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Feb 20, 2009 06:14 PM

Pairing suggestions, please

All of the wine has been bought already, except the one to go with dessert, so please don't make alternate suggestions...I don't want to make this harder than it is.

Cremant d'Alsace, Domaine Joseph Scharsch

Prosciutto and Grilled Asparagus with Whole Grain Mustard
Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene, Vincenzo Toffoli

Boeuf à la Niçoise: Braised Beef Stew with Red Wine, Tomato, Olives, and Buttered Noodles
Teroldego Rotaliano Riserva, Mezzacorona, 2003

Blood Oranges, Arugula, Dates, Parmesan, and Almonds
Cuvee Euphorique Belgian abbey-style blonde ale

Almond Financier with Nectarines, Blackberries, and Whipped Cream, maybe strawberries.
suggestions I've had so far are moscato d'asti and brachetto d'acqui. I hesitate on the moscato because I already have two sparklers. Brachetto with fruit sounds good, but it doesn't seem sweet enough for the cake part.


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  1. Moscato would certainly work...nothing wrong with a lot of fizz with dinner.

    I reckon that many of the various TBA bottlings from Alois Kracher would be sweet enough and work quite well.

    1. Why not a non sparkling (or maybe just barely frizzante) moscato from Piemonte, like one from Soracco; or a liquoroso from Sicily--Pellegrini makes a nice, relatively good value Moscato di Pantelleria both "naturale" and as a sweeter passito. The former is probably sweet enough for dessert, and quaffable, too.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bob96

        i second pantelleria. in fact, it was my first thought when i read almond financier. i think you want something with it's own nuttiness so as much as i love kracher, i wouldn't put it first.

      2. We had a brachetto from S. Orsola and it was delicious - not a dinner wine, but with dessert - it went with everything from creme brulee to chocolate mousse. Finishing off with the sparkling wine was also a really nice end to the (double birthday) dinner celebration. And it's definitely sweet enough - almost berry and cream-ish.

        1. Then go for a moscato passito (no spritz) such as the Oro from La Spinetta, or the Forteto della Luja from the Loazzolo region. Easier to find might be Donnafugata's Ben Rye Passito di Pantelleria from Sicily.

          1. I like Sauternes-style (botrytised) wines with almond. With whipped cream, these wines would be my first choice. Have also found these wines pair well with berries, cherries, etc.

            Adore Passito di Pantelleria (love the Ben Rye, in fact) but think it might be too strong for the financier.

            4 Replies
              1. re: cockscomb

                Financier, if you recall, is made only of butter, flour, sugar, ground almonds and egg white. Neutral ingredients nearly, and the financier's flavor is subtle, delicate. Passito di Pantelleria is stunning, but intense in its apricot flavors, orange peel, honey and (sometimes) spices. Serve the Passito di Pantelleria with the financier and there's a good chance that the beautiful subtlety of the financier will be lost. Hence, my rec for a wine that doesn't compete with the financier so much, that is in balance with it in terms of flavor intensity. A close friend, a pastry chef at the Ritz, makes financier with half of a sliced and fanned pear, and that fruit combines well with the subtlety of the financier. The pear also melds with the classic flavor profile of Sauternes.

              2. re: maria lorraine

                Riffing off your Sauternes suggestion and the way that reminds me of honey and flowers, I would suggest a Beaumes-de-Venise. My favorite is Domaine de Durban. You'll get the honey-ed and floral notes that accompany stone fruit and almonds so well. It has enough acidity to match the fruit as well.

                1. re: Aaron

                  Excellent suggestion. From the other side of France, a Muscat de St. Jean de Minervois, made from the muscat a petits grains varietal, is a similarly seductive wine: honey, spice, and a bright lemon finish. The Val d'Orbieu coop bottles it, among others, and I've seen half bottles for $10. Or try a Vouvray demi sec/moelleux. So many wonderful choices.