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Aug 29, 2011 10:09 PM

Dad is turning 60 Menu & Wine Pairing - Help Quick(ly)! :)

My dad is turning 60 this weekend and I'm making a meal. Pairings are so important…like, eating Rold Gold Pretzels and Rootbeer. I want to make sure my pairings are on point and that he'll remember it.

The menu will mainly consist of proteins. Unfortunately I won't be killing any fish this week nor will I be serving hunted meat :( though I should serve that sheep from last week... or trick em and give em 1 of 10 wild boar cheeks. mohahaha. My parents hate that I hunt but love that I bring lobster, grouper, and scallops back. They're Asian you'd think they'd be down for eating dog.

go figure :)

Anyway without further ado here are my ideas and pairings with obvious holes:

Have at it, thanks.

Kumamoto Oysters & Blue Point or Fanny Bay w/ Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc. Crisp, acidic, goes well with the ocean. I love it with Oysters.

Diver Scallop Ceviche w/ Blood orange, lava salt & some chardonnay by the ocean…recs?

O-Toro Tuna & Yellowtail Belly w/ Champagne or Champagne blend…recs?

250F salmon w/ bell pepper puree, wild mushrooms … (no clue. Was thinkin a Riesling before moving to Pinot in the dish after next…)

Santa Barbara live spot Prawn w/ Grade A Seared Foie Gras & beet sauce (Sauternes still? I’ve seen this pairing more with cold foie).

Roast Liberty Duck, sautéed spinach w/ 30Y aged warm balsamic vinegar w/ Melville (Carrie’s)

Colorado Lamb Chops (with the fat cap of course), parmesan cream sauce, black truffles w/ 1986 Lafite & Pichon-Longueville

Prime Ribeye , mashed potatoes w/ Nicolas Catena Zapata 2007 and 2008 Scarecrow

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  1. Your post would probably be better on the Wine board, but my first question to you is whether your parents have the alcohol dehydrogenase to be able to go through ten separate wines (2 wines per each of the last two courses) in a single sitting. Unless you're serving tasting pours, we're talking about something on the order of 1.75-2 bottles/person. If they're okay with it and can handle it, then great.

    It's also a whack-load of food, and it gets larger and heavier as it goes.

    1. Ditch the Oyster Bay Sauvignon blanc
    OB's a nice quaff on a sunny afternoon, but you can certainly do better. Chablis (a petit Chablis unless you have one that's been sitting in the cellar for a while) is interesting, and you can also think some of the ginjo sake (nigori if you want to go cloudy). Albarinos are also a different option. For special SB, if you have one, Didier Dagueneau' Silex (perhaps one that he made before his death in 2008). A nice vintage Champagne would be nice here as well to kick off your celebratory meal.

    2. The acidity of any underlying ceviche can break a lot of wines. I've generally elected to serve with mineral water but a Kabinett Riesling has some sweetness that can help with it. Grüner Veltliners have worked too.

    3. Tuna. Pinot noir. Sake. Prager Grüner Veltliner. I think Champagne would kill it.

    4. Salmon. That with the mushrooms says "Pinot noir". Why the bell pepper purée?

    5. Spot prawn + foie gras. Kill the beet sauce. That earthiness is going to overwhelm the prawns. Sauternes is a classic pairing for foie, but I've done a similar dish and went with an aged Catena Zapata Alta Chardonnay that was served slightly warmer than optimum to bring a bit more butteriness out of the wine. Champagne would also work here too.

    6. Duck. Pinot noir, St-Émilion. You're roasting the duck whole, or cooking the parts individually?

    7. Lamb. Okay with Lafite-Rothschild; am guessing it's from your own cellar? Which Pichon? Lalande or Baron? Dump the parmesan; it's an anachronism.

    8. Ribeye. I guess you're going to do the infanticide thing as neither's really in a good drinking window. Why two wines? Ribeye being grilled? If you're going big, a Grenache from Priorat or a good Australian Shiraz

    7 Replies
    1. re: wattacetti

      Thanks for the extended reply. Where do you cook?
      There are 10 people for the dinner and some of the bottles are being opened whether we like it or not, namely the scarecrow, the catena (which can drink now though of course it will evolve the next few years...luckily have a case ;) ) wondering what is the issue with the parm cream? parm, cream, lamb, and truffles just work. My other thought kobe beef carpaccio but I don't want to drag a meat slicer to my parents'.

      Wasn't sure with the ceviche as yes will already have acid. Would prefer a beer but didn't want to mix thus no sake with the Tuna, either. Agree on some points, disagree on some others:

      Champagne is my preferred over any of the above, even good sake. Interesting thought on the Pinot...

      Whole roasted duck

      The pichon is Baron not comtesse. Have not had the Baron. If you think it's worth it could construct a dish around this wine. Not sure the year, but from 80's. (this is being brought)

      Maybe will use a Luca Chardonnay with the prawn and foie gras. What u think? The beet sauce is for the foie, really. this is a common pairing - beet sauce and prawn. but really it's for the foie gras here.

      As for the wines, this was the occasion to open the wines and two people are bringing the Catena and Scarecrow, and here are pairing the food with the wine rather than vice versa. Haven't had the 08 scarecrow yet but the catena drinks very well (not optimal) now and would take it over Grenache any day. Interesting your thought on Grenache being big - I find that CDP/Grenache does not hold up to a good ribeye but would take it with a tenderloin ..



      1. re: eezerik

        I may go with your rec with champagne to kick off the meal. Just, dunno, love the OB pairing. Wanted the acidity to come from the wine and with champagne i'd miss it

        1. re: eezerik

          I'm in the east (Montreal), and I cook and drink for fun though I do have several chef friends including one who's Michelin-trained.

          10 people for dinner with each having roughly the same amount of wine = minimum 1 bottle/person (750 mL/25.5 oz) if there's exactly one bottle of each wine. Hope you have some water alongside or it can get ugly.

          You can start off with a nice vintage Champagne; I like Salon but Pommery's Cuvée Louise does have good acidity. If the oysters are not being eaten plain, then you have to consider what else could be added on top (mignonette, lemon, Tabasco etc). I have stolen an idea from the Guy Savoy playbook and have made a gelée from the oyster liquor which then gets ladled back onto the raw oyster just before service.

          If you really wanted to have a Kiwi SB with lots of acidity, I'd say Kim Crawford. it's become a bit of a caricature but there's enough acidity in there to make my acid-sensitive pal squeal like a little girl.

          Your decision on what to go with the ceviche will depend on what else is in there. Classic tiradito would be limes, salt, chile, onion and your fish (scallop), but you're throwing in blood orange. Question: apart from wondering whether it's the correct season, do you not want to avoid tainting the color of the scallop? Some of the Moro blood oranges were purple inside (Taroccos are flecked with red).

          The tuna and yellowtail are being served how? If as a Japanese application, I'd still elect for sake, as it has paired well with few after-effects in a wine progression. They're 15-16% EtOH, and delicate enough to not overpower anything. Your call as it's your meal.

          Luca as in the specific Argentine producer? Or Luca as in Luca Vineyard as part of Nicolas Catena? I haven't had the former. The latter has a different expression than Alta. I still can't see the pairing with the beets and the foie gras, but I'll buy some foie and see for myself. The earthiness bothers me and I still think it will interfere with the spot prawn and your wine.

          The Pichon-Baron will be interesting; some of the 80s vintages will be right up against the latter end of their drinking window and it'll also depend on how well they've been cellared. Parmesan is not a traditional flavor of Bordeaux and while it might be a nice match for the lamb, it's not necessarily a great match for either of the Pauillacs.

          I didn't say CDP; I said a Grenache from Priorat. Very different beast. The old vines Grenache from there are very expressive, large and hold well to grilled flavors. Ditto the Australian Shiraz (there are some interesting old vines Grenache from Australia too).

          1. re: wattacetti

            Thanks, I'll let you know how it goes. I can't stand the KC but my dad has loads of it..

            You should try the beet sauce. I think you will like it. Good for use on scallops, guanchiale and foie. Not overpowering at all in fact works well.
            Goes well with seafood - I've also seen in the Alinea cookbook where they pair with bass.

            Luca the argentine producer...yum. malbecs delicious. chards delicious.

            The scallop may be a game-time decision, will need to taste how it comes out and pull some wine.

            Raw fish - just raw fish.

            Just going to go on the ingredient$$ and let them speak for themselves, like a good sushi restaurant ...or rustic italian. or cantonese seafood house.

            Per before, the wines at the beginning are up for grabs but the later reds are going to be opened so was trying to find the best food pairing in the latter and the better wine pairings for the former. I can change the dish to better suit the wines but cannot change the wines.
            I'd rather change the cut of the beef if this would be advantageous.

            How's the characteristics of the Pinot St Emilion? Maybe i'll start the salmon with a light earthy oregon pinot and go to something weightier in the duck.

            good eats,


            1. re: eezerik

              If your father has loads of Crawford, leave it off the pairing.

              I wouldn't change the cut of beef; dry-aged ribeye is stupendous (I've been doing them SV as my butcher has been constantly harassing me to not overcook). Perhaps some sauce bordelaise (with marrow) for people who might want some. Or marrow bones just because.

              Since you've been posting the odd photo, I'll look forward to seeing your event and perhaps what your father thought of the food and wines.

        2. re: wattacetti

          <Why the bell pepper purée?> I'm guessing OP is trying to make the pairings as difficult as possible. Can't imagine why otherwise! {;>D

          1. re: ChefJune

            At least eezerik didn't throw in artichokes somewhere in the menu.

            I'm really curious what the final menu and pairings are going to be.

        3. I too would recommend champers with the first course, although it would be good with the third as well if the tuna is a raw presentation. Champagne and oysters are classic.

          I'd try to go mineral-driven white such as white burg for the second course.

          Course three would be another champers or sake.

          salmon and mushrooms = pinot, no doubt. Save the riesling for the next course. One of my favorite pinots is JK Carriere out of Oregon.

          prawns and foie, you need something highly acidic to cut through the fattiness of the foie. I'd go with a chablis or somewhat aged riesling from MSR.

          I don't think I've ever had duck paired, so this one is confusing me.

          I'd go Barolo or Barbaresco for the lamb chops and truffles, as good as the Pichon sounds. Barolo, meat and truffles just go together.

          You're good on the ribeye although yes, infanticide.

          3 Replies
          1. re: MyNameIsTerry

            Thank you, You're right I will start with Champagne. just ordered: Vilmart et Cie Grand Reserve will let it open a little bit in the beginning.

            I think i'm going to go with a lighter pinot in the salmon course and then a weightier pinot for the Duck. I ordered a 2007 Roessler La Encantada Pinot and will try your JK Carriere rec shortly :)

            and then prawns and foie i'm going to stick with the classic Sauternes pairing. I've had it with riesling and wasn't a huge fan. I got a La Tour Blanche 2007 for this one. The prawn will be simple with homemade bread crumbs and a little yuzu. It will be live up until cooking so not much will need to be done. I placed the order for the cowboy ribeye, the liberty duck and foie and will head to the seafood markets at 3am friday.

            Would love barolo but I don't have a good one and if we got barolo and said hey i'll just keep the bordeaux(s) you're bringing in my cellar ... don't think it would go over well :D The last two barbarescos I had were vinegar from two separate stores (costco and a reputable wine store). Have you had this pairing? I have not. Have always used it more for quail over polenta and squab or chukar/partridge. The ones I were drinking were a bit lighter..?

            I'll tell my brother to hold onto the scarecrows then and we'll just drink the Nicolas since there's more supply.

            one of my favorite starters is iberico and uni....ah I can't wait (:

            1. re: eezerik

              oh. it was the good scarecrow/napa cab year. 2007. i hate waiting.

              gonna substitute 2001 torbreck run rig shiraz and drink it along side the catena

              1. re: eezerik

                I've not had Barolo with that particular pairing, but Barolo's are actually pretty versatile. I remember a good friend who is a somm recommended a Barolo with a fish dish with creamed corn as the acidity would cut through the creamed corn and it was a perfect pairing. Blew my mind, actually.

                I don't think you'll go wrong with the Pichon Longueville, and since you don't have any Barolo's in your quiver, go with that.

                Do give other Barbarescos a try though. They're great wines, and if your previous bottles tasted like vinegar, that sounds more like bad bottles than a reflection on the varietel (er where the varietel is grown)

            2. So how did the meal go? Which preparations worked and which plate/wine pairings worked?

              6 Replies
              1. re: wattacetti

                Thank you,

                Here was the final menu

                Taylor Shellfish Shigoku Oyster ...fantastic. I put cocktail sauce on mine with a little lemon and 2 drops of Tabasco.
                Dom Perignon 2002... not much else to say but I could eat this every day of the week.

                Scallop Ceviche, Greens, Hawaiian Lava Salt
                Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc The SB didn't go too bad actually. The Scallop was from Whole Foods (I didn't have time to dive for them)...they were bad. No taste. The preparation with the salt would have been fantastic. I sliced it thin, brined it in salt

                Bluefin Tuna Belly Maguro Akami & O-Toro
                Vilmart et Cie Grand Reserve Champagne This was very good. A little Meyer Lemon Vinaegrette on top. I think it needed rice.

                Salmon w/ Celery root puree, shitake mushrooms
                Melville Pinot Noir
                Pairing wise, this dish was the best IMO despite the wine wasn't AMAZING but it was solid. Salmon was cooked at 250 to Rare/Med-Rare, it was a very creamy, smooth dish I opted to not crisp the skin. You got 3 ingredients yelling for the Pinot...would recommend.

                Santa Barbara live spot Prawn w/ Grade A Seared Foie Gras & fig sauce
                2007 La Tour Blanche Sauternes....heavenly. Only way to make it better would be YQUEM. The foie gras was a big hit with the Sauternes. The Spot Prawns I should have chosen more uniform size I had a few that were tiny. I usually like my lobster/prawn undercooked slightly but for this dish if I were to do it again I would cook it until it has a bite to contrast a little with the Foie Gras. I had foie at some 1 and 2 star michelins in Sonoma, California. the past month and they tasted bitter...too much blood and not processed right . This Foie gras that I get is one of my favorites

                Roast Liberty Duck, sautéed spinach w/ saba sauce
                2007 Roessler La Encantada Pinot Noir...very good Pinot. Good pairing

                Colorado Lamb Chops, fettuccine with parmesan cream sauce, black truffles
                1989 Château Mouton-Rothschild & 1996 Château Pichon Longueville Baron
                The Colorado lamb rack was so mother f'n big...the fettuccine was good. Mouton was delicious unlike the 96 Mouton that was underwhelming for christmas.

                Rocker Brothers Dry-Aged Bone-in Ribeye, creamy mashed potatoes
                2001 Tobreck Run Rig Shiraz & Nicolas Catena Zapata 2007
                This was fantastic meat, well aged. By this time it was hard to taste wine for most people. I may have just used a Napa Cab; the Shiraz was very good but I think the Ribeye was grass-fed so If I were to do it again I would get a beef...majority grass fed finished on corn and would save that for something fattier

                The Pichon and Mouton tasted best, in that order for me. And have been drinking Muscadet more with Oysters instead of the OB ;).

                I honestly don't have any pictures from the dinner because my brother has taken 2.5 months to not send them to me :|

                Here's some lobster sashimi and some montana beef... lol :p

                1. re: eezerik

                  Wow.... what a menu! Looks awesome. My birthday is this Monday (care to adopt me as your Mom for the day:)!

                  1. re: wineaux

                    it was fantastic. Sorry I missed your bday. :) Anytime...if you're in LA.
                    Bring the wine. I'll bring the dead animals.

                    Had a couple menus lately:

                    ‎-watercress & wild arugula salad, bacon lardons, fried-ground chicken liver, crispy blood sausage, sherry vinaigrette, poached free range egg
                    -crostini of organic chicken hearts, bacon-fat mayonnaise & spicy paprika, balsamic & simple syrup reduction
                    -homemade tagliatelle w/ veal & beef ragu, parmiggiano-reggiano
                    -Crow (yes crow) rare, w/ parsley salad.
                    -wild mallard duck crostini w/ shallots, egg, beurre-insigny (best most ducky flavor i've ever had)
                    -braised pork ribs w/ white wine, mustard vinaigrette, brussel sprouts
                    -prime outside skirt steak, sautéed bok-choy & scallions, accuighate sauce

                    Scallop Ceviche w/ Crème Fraiche, marinated Naval Orange segments, Watermelon Radish
                    -Heirloom Carrots, Chanterelle Mushrooms, shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano
                    -Smoked Salmon w/ Crème Fraiche, Chives, Shaved Celery Root
                    -Razor clams, heirloom tomatoes, lemon, Fried Applewood-Smoke Bacon bits
                    -Lentil Salad w/ Shallots, Shredded Moulard Duck, Fried egg
                    -Yellowfin Tuna Loin wrapped in Applewood-Smoked Bacon w/ Swiss Chard, Heirloom Carrots, Balsamic Vinegar, Simple Syrup, Bacon-Fat reduction.
                    -Homemade Tagliolini w/ Ragu of Jidori Chicken Hearts, Jidori Chicken Leg, Chanterelle mushrooms, Parmigiano-Reggiano
                    -Duck two ways: Homemade Spaetzle, duck breast; braised lentils w/ shallots & bacon bits, leg of Moulard Duck Confit

                    My favorite dish of this dinner was the yellowfin tuna wrapped with pounded bacon with some bacon fat, balsamic, simple syrup reduction... yum yum

                    1. re: wew

                      i had to look that word up assumed it meant dessert. My mom makes a mean chocolate cake with a single almond on top
                      and she made a pear/pistachio tart. i found a customized table for holding the tart....there was a lot of wine that night.

                      1. re: eezerik

                        Love your table, but are you saying you only had one dessert, the pear tart? And no '77 port, no TBA, not any 6 puttones