Armagnac best food pairings
FISH & SEAFOOD
To accompany fish and seafood, a fresh, fruity, floral Armagnac with very smooth woody notes is the perfect complement. Youth is a benefit.
The Caviar/Armagnac union is perfect. Undoubtedly, the top of the hit parade. So long as the Armagnac does not have a woody character, there is a total match. It needs fruit and vanilla, and when complexity is there too, the pairing is superb. The frozen Blanche Armagnac also suits the caviar.
Between the lobster and Armagnac, there is a real collusion and the cooking method plays an important role in this. The association with the XO calls for the lobster to be well cooked (roasted and brought out by some spices and a sauce). But it is with the frozen Blanche that the pairing works best, with a virtually plain lobster. This is an obvious, deep match.
Is smoked herring too rustic for Armagnac? Maybe not, as it can flatter the younger spirits. The smokiness and the fat create a magnificent pairing with the XO.
Oysters taste famously of cucumber, melon, and the sea itself; and Blanche Armagnac brings in crispiness, and minerality, with loads of citrus.
MEAT & CHARCUTERIE
Armagnac comes into its own with the fat of the meat. A nice, long-aged Armagnac, helps aromatic meats. Peking duck, pigeon, a mature beef, will pair with an XO Armagnac.
The pigeon (with its slightly gamey flavor) works very well with an Armagnac served at room temperature. We can well imagine that game, with its strong flavor, would create definitive, even spectacular, pairings. Ideal for gourmet restaurants and for hunters who cook!
The Bayonne ham, with its umami, is a lovely surprise and works every time. Other dried hams, such a Parma, Serrano and Pata Negra, are also great options. It is also an interesting pairing in terms of how it is consumed, i.e. as an aperitif - easy to reproduce at home and easy for bars, pubs, and restaurants to offer their customers.
MAGRET DE CANARD
A smokey grilled duck breast served cold and in thin slices, is a success with an XO Armagnac. Ideal for serving in bars.
FRUIT & VEGETABLES
The XO is compatible with sweetness, tartness, saltiness, and bitterness (if not due to lack of ripeness), and umami, of course. It could be declared a proudly gastronomic spirit!
The shiitake mushrooms are a big surprise: the umami of the mushrooms creates a major and universal pairing with Armagnac.
Carrot purée is definitely a good accompaniment to all the Armagnacs, if not to say a universal accompaniment to Armagnac.
A connection with the pineapple is created when its acidity is countered by the fat of the Armagnac. It is a major pairing with the frozen Blanche and a very good pairing with the XO. The result would be even better with cooked or candied pineapple.
Young, fruity Armagnacs pair best with mild cheeses while the older, more woody and complex Armagnacs produce more harmonious matches with mature cheeses.
The pairing plays on the sweet, vanilla notes of the Armagnac, on the creaminess of the cheese and, in contrast, on its typical, salty and prickly character. Mind-blowing with the XO, excellent with the frozen Blanche Armagnac
It forms a major pairing with the XO where the combination adds complexity on both sides.
The Cheddar tends to dominate the young Armagnacs, but finds harmony and balance with the older Armagnacs, and especially with the XO where the fruity notes create a major pairing.
PATISSERIE & CHOCOLATE
No big surprises here: Armagnac is the ideal companion for desserts, but beware, not all desserts...
The younger the Armagnac, the better it pairs with chocolate with a fondant texture, such as white or milk chocolate. Dark and bitter chocolates are happier with the older Armagnacs.
Whatever the Armagnac, the results are generally positive for all types of chocolate. The more fondant chocolate types effectively attenuate the strength of the XO Armagnac’s alcohol.The older the Armagnac, the more complete the pairing. The dark and bitter chocolate types also come into their own with the older Armagnacs.
Served warm, tarte tatin pairs well with nearly all the Armagnacs. It brings out the aromas without excessive sweetness
Crème brûlée pairs very well with young Armagnacs, but is less interesting with very old Armagnacs, which vanish into the cream.
Happy pairing !