last minute wine advice needed
Here's the deal: A friend who happens to be an exceptional cook as well as a wine enthusiast has invited me over for dinner at the last minute -- for tonight! (Saturday). She says she's making a porcini risotto and some kind of veal dish. So the question is: what wine to bring? Apparently, my friend already has on hand a bottle of Amarone (which she bought at Trader Joe's for only ten bucks so it can't be that good, but still -- it's Amarone!) What can I buy that will compliment her meal, compete with the Amarone, and not break the bank? (say $20-30) Another Italian red (Super-Tuscan?) I'm assuming but all suggestions welcome... I know Chowhound's usually slow on weekends but is somebody out there who can help?
It might sound like a cop-out, because this is the wine people always suggest for hard-to-match items (and your menu ain't hard to match!), but I really like Alsatians with risotto. Lotsa zingy acid to counterbalance the peasanty rice. And might work ok with the veal dish, too (though you didn't give details on that one).
I'm sure others will have more specific reccos, but Alsatians seem to be one of the few wines where you generally do get what you pay for; buy the most expensive you can afford. Can't go wrong with the mid-level Trimbachs, and $25-30 should get you there.
How about a chianti reserva? Like Antinori? Or, if you can find it for more money Rosemont Blue Diamond?
My choice for porcini risotto and/or veal would be a well-aged Burgundy or Barolo (nebbiolo-based).
For an easy off the shelf choice, you can pick up 1997 Ruffino Chianti Classico Reserva Ducale (gold metalic label) at Trader Joe's for about $30.
I'd like to hear back from you if the Amarone is worth $10.
Try a Tarausi by Masterbernadino (sp?) I've bought it over at the Wine House and it will work nicely with the porcinis .
Although I always maintain that one can drink what one likes with anything, a pairing I have found sublime in the past is Cep (porcini) and champagne.
It is suggested that Cep be accompanied by red wine but even a young red is overpowering and whites are a little to feeble to measure up to the robust vegetable meatiness of said fungus. Therefore a happy and successful compromise is a dry champagne, Made with the pinot noir grape it has flavour qualities of a red without tannin and, as a Cep is usually eaten at the beginning of a meal, it doesn't ruin the rest of the dishes. If you don't fancy the gasiness of Champagne the the solera system of xerez will also provide you with a few alternatives.