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Dec 4, 2008 06:54 AM

Wine Pairing For Dinner Party

I am having a catered dinner party for 10 this weekend and I would like some recommendations for wines to serve with dinner. The meal will begin with a butternut squash soup with roasted pistachios followed by a salad with a salmon cake. The main course will be a choice of short ribs or chicken marsala served with wild rice pilaf and roasted root vegetables. Dessert will be a flourless chocolate cake and fresh fruit. The guests are strangers to me, it is a fund raiser, so the food won't be to exotic and the wines should be on the "safe" side. I was thinking of a sauvignon blanc for the first 2 courses, probably a Kim Crawford, and maybe a chianti with the short ribs and chicken. I would usually serve a pinot noir as my safe red but I think it wouldn't hold up to the short ribs. Suggestions?

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  1. I might be tempted to go with a zin, malbec, or shiraz with the short ribs. I assume they're braised, so you might find out what wine, if any, the caterer is using in the braise. I would also comtemplate a bubbly with desert. Enjoy!

    4 Replies
    1. re: CurtA

      My first instinct was also a zin with the short ribs, but we will be only serving 1 red and I felt the zin would be overpowering for the people who will be having the chicken marsala. Also since I don't know these people, I find a zinfindel to be very polarizing, either love it or hate it. It's what I would have, but not what I would serve.

      1. re: dock

        No wine is going to go with chicken marsala so pick one to go with the short ribs. I'd go syrah.

        The Kim Crawford sauv blanc may be too zingy for your first two courses. Playing it "safe," consider a chardonnay that isn't overly oaky. Go New Zealand chard insteas of New Zealand Sauv Blanc.

        Moscato d'Asti for dessert.

        1. re: Brad Ballinger

          Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc is one of my favorites and sounds great with your two first courses! As anyone who has read any of my posts knows, California Chardonnay is my least favorite.

          What a great sounding dinner!!!

          1. re: Brad Ballinger

            Heartily agree with Kim Crawford SB. Nothing better!

      2. I first had Butternut Squash Soup at a winery with a beautiful Pinot Noir.
        I was stunned by the two together. Ever since then, even though I've tried
        the soup with other wines, nothing else, for me, comes close to the loveliness
        of PN with it.
        More here on this:

        I'd do a Savennieres with the salmon cake and salad.

        Any lovely robust red with the short ribs. Zin, Cabernet, Brunello, etc.
        Wine Pairing for Savory Short Ribs?
        Nice match for short ribs?

        Flouless chocolate cake: 20-year tawny, especialy if the "flour" is ground almonds or hazelnuts. Or, Malmsey Madeira, but I'd serve dried friut with that.

        1. You want two different wines? I would do a sparkler for the first two courses. Lini makes a terrific white Lambrusco for $17 that would work really well. I might consider a Southern Rhone for the main course, assuming that you are braising the short ribs. The chicken wouldn't be a horrible pairing, but the sprakler could also be served there. A Pinot also would work well (again, assuming you are braising the short ribs). A larger-styled barrique-aged Barbera would work well, too.

          1 Reply
          1. re: whiner

            Viognier for a butternut squash soup with roasted pistachios. Riesling or Pinot for a salad with a salmon cake. Northern Rhone for short ribs or chicken marsala. Sweet Riesling or Gewurz or Sauternes for the desserts.

          2. pinot grigio for starters or maybe a french sauvignon blanc. Kim Crawford is very nice too and should not intimidate anyone. I'd go for a Husch pinot for your main course