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Mar 15, 2012 02:51 AM

wine pairing with cold cherry soup

I must admit this one has me stumped. A friend with a Hungarian background has invited me for dinner. He will be preparing a Hungarian meal and the starter will be a cold cherry soup, a Hungarian staple. He has asked me to pair it with some wine. He doesn't have a clue what to pair it with... I am a little stumped as well. Moscato? A rose? A dry, oaky furmint? An Alsatian white (all the usual suspects in terms of grape varieties)?

His preference is red wine, which has me stumped even more. if there is a bit of spice in the soup, like nutmeg, I could envisage a light and spicy Cote du Rhone, or even a Burgundy Pinot of a certain type. Possibly gamay. But those are all imperfect solutions. Also, unfortunately some of the guests are not real wine lovers so I can't overcomplicate it with wines that may be suitable but might be 'difficult' and not immediately accessible to people who like wine, but aren't that into it.

As ever, any advice would be very gratefully appreciated.

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  1. Hm. All the recipes online make this dish seem sour/sweet with a bit of spice. So I would definitely say you need a very high acid wine - perhaps a riesling which has a nice blend of sweet notes and acidity.

    On the red side, I think your inclination towards a beaujolais/gamay is correct.

    Non-wine lovers love a good riesling (as long as its balanced). Beaujolais is a harder sell...maybe a new world pinot?

    1. When Gray Kunz ran Lespinasse in NYC many years ago, I started with his cherry soup and the sommelier suggested an Alsatian riesling (it was a Marc Kreydenweiss) that worked well, as I recall. That said, if it's red that's desired, I wonder whether an Austrian red (a Blaufrankish on the light/ fruity side) might be a good choice (assuming you can find one where you live.)

      2 Replies
      1. re: penthouse pup

        Thank you both. I have a few good Blaufrankisch at home, and that would work very well, especially if there is a little spice in the soup. My personal prefernece would probably be the Riesling, but since it probably will have to be red... I might actually end up having to choose a pinot. Would be my last choice of all the wines mentioned, but both gamay and blaufrankisch may be a bit difficult to sell to non-wine audiences...

        1. re: Asomaniac

          I'm concerned that the sweetness of the soup will make any dry of off-dry wine taste sour. That often happens when serving something even slightly sweet and the wine is dry. Careful.

          The Hungarian Cherry Soup recipe below contains 2 tablespoons of sugar per serving.
          That's a lot. (3/4 cup = 12 tablespoons. Divided by 6 servings = 2T sugar per serving).

          I'm thinking, for wine: Nothing. Dessert Champagne or Brachetto d'Acqui, but then the whole
          thing turns dessert-ish. Maybe regular bubbles to get the night started but nothing with the soup.

      2. I was thinking maybe a Marzemino Dolce Frizzante.