Banyuls is a sweet red wine (although there’s a small production of white wine) made in the Roussillon region of France in some of the oldest vineyards in the world. Banyuls is similar to Port in that it is a fortified wine, however, it is often just a touch lighter in alcohol content.
Styles of Banyuls
Banyuls itself must be comprised of 50% Grenache grapes and aged for a minimum of 12 months.
Banyuls Grand Cru must be 75% Grenache. Additionally, they must be aged for a minimum of 30 months. This is a wine that can be aged for decades, and may turn amber, then mahogany with age.
Pairing Banylus with Food
Depending on the winemaking techniques and how much Grenache is used, Banyuls wines can come in a variety of shades from golden orange, to pink, to dark ruby red. For this article we will focus on pairing the ruby red version of Grenache as it is the most common and popular Banyuls you will find.
Red Banyuls has a flavour profile of baked fruits, prunes, dark chocolate, and espresso. The sweetness of this red dessert wine also makes it perfect for dessert, or as an aperitif. Generally, the rule of thumb is if it’s a young Banyuls, it can be used as an aperitif or a dessert wine. For an aperitif it may be served over ice with a twist of lemon. Banyuls Grand Cru should be served as a dessert wine.
Banylus and Semi-Sweet or Dark Chocolate
While Banylus is sweet, it is less sweet and syrupy than your typical dessert wine. In fact it has a niced balanced acidity that makes it come off even more delicate than a vintage port. This makes it perfect with Semi-Sweet or Dark Chocolate which has a bitterness to it. The combination really brings out the espresso, raisin and macerated red fruit notes of Banylus for a perfect pairing.
While Banyuls and Dark Chocolate are one of the few rare holy grail food and wine parings out there, Banyuls is also good with mixed dry fruit, prunes, dates, tapas, melon, gâteaux, ice cream, banana desserts, raspberry desserts, rice pudding, and sorbets.
You also find Banylus goes extremely well with: cashews, foie gras, brownies, sweet & sour dishes, goat’s cheese, pears, strawberries, and blue cheese.
Do you have a favourite Banyuls and Food Pairing? Let us know in the comments below!
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