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Wine tasting accompaniments

r
Raids Feb 3, 2011 08:41 AM

Hi - I'm having two couples over for a casual wine-tasting. Cheese is covered. It's post-dinner, so nothing too heavy, but I'd like to have a few other things, including something that works as a dessert. Thoughts? What do you serve with wine?

  1. k
    katecm Feb 4, 2011 09:09 AM

    Dessert: chocolate covered grapes, from Michel Richard no less! http://projects.washingtonpost.com/re...

    If you want to add a kicky element to them mix cayenne or salt in with the cocoa powder you use to coat. They're a wonderful surprise. People think it'll be a truffle, but then it's so light and juicy and just explodes in your mouth. Just keep them cool until serving.

    1 Reply
    1. re: katecm
      r
      Raids Feb 4, 2011 09:12 AM

      You are brilliant! Thanks!

    2. a
      ann_l Feb 4, 2011 06:40 AM

      http://smittenkitchen.com/2006/12/the...
      parmesan black pepper biscotti

      1. Chinon00 Feb 3, 2011 01:44 PM

        I'm not sure what dessert you could pair with those wines other than cheese which you've already mentioned. People say chocolate and red wine but I'm yet to be convinced.

        1. invinotheresverde Feb 3, 2011 12:20 PM

          Which wines are you serving?

          6 Replies
          1. re: invinotheresverde
            r
            Raids Feb 3, 2011 12:37 PM

            Malbec, Cotes du Rhone, a very tannic Cabernet and a Pinot from Oregon. Also New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Prosecco.

            I would be happy to hear cheese suggestions (particularly for the Sauvignon Blanc and the Malbec), but I think what I'm really asking about are palate cleansers.

            Right now I'm thinking of just adding some grapes and a baugette and making the ricotta & orange cheesecake recipe I just saw around here for a dessert. Someone else is bringing some charcuterie of some kind.

            1. re: Raids
              g
              Gail Feb 3, 2011 01:08 PM

              Raids, I just can't resist helping...Here's the perfect site for you.

              http://www.winemonger.com/catalog/win...

              My choice manchego with the malbec and goat cheese (your choice) with the sauv blanc

              1. re: Gail
                r
                Raids Feb 3, 2011 01:19 PM

                Thanks! I will check it out. I would pair a french sauvignon blanc with goat cheese but wasn't really so sure about SB's from New Zealand because that's just an awful lot of tanginess.

                Nobody likes sheep's milk cheese but me (and I *love* it), so I'm in a bit of a bind there.

              2. re: Raids
                invinotheresverde Feb 3, 2011 02:03 PM

                I've said it before and I'll say it again, but IMO, red table wine and cheese is a horrendous match. I don't know how the old "red wine with cheese" thing became so popular, but with very, very few exceptions, the outcome equals less than the sum of its parts. Cheese belongs with whites, bubbles, fortified and stickies.

                Dessert is also tough, as the wine needs to be at least equally sweet to the dessert or it's going to taste foul.

                Are you doing a wine tasting, or just an informal thing where there are a bunch of wines open? If it's the former, I would serve no food; the latter is tough, since you'll all have already eaten.

                Sorry if this isn't particularly helpful.

                1. re: invinotheresverde
                  r
                  Raids Feb 4, 2011 03:20 AM

                  Nah, I agree. I do think there's something to be said for pairing a tannic red with a fatty cheese, but that's about it. But, it is what it is. And it's informal. I did pick up a northern Italian Chardonnay from a store tasting yesterday that's nicely crisp and effervescent and I am looking forward to pairing that. :-)

                  I think I'm going to pick up some olives, a baguette, some dried fruit, some nuts (walnuts included - thanks sacan!) and whatever fresh fruit looks good at Whole Foods tomorrow. For "dessert," I'm thinking we'll just finish off the whole wine tasting thing and have some hot toddies.

                2. re: Raids
                  s
                  sancan Feb 3, 2011 03:39 PM

                  I think nuts are a good palate cleanser, particularly walnuts.

              3. g
                Gail Feb 3, 2011 12:19 PM

                I'm finding it strange you are having an "after dinner wine tasting". Are you featuring dessert wines? Why not have it before dinner with apps?

                3 Replies
                1. re: Gail
                  r
                  Raids Feb 3, 2011 12:34 PM

                  What is the point of this post? LOL.

                  No, I am not featuring dessert wines. It's casual. We are all very good friends and this is what we all want to do.

                  1. re: Raids
                    g
                    Gail Feb 3, 2011 12:58 PM

                    What can I say...I'm from CA. and you know how crazy we are. Charcuterie etc, post dinner seems odd. But you guys enjoy. What wines are you having with dinner?

                    1. re: Gail
                      r
                      Raids Feb 3, 2011 01:14 PM

                      We're getting together on a Saturday night at 8pm so I have no idea what everyone is doing for dinner. I will probably just skip it and load up on cheese, etc., or grab a slice of pizza somewhere.

                      Basically this is something we're doing in lieu of going out to the bar, because that is very expensive in D.C. and I have a bunch of unopened wine left over from a party last weekened that I spent way too long picking out and someone has to drink it and like it, damn it!

                      I honeymooned in Napa - great time, I would love to go back. Wine-tasting at noon felt strange to me out there also, but when in Rome. :-)

                2. a
                  ann_l Feb 3, 2011 09:07 AM

                  Buy a frozen cheese cake. Thaw. Scoop spoonfuls of it out and, using your hands, cover a raspberry in it so it makes a ball with the berry inside. Roll in mini-chocolate chips.

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