23 December 2011

A Baudelairean Christmas

In Georges Barral’s account of the five days he spent with Charles Baudelaire in Brussels in 1864, there is an interesting wine pairing that suits this time of year:

After a walk through the old city the two men open a bottle of Corton and eat a loaf of gingerbread, purchased from the (extant) Dandoy bakery on rue au Beurre. “Gingerbread is excellent with wine, especially with Burgundy,” says Baudelaire. “It is even its complement, for it brings out the heady fragrance.”

Baudelaire recommends cutting the bread into very thin slices and coating them with grape jelly or, failing that, another kind of jam.