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Aug 6, 2009 09:49 AM

beverage choice

I'm having a dinner date in 6 hours, a special one
but I am still uncertain about beverage choice: wine or mixed drink or, in between, wine cocktail?

I am serving:
balsamic glazed strawberry bruschetta
warm spinach salad
Chicken/eggplant parm
chocolate trifle with strawberry

I know chicken parm should be paired with some red but the person i'm having over is a fan of white. would white sangria work? or one those fancy colorful martini? or just go with her favorite white wine that might be a little strange for a tomato based main dish?

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  1. A few thoughts:
    Crisp, acidic un-oaked chardonnay.
    Prosecco - could add whole or macerated strawberries to continue the strawberry theme.

    Maybe ice wine to go with the dessert

    1. First, good luck!

      Second. Sangria would not work (IMO) that well as it is a sweet, kinda tapas wine. Given the sweetness level of your menu, I would stay away from fancy martinis that are themselves sweet. Though I enjoy red wine, the tanins often give me a headache, so I stay away and drink mostly whites. A nice dry white (burgundy/sav blanc) might work well. If you are serving red, try a nice chianti or pinot noir.

      If you are offering a cocktail before dinner, how about gin and tonic or vodka and soda.

      After dinner drinks are always nice too. Baileys with coffee or a nice brandy, depending on your tastes.

      1. I second all of tdaaa's recommendations.

        A champagne cocktail is always festive.

        Have fun!

        1. agreed about the prosecco, especially to start. the balsamic and the spinach are both very tannic and troublesome to pair with wine. electric martinis have no business at a proper table, imho.

          if you decide on the white sangria, it might be ok if you don't make it too sweet. it also should have at least a few hours before serving for the flavors to meld.

          your main is both naturally both acidic and sweet, as well as a bit on the heavy side. i think a high-acid wine will just be too much with tomato sauce. you can do a big soft chardonnay to blunt that, or how about a nice rich french rosé?

          1. I would keep it simple and serve a Napa Sav Blanc with the bruschetta and salad, then move on to a chainti or Sangiovese. I like these reds with chocolate and fruit, but if you want a desert wine, a nice vin santo is not too sweet and adds a nice touch (serve chilled in sherry glasses). Hope your dinner is successfull. Sounds like a terrific menu.

            6 Replies
            1. re: CocoDan

              the dinner guest doesn't like red...

              1. re: hotoynoodle

                "doesn't like red"; "the person I'm having over is a fan of white". Let them continue drinking the sav blanc and encourage them to try the red when you break it out. No reason why you should short change yourself on a well planned meal. It's not being selfish, and your guest might find it interesting. Just a suggestion. By the way, the vin santo is really a blush, not heavy red.
                Once Again, Enjoy,

                1. re: CocoDan

                  Every vin santo I ever had was gold/amber in color not a blush. The wikipedia entry agrees:


                  Never mind, even though I am a huge dessert wine fan I have never really found a taste for Vin Santo and it is rather out of the ordinary for wine beginners. If someone is going for dessert wine there are a dozen others I would recommend first.

                  1. re: StriperGuy

                    OK, OK, I give up. You're right, I'm wrong, you win. Serve the gold/amber vin santo with desert. There, is that better. Or is there something else wrong with my options?

                    1. re: CocoDan

                      Ouch, getting kinda touchy there.

                      I just think Vin Santo is not a beginner wine and a bit challenging for most palates. Sticking with your Italian theme a moscato di asti is much more approachable and just a nice gentle dessert wine.