It is on the occasion of the traditional Epiphany, celebrated on January 6th that we see the famous “galettes des rois” (kings’ cake) appear on our tables! A treat for young and old alike that usually lasts all through January! And as the winelovers that we are, fond of ideas and pretexts (let’s admit it!) to taste nice wines, we share some suggestions with you. We will also tell you about some variations that exist in other countries. Beautiful combinations of “galette des rois” and wines that would be very likely to be found in the Aveine gourmet team!
Galette des rois and wines: our pairings
For a wine pairing with a galette des rois, we suggest different styles. Be careful, it also depends on the galette you choose! The galette des rois tends to take two variations in France: the crispy frangipane galette for the North of France, and the tender brioche for the South of France. These are only trends, among gourmets we find both types!
Pairings with a galette des rois frangipane*
To start these pairings we suggest Champagne of course! Bubbles often rhyme with celebration, and at Aveine we love them in all their forms! For a frangipane galette des rois, go for a Champagne Demi-Sec. The bubbles will bring lightness in the mouth, and the sweetness of the Demi-Sec will stand comparison with the creamy and tasty almond cream.
A Clairette de Die may be an interesting alternative for the same reasons, with the advantage of being affordable.
Pairings with a “brioche” des rois
For a brioche des rois, if you are a bubble aficionado, why not go for a Blanc de Noirs Champagne? It will bring the subtle sweetness of red fruits to your Galette. A Brut style might be appropriate.
But a royal galette can make you feel like a king, so it’s time to make a little reference to our German neighbors and to highlight the VDP: “Verband Deutscher Pradikatsweingutter“. A label that includes some of the best German producers and is easily recognizable, thanks to a golden eagle on the capsule. A wide variety of styles exist with different levels of sugars. This time we prefer a wine that is soft and mellow, but still has a great freshness. For this, we recommend a Riesling ” Beerenauslese “. If you prefer to stay in France, a Coteaux du Layon could be a nice match.
In both cases do not forget to use your Aveine aerator which will accentuate the mineral and fresh side of these wines!
The galette des rois outside of France?
After talking about our French wine pairings with a galette des rois, let’s take the time to look at how it is going in other countries. Let’s travel a little, we need it so much!
In Spain the “Roscon de Reyes”.
The “Roscon de Reyes” is a variant of the brioche des rois, taking the shape of the crown. Citrus peels and candied fruits such as orange and lemon are added. The orange blossom holds a prominent place, and almonds are also sprinkled on the crown. All this offers a beautiful combination of texture and flavor. Moreover, some gourmets even add ganache!
For this pairing we suggest you to stay in the theme of Spain with a Cava, a sparkling wine elaborated from the traditional method. This wine is easily found in shops and offers an excellent value for money.
Note that there is also a similar variant in Mexico “la Rosca de Reyes” with an oval shape.
In Portugal: the “Bolo Rei”.
In Portugal the “Bolo Rei” visually resembles the “Roscon de Reyes” and the “brioche” des rois. The fruits tend to be placed there whole and not in pieces, to recall jewels! Many add a little Porto in the preparation of the brioche, and above all marinate the fruit in the Porto! This gives the “Bolo Rei” a distinctly local look. So to stay in the theme, try to taste it with a Porto too! We recommend a light style like a Ruby Reserve Porto, but why not try a young White Porto, a style that is becoming more and more fashionable. You could even make it into a cocktail!
The Bolo Rei can also be found in South America, particularly in Brazil.
Another style in Italy with the “Befanini”!
Italy differs somewhat in its customs. At the same time it celebrates “Befana”, a witch who brings sweets to nice children. Those who are not so good get coal! In fact, coal is deliciously sweet.
“Befaninis” are cookies made from milk, butter, and lemon. Some add raisins, or decorate them with multicolored sprinkles. Festive appearance guaranteed!
For the good and not so good, we recommend an Asti “Spumante”. It is also recommended to leave a glass at “Befana”, if you want to earn points for the following year!
Galette des rois and wines from other places
The galette des rois is also found in Belgium, mainly in the frangipane style, and also in Canada.
In Switzerland it is in the superb form of a brioche crown, which reminds us of a star. It is made like Swiss brioche bread and filled with chocolate! This variation is also found in Germany under the difficult name “Dreikönigskuchen”. Here again, the pairing with VDP wines is a good alternative that we recommend.
The tradition of the galette des rois is also found in other countries where the French form is being used, such as in the United States and Australia, and is increasingly being adopted. No doubt that other countries will draw inspiration from it to develop their own recipes. And so much the better!
Whatever the reason and the style, the Aveine team is happy to suggest these different pairings! They will give you the opportunity to pair good drinks with the galettes that you choose to enjoy with your family.
*Frangipane is a thick mixture of sugar, eggs, and butter mixed with almonds, used in making desserts and cakes