Help me decide what feast to prepare.
November 18, 2008 6:39 PM   Subscribe

Food and wine lovers- tell me what to cook! I've got some lovely wines that I want to open with my friends, so I'm looking for ideas for what to serve with each one.

I'm having a dinner party next week and I'm looking for any suggestions of things to serve with these wines:

I'll be starting with a sparkling pinot from the Adelaide Hills. It's very light, very bright and refreshing, slightly pink, with a touch of fruit (strawberries, perhaps). I'm hoping to serve this with something to nibble on as people arrive.

Next up is a choice: either a really smooth, buttery gewurtztraminer from New Zealand, or a madly fruity (all tropical passionfruit and mango flavours) sav blanc from the Hills again. I was thinking some salmon with the gewurtz, but I'm totally open to ideas on either of them.

Since money is a bit of an issue, I was hoping to use this third course to fill people up between the other small but tasty courses. I've got a really big, bold pinot (from the Hills again) or a robust little merlot (Hills, once more...). I'm hoping for this course to be something I can make a day or two in advance, some filling stewy type thing that's delicious but easy to heat up and throw into bowls in a minute.

This next one's kinda the reason for the whole dinner- my grandad gave me a bottle of 1986 Coonawarra cab sav, and I'm told it's drinking beautifully now. For this one, I was thinking of roast beef, but once more I'm open to ideas.

Finally, I was going to open an old vintage port to round it all off with, but have yet to think of something to put with that.

So... any ideas? I'm all ears. Thanks!
posted by twirlypen to Food & Drink (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'd do cheese with the first, the SB with a salad next(but your gewurtz idea is fine too), the merlot next with like french onion soup or a lentil stew, then osso buco with your cab.

Some nice dark chocolate and fruit goes great with the port.

Here's a site that can help with some unconventional pairing ideas.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 7:11 PM on November 18, 2008

Vintage port: dark chocolate, walnuts, and an intense blue cheese. Stilton or Shropshire with vintage port is one of those situations where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts; it is truly extraordinary. If you don't have a vintage port, an aged tawny will do at a fraction of the price.
posted by neuron at 7:12 PM on November 18, 2008

Sparkling Pinot: Scallops or Shrimp as an App. This is a beautiful pairing.

The buttery Gewurtz would go well with a smoked salmon app or salad.

The third course seems like overkill, if you consider that...

Mr. Gunn's osso bucco pairing for your '86 Cab is perfect, perfect, perfect. Add a risotto of some sort and you're swimming. At this point, most people would be full, no?

Dark chocolate and strong cheeses are a good vintage port pairing. Maybe a dark chocolate mousse?
posted by scabrous at 7:30 PM on November 18, 2008

That's tasting menu territory. I'd be tempted to skip the third course too, because you want to create a contrast between the white and the big cab, and you don't want your guests groaning and their palates overloaded when you get there.

You could do it as an antipasto/pasta/meat menu, with the pasta as a gnocchi or ravioli or a baked manicotti with tomato sauce. But you could also do salmon mousse with the fizz, a lighter pasta with the white that basically leaves the palate fresh (you're hitting summer, so peas, lemon, fresh herbs, maybe a classic pesto), then whack 'em with the cab.

A small, single dark chocolate -- perhaps a nibby one -- for the port. Or neuron's cheese course.
posted by holgate at 8:01 PM on November 18, 2008

(And if you go for a pasta with the white, then the sauv blanc over the gewurtz. Save the gewurtz for a different night, with a different menu.)
posted by holgate at 8:03 PM on November 18, 2008

Gew├╝rzt is yet to come.
It goes well with ripe soft cheeses--Brie, Camembert, etc.
More good suggestions here.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:31 PM on November 18, 2008

Note the spelling: z before t.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:36 PM on November 18, 2008

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