On the evening of June 23, I had the pleasure of attending my first DC Foodies Do Good event hosted by Robyn Webb. This event took place at Au Domaine European Wine Source in Alexandria, VA and was a tasting of macarons and wine pairings.
Au Domaine in Alexandria, VA
Macarons are one of my favorite things to make and eat, but I must confess that I enjoy them a lot more when I don’t have to spend hours in my kitchen baking them! I attended this event not only to taste macarons and wine, there was one more reason: to finally meet Robyn Webb! I have been testing recipes for Robyn’s upcoming cookbook “Comfort Foods That Fill You Up, Not Out,” scheduled for publication in 2011. I’ve been interacting via email and twitter with her for a while now. It was so nice to finally meet the person I’ve been working so closely with!
Robyn Webb Welcoming Us
Other than writing cookbooks, writing for magazines, teaching classes, and doing TV appearances, Robyn also started DC Foodies Do Good with Line Storgaard-Conley as a social club, out of their love and interest in food, and their wish to give back to their community. Every month they organize two events: a tweetup event and a do good event. The tweetups are social events where people have the opportunity to attend tastings and meet other foodies. The do good events are volunteer events where people have a chance to give back to the community.
I was very excited when I learned about this wine/macaron event. I often serve macarons for dessert and had always wondered how to pair them with wine. Macarons are confections made from almond meal, sugar and egg whites that are filled with flavored ganache, flavored buttercream, or preserves. The exterior of the cookie is crisp and the inside is a bit more chewy in texture. The center contains the soft filling. The task of pairing macarons and wine can be particularly difficult because some macarons can have a very subtle flavor and others can have really intense flavors.
Assorted Macarons from Michel Patisserie
The macarons for this event were provided by Michel Giaon from Michel Patisserie, who has trained at L’Ecole Lenôtre and Ladurée. The macaron flavors for the tasting were French vanilla, fleur de sel caramel, and passion fruit. We were also able to choose one macaron from a selection of other flavors at the end of the tasting. I tried pineapple coconut, Michel’s macaron of the month, which had the bright flavors of the Caribbean.
Jen Handing Out Macarons
Barbara and Rick Raunswinder, owners of Au Domaine, welcomed us into their wine shop which also sells charcuterie, cheeses, olive oils, and many other gourmet items. I love the personal attention that you get at Au Domaine. They have standing relationships with their providers and they are able to give you complete backgrounds about each of the wines they sell. They have free wine tasting Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays and they also organize dinners with wine pairings.
Rick Constantly Re-filling our Tasting Cups
Ryne and Rick
The wine tasting was led by Ryne Hazzard from Potomac Selections, who carefully selected the wine pairings for each macaron flavor. Each bite of macaron, followed by sips of the accompanying wine created an explosion of flavor in our mouths. During the tasting, the room would turn silent, as we enjoyed every bite and sip. Ryne did an amazing job of pairing each macaron with a wine that would best complement the macaron’s flavor. For the French Vanilla macaron he chose a wine that would not detract from the subtle French vanilla flavor. For the caramel and passion fruit macarons he chose wines that would stand up to the sweetness of the salted caramel and the tartness of the passion fruit. He also gave us a lot of background information on each wine; so that we could understand the methods followed in making them, and appreciate the winemakers.
Ryne Telling Us About The Wines That We Are About To Taste
The event was a great success and we all had an amazing time enjoying macarons and wine, and meeting other fellow foodies. I can’t wait to attend more DC Foodies Do Good tweetups, and I also hope to be able to participate in upcoming do good events. Thanks Robyn for a wonderful evening!
Passion Fruit Macarons
2007 Cantina Alice Bel Cole, Moscato Di Asti “Methodo Classico” (Italy)
Macaron: French Vanilla
Wine pairing: 1997 Villa Da Filicaja, Vin Santo Del Chianti “Riserva” (Italy)
Macaron: Fleur de Sel Caramel
Wine pairing: 2007 Dom, Cady, Coteux-Du-Layon (France)
Macaron: Passion Fruit
Wine pairing: 2009 Dom, Faillenc Sainte-Marie, Corbieres V-D-P D’OC “Rose Des Glacieres” (France)
Michel Patisserie ships macarons nationwide:
Visit Au Domaine for European wines: http://www.audomaine.com/
802 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
(703) 836.WINE (9463)
If you have never made macarons, and would like to try your hand at it, here are some recipes: