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PAIRING SUGGESTIONS FOR THIS MENU?

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Hello:

Am having a dinner party for 10 prepared by a local chef. Am very excited! Need suggestions with the wines as the menu seems complex. $15-40/bottle OK. Here's the (southeast Asian inspired) menu:

Hors d'Oeuvres:
-Sauteed shrimp with curry leaves and unsweetened coconut flakes
-Murtabak. parantha, flaky Indian bread stuffed w/ curried beef with tomato garlic chutney
-Shells filled w/sauteed jicama, carrot, & cabbage with fried shallots, cilantro & chili sauce

Entree Buffet
-Green salad w/ginger vinaigrette garnished w/grapefruit
-Seared salmon w/fragrant sauce of ground lemongrass &kaffir, shallot, chili, cilantro, scallion, fish sauce & lime juice.
-Sambal green beans &fried tofu stirfried w/spicy carmelized onion & tamarind sauce
-Steamed jasmine rice
-Ducklegs w/braising sauce

Dessert
-Upsidedown pear &cardamon cake w/orange ricotta creme

Thanks much. Wish I could invite everyone out there in chowland!

Moe

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  1. that sounds delicious- are you looking for pairings for each course? spicy/exotic foods often pair best with wines with a little sweetness. here are a few suggestions around the
    15-20 range, but offer pretty high quality

    riesling- kabinett or higher, try markus molitor, huff,
    scheurebe- seebrich, wirsching (the seebrich shows some blackcurrant tones, with would pair well with the chile and tamarind)
    gewurtztraminer- adler fells, valckenburg

    a few blends that could work:
    Junehog white
    hopkiln 1000 flowers
    black chook VMR

    red (mainly for the duck,most of the other dishes would work better with white)
    try a beaujolais-villages or CA pinot noir.

    for the dessert, try an australian sticky, like chamber's, or something more unusual, like chamarre's juracon

    1. There's a few directions to go here....

      1) A riesling "spectrum" .... serve a halb-trocken, kab, spatlese and auslese w/ the apps and entrees, and a dessert riesling with the dessert...

      2) "Alsace/Mosel Spectrum".... serve a great gewurztraminer, riesling or two, and/or Scheurbe with the apps and entrees, then either a dessert riesling or sauternes with the dessert...

      Bottom line is that Gewurztraminer and Riesling are the matches for virtually all your apps and entrees given the seasonings...

      Sauternes and dessert rieslings are your optimal matches for the dessert. The riesling hits the cardamon a bit better while the sauternes hits the orange note a bit better. Both are beautiful w/ pears.

      Enjoy.

      1. I'm curious if you want just a few wines that will pair with all of these dishes or for individual reccomendations. I'm going somewhere in between the two options but I can adjust accordingly.
        >>
        Hors d'Oeuvres:
        -Sauteed shrimp with curry leaves and unsweetened coconut flakes
        -Murtabak. parantha, flaky Indian bread stuffed w/ curried beef with tomato garlic chutney
        -Shells filled w/sauteed jicama, carrot, & cabbage with fried shallots, cilantro & chili sauce
        >>

        Champagne. It will pair very well with the first and third options on this list. It may or may not pair well with the middle option. I'm slightly concerned with the tomato. I would reccomend a Riesling Kabinett... maybe especially one from the Mosel, for the second option here. That should pair well with both of the other hours d'ouerves as well.

        Price-wise, I would not skimp on the Champagne, but the kabinett does not need to be incredibly expensive. My favorite $40ish Champagne is Billecart-Salmon, but other good ones include Deutz, Roederer, and Charles Heidsiek. Bollinger Special Cuvee as well, if you can find it for $40.

        As for the Kabinett, I don't know what you have available to you. JJ Christoffel, Selbach-Oster and Dr. Loosen all do a good job here with their various bottlings. So does JJ Prum, although those can get a little more expensive. But the one I would really reccomend is the 2005 Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Kabinett. You should be able to find it for under $25, maybe under $20. (Note: that is a style-preference reccomendation, not necessarily a quality preference -- Schaefers tend to be a little more floral and lighter, which I like when going for a Mosel Kabinett or Spatlese.)

        >>Entree Buffet
        -Green salad w/ginger vinaigrette garnished w/grapefruit
        -Seared salmon w/fragrant sauce of ground lemongrass &kaffir, shallot, chili, cilantro, scallion, fish sauce & lime juice.
        -Sambal green beans &fried tofu stirfried w/spicy carmelized onion & tamarind sauce
        -Steamed jasmine rice
        -Ducklegs w/braising sauce
        >>>

        Ok, for the salad, if you are going to drink any wine, I would continue with sparkling. You can continue with Champagne or you might try something slightly lighter and/or sweeter. A Prosecco could work. As could a wonderful Scheurebe Sekt I had a couple of months ago from the producer Gysler. It was under $40 off the wine list, but it may be hard to find in your area.

        The Salmon is pretty much screaming Champagne to me again. But a Viognier would work well, too. Or almost any good CA wine made with Rhone varietals. One of my favorite wines in this category is the Qupe Roussanne Bien Nacido wich is $40 and worth it. I'm not familiar enough with less expensive wines in this category to give a comfortable reccomendation.

        The beans and tofu would go with any of the wines I've mentioned so far.

        Duck -- that will pair with Champagne or a German Riesling (probably better a Spatlese) but you probably want at least one red so go for a Pinot Noir. You could try the basic Soter which should be under $25. Or you could do a Burgundy -- I'd suggest the Tollot-Beaut Chorey-les-Beune, also about $25. Also, the Cazar is very ood. And the basic Melville Estate should be around $30.

        Dessert-
        Something from the Loire. If you can find a Pichot Vouvray Moelleux, that should only be about $20 and that is always a great bottle of wine. For about $30, the Huet Vourvay Moelleux is generally terrific.

        1. I agree with the German "bent" to the suggestions so far -- Rieslings (mostly) in the Kabinett range. Scheurbe is also a possibility, as is Gewürztraminer. I would AVOID Alsatian Gewurztraminer (French spelling), however, and stick with German ones . . . if you can find them (Gewürztraminer [German spelling] accounts for only 2% of the German vignoble).

          But, IN ADDITION, I would look seriously towards not only Austrian Riesling but also to Gruner Veltliner . . . excellent choices with this cuisine, IMHO.

          Cheers,
          Jason

          2 Replies
          1. re: zin1953

            Do German Gewürztraminers tend to be a lot more acidic than Alsatian versions?

            Also, how would you place Italian (eg. South Tyrol) versions along the same spectrum?

            I hadn't previously framed the issue in these terms, and you've got me thinking now, about the major drawback of Gewürztraminer vice Riesling -- the relatively lower acidity.

            1. re: ttriche

              >> about the major drawback of Gewürztraminer vice Riesling -- the relatively lower acidity. <<

              Maybe for some it is a drawback, for me personally it is a positive. I have some really nice Alsatian Gewurz at home ($16 a bottle) with residual sugar that I pair with spicy dishes and it works just great for me, I definitely would not like to have it more acidic. But these are my own taste buds - never cared for Rieslings precisely because of their relatively higher acidity.

          2. abbey dubbel

            1. Riesling
              Viognier
              Sticky Riesling