THE BUCHE DE NOEL: A THOUSAND-YEAR-OLD TRADITION
The log comes from a thousand-year-old tradition, much older than the tree or the crib.
To celebrate the winter solstice, a huge log was burned and a little wine or oil was poured on it to bless it. The log had to be placed by two members of the family. This was a very precise ritual that varied according to region and religion. Some people let the log burn only one night, others kept it burning until the new year. The higher the flames, the more beautiful the new year would be. As a good luck charm, we kept a small piece.
Our greedy log was only born in 1870. Instituted by the pastry cooks after the war to replace the traditional log of wood, it perpetuates the custom.
The original pastry log is covered with butter cream streaked to represent the bark and garnished with small subjects armed with saws.
The log has an important place in a festive dinner. This dessert has the delicate mission of closing a copious meal with a sweet and gourmet touch. Chocolate, coffee or fruit, the ingredients are the key to finding the perfect match between the wine and the Yule log. Since the Yule log is very rich in flavor, it must be accompanied by wines with fruity aromas to find a balance between sweetness, flavor and acidity.
For this, dry wines should be avoided as they may create an unpleasant bitterness. Our recommendation is for natural sweet wines, which are sweeter and allow for a nice harmony with the different Christmas logs.
What wines to pair with a chocolate log?
For chocolate lovers, you have several options. While natural sweet wines with cocoa, candied fruit and roasted flavors are a nice option, it is important to make sure that the chocolate creaminess of the dessert is not too rich. Some mellow reds may create a heaviness in the mouth if the dessert is too fatty. The sweetness of the dessert calls for a wine with character, rich structure, sugar and acidity to balance the fat and sweetness of the recipe, but in a young vintage to preserve the fruit and freshness.
Here are our recommendations:
Like white grape varieties, black grape varieties make superb sweet wines: Via Caritatis, Domaine Terra Noé, or Domaine Miramont with a majority of Grenache and known for their fruity flavors, reveal more of the bitterness of chocolate.
What wines to pair with a fruit log?
Accompany the red fruit Yule log with fruity wines with a nice freshness, ideally from Syrah and Gamay grapes. These grape varieties are indeed very aromatic and fruity. The strawberry and raspberry aromas of these wines are reminiscent of mousse or pastry icing.
Our recommendations: the Michelas St Jemms, La Madone, or Saint Chinian Felix Culpa. Wines that blend harmoniously with this dessert thanks to their residual sugar and aromas.
Citrus or exotic fruit log
With a citrus or exotic fruit Yule log, go with sweet wines or late harvest wines such as Sauternes or Vouvray, which have strong, sharp flavors that balance the pairing. The acidity and spice of the dessert balances the sweetness of the sweet wines. Moreover, this acidity enhances the freshness of these sweet wines, but they also have their note of acidity.
For a log with exotic fruits, everything will depend on the fruits you put in your dessert: if it is about very acid fruits like passion fruit, you can afford to choose very rich wines like Sauterne. On the other hand, for sweeter fruits such as mango or pineapple, it would be better to choose a Vouvray which is a more balanced wine.
Christmas log with vanilla
The vanilla Yule log is a dessert whose sweetness and freshness must be magnified by the wine and food pairing. It is therefore best to opt for a sweet white wine. Our Sauterne, Côte de Provence or Château les amoureuses will be perfect to finish your dinner.
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