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Wine Pairings for a January 2007 Dinner Party

Hi: One of my resolutions for the New Year is to become more competent in pairing wines with food. I am serving the following dinner in January, and would welcome wine suggestions for the meal. I will be serving some nuts and apple slices and cheddar for nibbles with champagne. Sugeestions? Thanks so much...

1. Beef Bourguignon (BA, May 1994) http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...
2. Buttered Noodles
3. Roasted Root Vegetables with Thyme and Marjarom Viniagrette http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

4. Endive Pear and Roquefort Salad (Barefoot in Paris)
5. Chocolate Cherry Trifle http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

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  1. For your main, the traditional choice would be a red Burgundy. Depending on your budget, that could range from a generic Bourgogne to a Nuits-St-Georges, Beaune, Pommard, Gevrey-Chambertin, etc. You could also go with a coolish-climate Pinot Noir from the New World (think Oregon, New Zealand or California producers like Saintsbury and Calera). If you aren't using a Pinot Noir to make the stew, choose whatever wine you use or a better wine from the same region to serve with it. Côtes du Rhône has lots of possibilities.

    No wine with the salad, TYVM.

    The trifle doesn't look like a particularly easy match. I'd probably incline toward a Maury, Banyuls or Riversaltes or, failing those, a ruby or LBV Port (or one of their New World counterparts).

    1 Reply
    1. re: carswell

      Carswell, I'm with you all the way on this. For the dessert I'd probably go with a tawny port, as the full red ports might be a little heavy for my taste (I'd drink it with the salad as well - I ain't so stuffy, and the roquefort would pair nicely with the tawny)

    2. Thank you very much. I will take myself to the wine store with your post. Happy New Year.

      1. my husband suggests a white burgundy with the salad. a rully white burgandy would be great. instead of the port, try a madiera, or stick with the ruby. a sauternes would also pair well. enjoy your meal!

        1 Reply
        1. re: strephking

          With a similar salad, we usually do a Meursault and it pairs wonderfully. I've found a few US producers of Chardonnay, that also have wines that fit, but they would probably be too esoteric to try and find, unless you are in Napa, or down the Coast.


        2. I would suggest a young Aglianico, or Pierdirosso. Also, traditional Primitivo (original red zin brought to Puglia from Croatia). Concerning dessert, I agree with the Port suggestion.

          Buon Appetito!

          1. As far as the salad goes, tradition holds you don't serve wine with salad as the vinegar used in the salad dressing will affect the wine, making it, too, seem vinegary. This can be overcome with the use of lemon juice in lieu of vinegar, or with a very mild vinegar such as rice vinegar.

            1. 1) Beef Burgundy: if there's substantial pinot noir in the reduction, I'd serve Pinot as the wine accompaniment. Otherwise I'd serve a somewhat bigger wine, probably cab or a merlot/cab mix although several big reds would be fine here.

              2) Buttered noodles: If this is a "course by itself", then chardonnay is THE "butter wine", and I'd go with chardonnay here. I also like the burgundian theme of "Chardonnay and Pinot Noir", btw.

              3)Roasted root vegetables. Ditto the posters' comments about going easy on the vinegar in the vinegarette. You might instead create a tremendous dressing by instead making it a "white wine, oil & thyme" dressing base... use as the base one of the wines you're serving by the glass. Also, bring the dish to the wine by adding a hint of a very wine appropriate cheese, either to the dressing or shaving /dusting the cheese over the veggies!

              As for a great wine to accompany the roasted veggies... Sauvignon Blanc is probably going to work nicely here. If the veggies have a "smoky" grilled flavor then the afore-mentioned chardonnay would be great. Add a real chardonnay-friendly cheese like brie or chevre to the dressing as previously described. I like the idea of doing chardonnay with this because the chard matches the noodles and butter so nicely and we don't want to get too many wines on the table.

              4) Endive, pear, and roquefort salad. I would serve a Sauternes with this. There are very few flavor combinations in the world as sublime as Sauternes and Roquefort.

              5) Chocolate Cherry Truffle. There are a number of nice matches here. Muscat de Beaumes de Venise would probably be my first.

              SO, in re-cap for wine matches for this spread...you have 1) Pinot or Cab/Merlot 2) Chardonnay 3) Sauternes, and 4) Muscat de Beaumes de Venise. I would also suggest adding a cheese course so the guests can taste the delicious wine & cheese combinations here.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Chicago Mike

                Thank you everyone....this is so interesting and so very helpful. I admire your knowlege.

                1. re: onefineleo

                  One More Thing, Chicago Mike:

                  I really like your suggestion of a cheese course. When in the meal should I serve it?

                  1. re: onefineleo

                    Given your menu, I'd do it after the main meal and before the pear & roquefort salad. Also, add a bit more fruit to the salad so it ends up being a sort of "palate refreshing" fruit course also. In addition to pears, perhaps peaches, berries, lightly baked apple, etc... they all match Sauternes splendidly.

              2. Why not a dry alsatian riesling for the salad pairing?

                1. If and when I have cooked Beef Bourguignon (is that spelling correct?), I have always preferred to use the same wine in the pot as the wine I serve with the meal. And, imo, it should, if possible be a decent Burgundy. I've made it with cheap wine from the Latin-American section of a grocery store, and it's been a fine meal. But when paired with a wine other than the wine in the dish, something has always seemed a little bit off.

                  I suggested a moscato d'aasti in a recent post for a cheesecake pairing, but one of the other responses on that thread suggested a Bonny Doon Framboise, which is an idea for your trifle.