schwarwälder Kirschtorte (Black Forest cake) is made without flour, but with liberal quantities of cream, dark morello cherries and eggs. Chocolate and sugar play an important role; nevertheless, the cake is not “sweet” per se, so much as it is quite rich. Many recipes will also add a dash of kirschwasser, which is a kind of cherry schnapps – but a very dry schnapps. The flavour is noticed, the alcohol is not. The cake demands strong flavours for pairing, and the chocolate and cream benefit from robustness and tannin/acidity, respectively. Enter: Sagrantino Passito.
The wine offers everything that is necessary to match with this most famous of German desserts. In the Passito incarnation, the tannins remain robust, but are kept in line by the relatively high sugar content. The dried fruit and chocolatey, nearly jammy character of the wine complements the cherry, cream and chocolatey aspects of the cake brilliantly, and the sugar levels are in balance with what the cake demands, neither overpowering it nor being subsumed by it. The wine should be chilled, however, but not refrigerator-cold.

It was a dry-farmed, old-vine Calatayud Garnacha that brought Kevin Gagnon to wine, and he’s never looked back. A trained – and active – classical singer, he spends an obscene amount of time and energy following native grapes from the old world, specialising in small producers working with local varieties with low intervention and in poorly-known areas. And he’ll tell you all about what he’s discovered, if you’ll let him. Kevin a certified DiplWSET, Weinakademiker, VIA Italian Wine Ambassador, and Calpolicella Wine Specialist. Follow him on Instagram, Facebook or on his blog, Snarky Wine.