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Pairing Suggestions

Phoenix is celebrating Restaurant week and we have made reservations for a BYOB restaurant for dinner with some friends next weekend and am interested in some pairing suggestions. I already have some ideas but wanted to get some advise from the chow community. Here is the "restaurant week" menu at Coup Des Tartes:

First Course (choice of):
Three Onion Tarte: Our delicate sweet crust filled with caramelized shallots, leeks, onions, fresh herbs, a bit of bacon & Gruyere custard. Served with mixed greens.
Soup Du Jour: Freshly made, organic, soup of the day!
Harvest Salad: Mixed greens with organic apple, red onion, dried cranberries, chevre & candied walnuts tossed in apple cider vinaigrette.

Second Course (choice of):
Chilean Sea Bass: Roasted Chilean Sea Bass topped with a fresh grape, roasted pepper, and walnut salsa, drizzled with melted balsamic butter and served a top Israeli couscous with sauteed spinach.
Lamb Shank: 100% natural grass fed Australian lamb coated in warm spices and served Moroccan style atop couscous with a harrisa spiced vegetable ragout studded with dried fruits. Our house specialty!
American Buffalo (Bison): Oven roasted all natural bison topped with a shitake mushroom and tarragon sauce. Served with Saut�ed asparagus and lobster mashed potatoes.

Third Course (choice of):
Choice of four different freshly made decedent tartes.

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  1. p.s. I have some older vintage/ready to drink 2nd growth bordeaux and barolo/barbaresco that I have been wanting to open to check in and see how they are developing if you think that may be fitting for the lamb and buffalo dishes. Was thinking about a 2005 Cloudy Bay Te Koko savvie for the sea bass. What do you think?

    3 Replies
    1. re: eatmedrinkme

      A SB would be my choice for the first courses, though not NZ, however much I love them. I would go for maybe a Napa SB, with less "grapefruit" and more lemon/lime up front.

      For the lamb, I always think of Syrah, and then Northern Rhône for those. OTOH, had a great Shiraz for SE OZ that would be in the mix, if you can find it - the Southern Belle.

      Enjoy,

      Hunt

      1. re: Bill Hunt

        thanks for the ideas. I do have a Guillard Cote Rotie that could work for the lamb.

        1. re: eatmedrinkme

          We just had a wonderful lamb dish at The Greenhouse, London, Mayfair, and I paired it with a lovely Cote Rotie. The guests swooned. While the pairing worked very well, I think that most of the compliments were directed at the chef, and at the winemaker.

          Enjoy,

          Hunt

    2. I'd love an alsatian Riesling with that Onion Tart.

      With the bass, I agree with Hunt on Cali SB.

      Though I think your Bordeaux would be fine with the bison, I fear the Moroccan spices would clash. the mushrooms in the bison dish, and the versatility of the grape (to go with the Moroccan spices) lead me to think Pinot Noir for both red meats, rather than Bordeaux.

      Just my 2 cents. :-)

      2 Replies
      1. re: ChefJune

        Perhaps a Ch. Musar with the spices?

        Just thinking,

        Hunt

        1. re: Bill Hunt

          Yes to the Musar.

          Actually, I don't know where my brain was when I made that post up there. Pinot Noir wouldn't go AT ALL (imho) with Moroccan spices. (DUH!)

      2. First course: Riesling is a no-brainer, especially if you go with the tart.
        Second course: White Rhone or a White Burgundy with the sea bass; Bandol with the lamb, Cabernet with the bison.
        Third course: Moscato d'Asti.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Brad Ballinger

          @ chefjune: I was thinking the same about the bordeaux and piedmont wines, im sure I will find an excuse soon enough ;)

          i do have trimach reisling that could fit the bill. I also think I will go with jaques prieur champ-pimont because your right about the versatility with both meat dishes.

          Thanks again for all of your suggestions.

          1. re: eatmedrinkme

            For the sea bass and how it's prepared, call me crazy, but I might be inclined to bring along a nice Pinot Noir (Burgundy, of course).

        2. Good choice on the Barolo/Barbaresco for the lamb shank and Bordeaux for the Bison. Agreed that Red Rhone would be my first choice for the lamb, though. First course, my choice with any of them would be Blancs du Blanc Champagne.

          1. So forgot to give the dinner update (if anyone cares?) Ended up bringing the Cloudy Bay Te Koko SB and prieur beaune du champs. Started with a beautifully done escargot that paired really nicely with both wines. I had the tarte and my wife started with the salad. the sav blanc paired nicely with both of these as well. The harrisa spiced ragout completely destroyed the burgundy and I had to request some bread of clear my palate to enjoy the rest of the wine after I finished my lamb. In hindsight the best wine to stand up to this dish would have been a whopper of a syrah (cote rotie) or a shiraz as many suggested. good suggestions from all thanks for the help

            3 Replies
            1. re: eatmedrinkme

              Thank you for the follow-up. That often does not happen, and I, for one, love to hear how well things went. Always so very much to learn.

              Thanks,

              Hunt

              1. re: Bill Hunt

                That's one of the things I love so much about the subject of wine. Just when you think you know, you don't know!

                1. re: ChefJune

                  I experience that, and at many levels, all of the time! Life should be a "learning experience," until the last breath. When it comes to wine (especially with food pairings), I espouse the old adage, "practice, practice, practice." Even if one misses a bit, it's still fun (and usually tasty), in the process.

                  Hunt