Some wines possess outstanding floralcy, causing one to pause and reflect on beauty which anoints the taste buds. There are stunning bouquets in wines that seem to transform the soul as they are drank. Perhaps the archetypal power of beauty lies in its ability to temporarily stop the breath, separating the veil between earthly existence and that of the spirit realm. For the uninitiated, wines rich in floralcy offer a glimpse into territory where surrender is the key to infinite pleasure.
Domaine de Beaumalric Muscat de Beaumes de Venise 2004 (France):
If the perfume of precious white flowers were a drink, it would be Muscat de Beaumes de Venise. Brimming with apricot, pear, honeysuckle and lily notes this elixir is pure nectar. Serve with a Madagascar vanilla crème brûlée as the richness of the dessert plays nicely against the delicate, sweet notes of the wine.
Accent Fragrance: The gentle citrus notes in Annick Goutal’s Eau de Sud are a perfect match for this wine and dessert pairing.
Lucien Albrecht Gewürztraminer, 2005 (Alsace-France):
Rose and lychee dominate the flavor profile of this fine Alsace wine, which also has notes of peach and yellow honeysuckle. Crisp and delicate, it is refreshingly memorable. An apricot sorbet or peach cobbler would do well as dessert offerings. If you haven’t experienced wines with natural floralcy, Alsace Gewürztraminer is the perfect place to start.
Accent Fragrance: Antonia’s Flowers is a wonderful complement to a great Gewürz as the perfume’s freesia, jasmine, magnolia and lily notes weave a synchronous spell on the senses.
Quady Elysium 2005 (California):
Deep notes of rose permeate this Black Muscat dessert wine, which is outstanding when paired with a good dark chocolate. If extravagance is in the air, Amedei Porcelana criollo bar will suffice. Otherwise, a 71% Valrhona dark will do nicely.
Accent Fragrance: If you are planning on seduction, a spritz of Frédéric Malle’s Une Rose on the décolletage would be a nice addition to the evening, as would a light application of the fragrance cream around the abdomen (which will rise and fall with your breath). The rose notes in Une Rose are lighter than those in Elysium, so you can tease your intended’s sense of smell before building a crescendo on the palate.
(P.S. Quady also makes Essencia, which is an Orange Muscat with orange blossom and apricot notes.)
Trimbach Mirabelle Brandy (Alsace-France):
This eau de vie was the inspiration behind perfumer Christophe Laudamiel’s Virgin #1, one of the 15 scents created for Thierry Mugler’s Perfume Coffret. Pleasant floral, musky and woody aromas rise from the tongue to the roof of the mouth after the volatile sharpness of the alcohol has become subdued. Chilled fruit compote consisting of pears, apricots, green grapes, shredded yellow apples (and a quick dash of cardamom) would do nicely as complementary dessert.
Accent Fragrance: If you are one of the lucky owners of the Thierry Mugler’s Perfume Coffret, wear Virgin #1. If not, a sheer and delicate application of Hermes’ Hiris or Le Labo’s Aldehyde 44 will work nicely.
Belvoir Elderflower Cordial (alcohol-free):
If you or a loved one prefers to go the non-alcoholic route, elderflower cordial will be quite a revelation. Since the concentrate is made with citric acid and sugar, there is a decidedly refreshing aspect with regard to taste, but the flavor perfectly captures dewy white flowers in bloom. Traditionally, elderflower cordial is used to impart essence in still or sparkling mineral water. As a dessert it may be used to create a refreshing basil sorbet or as an accoutrement to vanilla ice-cream.
Accent Fragrance: The scent of Acqua di Biella Baraja was made for this elderflower cordial. Delicate and fresh, Baraja resonates with the clean, crisp floral notes of elderflower cordial. Could it be a touch of dihydromyrcenol lingering in subdued woods, citrus and spices that makes this fragrance so perfectly suited to a petal-flavored drink? The answer is in the molecules—where all beautiful scents and flavors reside.
All of the wines recommended in this article can be purchased at Sherry Lehmann, in New York City. Elysium can be hard to find, but your local wine purveyor can check with their distributor and order it for you.
Belvoir Elderflower Cordial is available at Kalustyan’s (item number 190EO1).
Amedei chocolates can be purchased online from the purveyor or from Chocosphere.