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Apr 21, 2007 05:59 AM

Report from apps/wine get together

Well... apps turned out great! I should have brought some sort of veggie (well I guess I had onion) but everyone else brought cheese and crackers or variation thereof. Boring.

The wine was delicious but turned out to be a more 'relaxed' get together since some of us didn't know each other at all or very well. I think in the future we will decide to have more structure, like all Italian or all Napa cabs or something, but this time was more casual and 'get to know you'.

Again - thanks for all your help!!! If I may be so bold as to make a suggestion, it's to bring something else to a wine tasting besides cheese and crackers!

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  1. Fun to read your update. would you share your onion recipe? Thinking about it made me want to try it with a nice Alsatian white...

    I actually don't like most cheeses with wine, because I like very strong cheeses, and these don't tend to go well with wine. There are the classic standards (crottin de chavignol and sancerre, port and stilton) that work great, and I also love some hard cheeses (aged cheddar, comte, appenzeller, parmesan etc.) with a really great big red lke a shiraz. But some of my favorite runny stinky cheeses like epoisses and brie de meaux are terrible with any wine. So I agree with your suggestion whole-heartedly.

    1 Reply
    1. re: moh

      Epoisses is a great match with Pinot Noir and a good match with Zinfandel... but that's about it, from my tastings.

      Brie de Meaux is a reasonably good match with Chardonnay.

    2. The onion tart recipe has been moved to the Home Cooking board:

      1. Lauren... In addition to your cheese plates, next time you can start with the wine and work backwards to identify some simple appetizers and perhaps desserts that also match the wine.

        1. We did a wine/dine event about once/mo. with 4 couples. This went very well, until too many folk moved away. The host did the main, and paired a themed wine with it. The guests, then had the options of appetizers/wine, starter-courses/wine or dessert/wine. The host/hostess set the theme, IT, ES, FR, or even more defined. Each theme needed to be defined beforehand, and could be a country, region, appelation, sub-appelation, etc. One of the most fun was "The Varietal That No One Has Ever Heard Of." Really took some thought and research, especially with the food pairing. As we were hosting that one, we did about 3 weeks of taste testing to come up with a star anise infused pork loin with pomegranates to pair with a Pinot Meunier. The "welcome wine" was a Cortese (Gavi di Gavi). I was blown away by a salad with a Symphony from Volcano Winery, HI. First time that I have ever liked a Symphony and I had tasted the one from Volcano, only two years ago.

          By doing a pairing with one's dishes, the meals were well beyond "cheese and crackers." Now, a great theme would be to bring a special cheese to pair with a single wine, then allow all to taste each wine with each cheese to test the pairings.

          Maybe specify an event with Zinfandel and require that each come from a different appelation - paired with the guests' choice of food. Yeah, you end up with beef done 12
          ways, but that isn't all bad...


          2 Replies
          1. re: Bill Hunt

            Interesting - sounds like your group is much more gourmet than ours seems to be! Two of us are good cooks but the others don't seem to be as adventurous/skilled

            1. re: laurendlewis

              In our case, some were great cooks, but the single common thread was the wine (paired with good food). One couple always brought some prepared dish, but did a good job of matching the themed wine to it - no biggie.

              To borrow a bit from Andrea Immer Robinson, one theme might be Old World vs New World. Pick a common varietal, i.e. Sauvignon Blanc and delegate different geographies/styles to the group. Chilled shrimp six-ways, or similar would be a good accompaniment. As would several cheeses, but I do recall your admonition earlier on (Grin). Same could be said for Cab, or Chard.