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Feb 10, 2013 07:35 PM

Need help choosing a single wine for a multi-course Valentine's Day dinner

Hello! I'm looking for suggestions for a single wine for a multi-course Valentine's Day dinner at our neighborhood restaurant. We're leaving town on Friday so I don't want to open several bottles. Here's the menu:

Raw oyster w/green apple viniagrette

1. Foliage
Lettuce, watermelon radish, kohlrabi, egg, sourdough, garlic, parm

2. Dirt
Crispy kale, roasted beets, carrot, turnip, house ricotta

3. Forest
Rabbit, king trumpets, Benton’s bacon, peas, onion, parsley, balsamic

4. Ocean
Ruby red shrimp, Brussels sprouts, grapefruit, ginger, parsnip, garlic

5. Dessert

Any suggestions? I'm particularly interested in courses 2, 3, and 4.

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  1. In my opinion, the only wine that goes with oysters to rabbit to bacon to shrimp to chocolate ..... Is champagne. Get an extra special bottle and savor it all.

    4 Replies
    1. re: sedimental

      Absolutely. With a special nod to Rose Champagne.

      1. re: maria lorraine

        Though it doesn't go with chocolates. For those, you need a fortified wine.

        1. re: maria lorraine

          With two people on such an occasion, the one bottle ought to be empty by the fifth/dessert course!!
          The choice of rose, or any bubbly, was my inclination as well.

          Btw, foritifieds are obviously the top choice for chocolate, but I like late-harvest zin with darker chocolate flavors too.

          1. re: maria lorraine

            Well, there CAN be an exception - a Demi Sec Champagne with the chocolates (depends ON the chocolates), but you get the drift.

            Now, I would greatly hesitate to pair a Demi Sec Champagne with the rest of the meal, so one is rather left hanging.

            How about a half-bottle of Banyuls for the chocolate and a Brut Rosé for the other courses?

            Of course, today IS St. Valentine's day, so unless the OP is in, maybe Hawai`i, the meal is done.


      2. Riesling... kabinett. Elevates everything on that menu except the chocolate.

        1. I'd go for Champagne, and probably a Brut Rosé . . .

          1. Actually, if you want just one bottle of wine... to match everything on this menu INCLUDING the chocolate (especially if lighter chocolate)... consider a Moscato d'Asti...

            Also for the salad, if doing champagne I'd use chevre instead of parmesan, if riesling emmental instead. Easy on the balsamic notes with the rabbit, a hint is enough.

            5 Replies
            1. re: TombstoneShadow

              But then they'd have to drink Moscato d'Asti :) :)

              The OP said it's a restaurant so probably can't tweak the preps as you suggest.

              1. re: john gonzales

                ahhh good catch...

                what's wrong with drinking MdA?

                1. re: TombstoneShadow

                  I was just being a smart-ass. Nothing wrong with it, especially if it floats your boat.

                  I just don't care too much for MdAsti. I don't dislike it, and will sip it on a warm day. But never am I wowed by it, nor do I consider it very interesting. I certainly haven't had them all, but my wife sells quite a bit of it, so have tried quite a few.

                  Btw, if the OP finds NV Billecart Salmon or NV Laurent Perrier on the winelist, those are broad production wines but good and not utra-expensive priced forays into rose.

                  1. re: john gonzales

                    "I just don't care too much for MdAsti. I don't dislike it, and will sip it on a warm day. But never am I wowed by it, nor do I consider it very interesting."

                    Same here, and I've had quite a few. Nothing near the complexity of Champagne, especially Rose Champagne, for Valentines Day and this dinner. The Laurent Perrier Rose Champagne has historically been a good buy.

              2. I agree on all the sparkling recs. A dry riesling would also go well. If you decide to go with champagne, I'd select one with a bit more body/roundness to it (for me that means one that isn't 90% chardonnay grapes). For widely available and decently affordable, I like Pol Roger White Foil Brut myself - but anything that has a good percentage of Pinot Noir or Meunier (or both) should give that character.