Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Wine >
May 8, 2013 01:19 PM

Wine assistance for business dinner

I'm arranging a business dinner for my company's biggest clients at a farm to table restaurant with a french skewing wine list. Being more familiar with CA and Italian wines I asked for some suggestions for the sommelier for middle of the road, easy to drink wines and received the below ideas. Can anyone assist me with which of these are "best" (subjective I know!).

WILD EARTH 2010 Central Otago, New Zealand
CROZES HERMITAGE 2010 Nicholas Perrim
MOULIN A VENT 2010 Thibault Liger Belair Beaujolais

POUILLY FUME Cuvee Silice 2011 Blanchet
FURMINT 2010 Heidi Schrock

So CH please help! Which would you pick? And if you ever come to Phoenix I will take care of you too!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. And the starts and mains are all over the place so no use to try and pair really - ceviche, caesar salad, asparagus for apps. Mains are cod, chicken, sirloin, etc. So something to go with everything!

    1 Reply
    1. re: PHXeater

      The Shadow is always glad to help....

      I'm more concerned with what you're going to pair these wines with, than just looking at the wines in isolation...

      Given your list above: cod, chicken... those are real safe matches for chardonnay, especially most "french" renditions... So of the white wines you list I like the 2007 Savigny. You didn't provide the vineyard but 2007 is a pretty fair year for the varietal and region, not the greatest, but solid..... So I'll assume that the bottle is at least fair, and it pairs very well with the cod and chicken so that's a low risk wine to order for this menu.

      As for "Sirloin", well to me of the wines you list hands down the best choice is the 2010 Perrin Crozes Hermitage. It's young for the varietal (syrah), but it's going to match your sirloin very very well... much better than the new zealand pinot noir or the beaujolais or any of the whites, hello....

      So I'd do those two wines for sure, off of this list and not knowing any more about the menu than you've told us. That gives you one white and one red... Since your sommellier has been forthcoming, you might start with those wines and then ask him what foods from the menu he'd recommend...

      ... it's really all about the food and wine match, not the wine in isolation, you could have the most awesome bottle of french wine made, if it doesn't match what you're eating you might as well be having some vinegar with your food...

      BTW: Since it's a special business dinner, two bottles of wine isn't overwhelmingly impressive. Since it's french, call your sommelier ahead and ask if you can get a bottle of the incredible french dessert wine Sauternes... and ask if they have a dessert that really matches it... something with fruit and/or vanilla... a fruit creme brulee or fruit tart... that's just a magic combination. That will be the last dish of the evening and it usually leaves your guests very happy... Also, see if before the dessert the restaurant will offer your guests a quick cheese course with a small slice of roquefort to match the sauternes.

      You will look like a wine genius, and most importantly your biggest clients will be looking forward to the next meal you host.

    2. Could you take 2 of each (red and white) and offer them as asked ?

      I'd go for the Croze and the Moulin à Vent and the Savigny and the Pouilly Fumé.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Maximilien

        I agree. Neither the Wild Earth nor the Furmint are your father's Chevrolet.

        Crozes is an appellation I avoid. Prefer nearby and early-blooming St. Joseph.

      2. Whose white Savigny? I'd probably choose that. and the Moulin a Vent. Beaujolais' of all stripes are very food friendly.

        1. Thanks all for the advice. I would like a variety of wine to offer but the agreement was made to serve one white and one red but have the servers offer anything on the BTG menu or cocktails of their choice. So to say "we have the Crozes and Les Beaune open but please feel free to order directly off the wine list". My hope is non-winos then won't be confused with a mostly foreign wine list and those who are passionate can choose their own.

          I love a good Cru Beaujolais but one of the partners here says Crozes is the easy choice for him so that might be the choice. Since there doesn't seem to be a strong opinion of Les Beaune vs. Pouilly Fume, no winery information on Les Beaune, and Pouilly Fume being much more reasonable priced I think Pouilly Fume will be the white choice.

          The Sauternes idea is a good one. There is a set menu unfortunately and desserts are tiramisu or shortcake with strawberries. I think I will have the servers offer a dessert wine or port to somewhat elevate beyond the standard coffee/cappucino offer.

          Meal info:
          - Apps: Scallop ceviche with hearts of palm, caesar salad, and asparagus mimosa (perhaps this will influence white chosen?)
          - Chicken stuffed with ricotta and spinach, Black Cod with ginger soy emulsion, standard Sirloin with thmye jus, and Spring Pea Risotto with morels.

          So this is a very stream of consciousness post but let me know if any of my thinking is off. Will use this as a good excuse to go to local wine store and get some new bottles for tasting :)

          5 Replies
          1. re: PHXeater

            Crozes would be the easy choice for me, too. Same for the Blanchet absent the details of the Savigny-lès-Beaune.

            1. re: PHXeater

              Pouilly Fume is a good match for your scallop ceviche, fair for the caesar salad. It would work with the stuffed chicken & spinach okay.... but bottom line I like chardonnay (Les Beaune) better for all of these...

              The thing about Pouilly Fume also is that by itself your diners might not love it as much as a basic chardonnay, so that's a slight risk.

              As for the black cod w/ ginger... I'd prefer riesling BTG for that. Riesling also works for the scallops, caesar salad, and okay for the stuffed chicken too. You haven't given us a riesling bottle option so you could do it BTG.

              The Sirloin as described: definitely the Crozes Hermitage for that, of the bottles you listed.

              So, bottom line for me, I'd still get the Beaune and the Crozes-H, and then do riesling BTG and Sauternes and a matching dessert for this entire menu as you've listed it. I presume there's other stuff on the menu that would match pinot very nicely, for example, I just don't really see anything specifically mentioned. that's a great fit.

              Thanks for sharing your plans...

              1. re: TombstoneShadow

                There's a wide range of quality among the quarter-million bottles of white Savigny-lès-Beaune produced each year. Pig in a poke.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  Couldn't one say the very same thing among the wines of Pouilly-Fuissé, or Meursault, or Chassagne-Montrachet, or *any* appellation/type of wine???

                  1. re: zin1953

                    For most appellations, sure. It's just odd to be asked to choose between a specific 2011 Pouilly-Fumé and an unknown 2007 Savigny-lès-Beaune.

                    2007's probably a little old for a lesser Savigny.