Wine pairing- Xmas dinner help
- MVNYC Dec 19, 2006 04:36 PM
I am relatively new to wine pairing and am trying to figure out what would go well with this x-mas meal.
Appetizer, Grilled shrimp kabobs marinaded in olive oil, pepper and herbs(either dried provence mix or fresh sage) then wrapped in pancetta
Roast leg of lamb marinaded with garlic, rosemary, anchovies then topped with a salsa verde containing anchovies, capers and parsley.
Sweet potatoe spears with maple/horseradish glaze,
Broccoli rabe sauteed with garlic, hot pepper flakes and golden raisins.
Any help would be appreciated.
It really depends on your tastes. If you want a white or blush (few and risky), you need soemthing that can really stand up to the meal and not get drowned out. I would try to use a red, but make sure I was not serving an oaky red, like a cabernet sauvignon. A syrah or a Rhone style may work well.
Not an easy menu from a wine-pairing standpoint, given the combination of savoury and sweet and Mediterranean (pancetta, olive oil, rapini, anchovies, capers, etc.) and non-Mediterranean (horseradish, maple) flavours.
For the shrimp, I'd probably open a clean, dry, aromatic Italian white like a Gavi or a Verdicchio. For the lamb, a rich young Chianti Classico (the 2004 Villa Carfaggio, for example), a Sicilian red made from indigenous grapes with or without some syrah in the mix or maybe (but probably not) a reined-in New World syrah.
I'd like a sparkling wine with that appy, and its a festive way to start a holiday dinner... doesnt have to be Champagne, if that's not in your budget. There are a number of yummy Crémants from various parts of France, or Cavas from Spain, and certainly some great stuff from the Anderson Valley (I like Roederer Estate a lot).
With the lamb, I;d choose a red Chateauneuf-du-Pape. To me your lamb flavors scream it, and I think your guests (and you) would like that pairing, as well. Tehre are some tasty ones around these days that won't break your bank, or you could go with one of the "biggies," just depeends upon your budget.
I wouldn't use those flavors for your sweets with this dinner, They seem out of place with the rest of your menu.
Both Bois de Boursin and Domaine St. Benoit (2004 for both) come in at $19.95. You will have much more selection if you go up just a bit. The E. Guigal is always a good deal, and if you want to splurge, my personal favorite Chateauneuf-du-Pape is Clos des Papes...
For a still wine with the shrimp, I'd be inclined to choose a Gavi... actually, Banfi makes a delicious one called Principessa Gavia, and also a frizzante one called "Principessa Gavia Perlante." Either would be spectacular, I think.
A sparkling, Italian white in the $10-20 price range? Sarrocco Moscato D'Asti. It can be served as a dessert wine, because it is a little sweet. But unlike many dessert wines, it is neither thick, syrupy not fortified. It's low in alcohol, only slightly effervescent, and I have not found many who dislike it. I recently served it at a party as the only white wine. If that was not it, Prosecco. I've had a few, but not one I can recommend off the top of my head.
When I look at your lamb dish:
"Lamb and rosemary" really says Rioja...
Zinfandel & Rioja both handle garlic well... and Rioja is a great match for anchovy. At the end of the day, Rioja sounds like the best choice for your Lamb Dish, given the seasonings and salsa involved.
As for a white wine accompaniment to your veggie sides, this is a mixed picture. Chardonnay is a great match for straight broccoli w/ garlic accent but maybe not the best when you consider the raisins imparting sweetness, and the fire of the hot pepper flakes. Overall I don't think you can go wrong with a basic riesling here, I'd go with a Kabinett.
Now we have the Sweet Potatoes... since riesling handles horseradish well and we have the sweetness coming from the potatoes & maple, again riesling seems like a very appropriate choice here.
At the end of the day, go with Rioja for your red and Riesling for your white...