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Wine/menu challenge

FrankJBN May 7, 2012 01:52 PM

I don't mind bringing multiple bottles of wine to a nice dinner. I don't mind drinking one wine throughout a meal.

Here is the menu below. What would you drink with the courses.?

1. Foie Gras Mousse
Pumpernickel, fig jam, pastrami spice, pickled rhubarb

2. Duck & Foie Gras Ravioli
Cipollini onions, golden beets, foie gras sauce

3. Foie Gras Stuffed Morels
Scallop, fava beans, blueberries, tarragon puree

4. Veal Tenderloin Rossini
Seared foie gras, black truffle, savoy spinach, miso

5. Foie Gras Creme Brulee
Coffee, pistachio, shaved foie gras

Suggestions will be appreciated, if not followed.

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  1. g
    goldangl95 May 7, 2012 02:07 PM

    Sparkling would work for all courses. But esp. for the first three. For the veal you may want to switch to a Pinot.

    1. j
      jock May 7, 2012 02:46 PM

      The whole menu begs for Alsace Pinot Gris. Get a Zind Humbrecht with Indice 1 or 2 for the first four courses and one with Indice 3 or higher for dessert.

      2 Replies
      1. re: jock
        ChefJune May 8, 2012 01:45 PM

        I agree with jock on this one. But not just any Alsace Pinot Gris. I'd be looking for Z-H or Paul Blanck.

        1. re: ChefJune
          Julian Teoh May 9, 2012 06:02 PM

          Agreed with both jock and ChefJune on this one.

          For dessert, I think a rich Alsace gewurztraminer grand cru (Furstentum from Albert Mann or Weinbach) or a gewurztraminer vendange tardive would work well.

      2. p
        plaidbowtie May 8, 2012 01:31 AM

        Foie Gras Mousse:
        Vouvray Demi-Sec (especially with rhubarb and pumpernickel!!)

        Central Coast Pinot Noir (Sta. Maria/Happy Canyon maybe?)

        Amarone della Valpolicella

        Veal Tenderloin:
        Left Bank Bordeaux (Pessac Leognan or Margaux)

        Creme Brulee
        The best sauternes you can afford, or a Kracher TBA

        5 Replies
        1. re: plaidbowtie
          goldangl95 May 8, 2012 08:06 AM

          I do have to disagree about the Amarone. I love it, but it really is not a food friendly wine (esp. with a seafood dish) with it's low low acid, and dark dark fruit flavors. It will obliterate the tastes in the dish, and the dish itself will probably also cause the Amarone to taste off.

          1. re: goldangl95
            verysimple May 8, 2012 08:25 AM

            I agree - and Amarone is my favourite wine in the world - but I wouldn't drink it with my favourite food, scallops, as I think they would just be completely overwhelmed. I'd be inclined to go for something much lighter, with more acid; perhaps a St Laurent or Zweigelt?

            1. re: verysimple
              plaidbowtie May 8, 2012 01:35 PM

              Depends on the Amarone, I've had more than a few "modern style" that are lighter, that go really well with food, plus the way the 'menu' read, I was assuming that the foie morels were the major flavor, and the scallop was a minor player

              1. re: verysimple
                Bill Hunt May 11, 2012 08:27 PM

                I do agree. I would add Pinot Noir, Cabernet (Sauvignon, or Franc), Merlot, and most Syrahs to that list.

                For scallops, I usually reach for a Sancerre, or other SB, or a Chablis. Now, the prep might lead me to a Chard, but not to most reds, beyond a Cru BJ, perhaps?


              2. re: goldangl95
                Bill Hunt May 11, 2012 08:25 PM

                I find Amarone (many styles) to be VERY "food-friendly," though seafood would not be my choice. I would need some convincing there.

                Now, with grilled beef, as a "for-instance," it can be wonderful.

                Just had a half-bottle with a grilled beef tenderloin w/ black peppercorns, at Luce (San Francisco), and it was a wonderful match.


            2. f
              FrankJBN May 8, 2012 06:40 AM

              Thank you for your suggestions.

              I am not a big sparkling wine fan, so while it could work, it wouldn't work for me. Thank you.

              I actually have readily available a Barmes Buecher Pinot Gris, so I have to do some more thinking on this and where to place it if used, probably in the front of the line-up as opposed to later in meal.

              I like the idea of an off-dry Vouvray with the 1st. I further like that a red or two have been suggested.

              I'm more of a Paulliac than Graves or Margaux - surprised (and secretly pleased) to see Bordeaux suggested at all,

              Without comment to the match, gotta say, who doesn't like Amarone?

              Noticed in another post that Pinot Noir most often used for US (CA & OR) wines. I tend to think of it as Burgundy, therefore do very little in CA wines. This might be an opportunity.

              Another opportunity is in 5 - just happen to have a '90 Guiraud.

              Again thanks for your ideas. Several will get more thought.

              11 Replies
              1. re: FrankJBN
                plaidbowtie May 8, 2012 01:38 PM

                The reason I chose a domestic PN instead of Burgundy was texture. I thought the soft plush texture would work better than a Burgundy.

                1. re: FrankJBN
                  ChefJune May 8, 2012 01:50 PM

                  <I'm more of a Paulliac than Graves or Margaux - surprised (and secretly pleased) to see Bordeaux suggested at all,> Perhaps you are, BUT a Pauillac would just scream at your veal.

                  You asked us for our opinions on what would go best with what you plan to serve. I'm suggesting that if you take yourself a bit out of your comfort zone, your dinner will be more spectacular than if you insist on going with your "tried and trues." You may make some wonderful discoveries.

                  Personally, I wouldn't care for any Bordeaux with your veal. I f you "need" a red wine in your dinner, perhaps a Pinot Noir from Eyrie in Oregon would be amicable (sans that mousse).

                  1. re: ChefJune
                    plaidbowtie May 8, 2012 02:14 PM

                    I've gotta disagree with the OR PN with Veal Rossini. I chose a (softer style) Bordeaux for a few reasons:
                    1) the spinach will add a Green note to the dish that can be matched by a Cabernet Sauvignon's bell pepper note that it gets when the grapes are picked at a slightly underripe time.

                    2) With all the flavors going on in the dish, a mono-varietal wine wouldn't match as well as the complexity of a blend.

                    3) Hot preparations on Foie Gras, particularly when paired with a piece of meat, is a classic Bordeaux pairing. I chose a softer style because of the relative delicacy of flavor that veal has.

                    1. re: plaidbowtie
                      ChefJune May 9, 2012 11:33 AM

                      Interesting you call the Bordeaux "softer." I wouldn't say "soft" for a Cab based Bordeaux at all. "Softer" Bordeaux comes from the Right Bank. and I wouldn't say "softer" than Oregon Pinot. I'd say "different."

                      Just because a pairing might be "traditional" doesn't mean it's the only one. I would like Eyrie Pinot with that dish.

                      1. re: ChefJune
                        plaidbowtie May 9, 2012 01:33 PM

                        That's why pairings are wonderful things, there is no one right pairing. Thankfully, this isn't Highlander, where there can only be one :)

                        I was calling Margaux softer than say, Pauillac, or Saint Estephe, not softer than domestic Pinot Noir. I went with a "traditional" (since we're putting that in quotes apparently) because I'm guessing the OP doesn't want to take as many risks in the pairings, hence why the post on chowhound to begin with.

                        I've been pairing wine at a Michelin starred restaurants (1 and 2) for over 15 years, so I might take more of a risk, but I'm not going to take responsibility if it doesn't work for a stranger that has to buy a whole bottle of something to get that pairing that I haven't tried.

                        1. re: plaidbowtie
                          maria lorraine May 9, 2012 08:15 PM

                          Certainly, there is no one correct pairing, but there is the unfailing rule to match intensity, and for that reason, Bordeaux is far too heavy for any of the dishes, even the veal. IMO, Bordeaux, or any still wine heavier than the Pinot Noir grape, will easily overwhelm most of the flavors of the dishes above. Margaux in particular, with its heavy proprietary oak, would kill off lots of subtleties.

                          1. re: maria lorraine
                            plaidbowtie May 10, 2012 12:30 AM

                            Pinot Noir with any preparation of foie gras sounds wholly unpalatable to me, but perhaps that's just personal taste

                            1. re: plaidbowtie
                              maria lorraine May 11, 2012 08:01 AM

                              I get your point if the dish were foie gras, but the Pinot Noir pairing is to the dominant and vivid flavors of the Veal Rossini: the veal, truffle (particularly good with Pinot Noir) spinach and demi-glace. The recipe usually calls for 4 oz. veal to 1 oz. foie gras; the foie is a minor flavor.

                              1. re: maria lorraine
                                Bill Hunt May 11, 2012 08:31 PM

                                For the "spinach" aspect, we just had three Grands Échezeaux offerings, that DID have a "cooked spinach" note to them.


                                1. re: Bill Hunt
                                  maria lorraine May 11, 2012 08:58 PM


                                  Wondering if the GE would be too heavy for the dish overall, though.

                                  I envy you your drinking.

                                  Thanks for your lovely posts.


                                  1. re: maria lorraine
                                    Bill Hunt May 14, 2012 06:19 PM

                                    Well, I wonder if it would be "main stream?"

                                    I am not a fan of cooked spinach, so was a tad put-off, by that element. I got past it, and "soldiered on." Still, it was a bit of a surprise to me.

                                    I will save my typification of "cooked spinach" for another thread... [Grin]


                2. maria lorraine May 9, 2012 08:10 PM

                  As a foie gras lover who has enjoyed many preparations, I'll make a few guesses.

                  1. Foie Gras Mousse
                  Pumpernickel, fig jam, pastrami spice, pickled rhubarb

                  Sauternes, classic with foie gras and fig, including fig jam.

                  2. Duck & Foie Gras Ravioli
                  Cipollini onions, golden beets, foie gras sauce

                  Pasta is the base neutral flavor, the rest are accents, so I'm going with a Riesling Spatlese.
                  Rich enough for the duck and foie, sweetness to take on the sweet onions and beets.

                  3. Foie Gras Stuffed Morels
                  Scallop, fava beans, blueberries, tarragon puree

                  Scallops are the base flavor, favas and morels add intensity, Riesling or Reserve Chardonnay.
                  Chard and morels are lovely together, obviously good with scallops too. The dish is still not big enough for a still red.

                  4. Veal Tenderloin Rossini
                  Seared foie gras, black truffle, savoy spinach, miso

                  Burgundy, Pinot Noir but not a heavy American one. Not enough flavor intensity in this
                  dish to go any heavier with the red. A heavy red will kill off any subtleties in the veal.

                  5. Foie Gras Creme Brulee
                  Coffee, pistachio, shaved foie gras

                  Reprise on the Sauternes, 20-year old (not younger) Tawny Port, or Madeira
                  Sauternes is classic with creme brulee, but the coffee/mocha flavor adds intensity
                  and is one that pairs very well with 20 Tawny. A Bual or Malmsey Madeira would be nice as well.

                  In all honesty, you could have Sauternes through the entire meal. It is a universal pairing wine.
                  Luckily, Sauternes is very high in acidity (to cut through the fat of the foie gras) and matches
                  the foie gras in opulence (another pairing rule: match tone (casual/casual, opulent/opulent).

                  And, you could go with a wine like a Riesling Spatlese for everything but the dessert.

                  Hope it's a fun dinner. Let us know.

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