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Help with wine pairing


Kim Shook
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I am serving an appetizer assortment comprised of serrano ham, heated dates stuffed w/ manchego and marcona almonds. This will be prior to a main of leg of lamb served with either a Cabernet Sauvignon or a French Syrah. What kind of wine would you serve with the appetizer? Or would you not serve wine? Something else? I appreciate the help. I am not even a neophyte yet, so I need it :wacko: !

Ok, while I'm asking, dessert will be mini strawberry and vanilla cream shakes w/ strawberry and mascarpone panini. Something bubbly with those? Proseco maybe?

Thanks!

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Kim:

For the mains, the obvious choice might be an Amontillado sherry, or a Crianza Rioja if you wanted a red. Tough to pair both the jamon and the dates with any one wine.

With the strawberry shakes, go for a sparkling dessert wine like Moscato d'Asti or if you could serve some chocolates on the side in addition to the shakes, a Brachetto d'Acqui. Banfi Rosa Regale is fairly readily available and very delicious. :wub:

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Eek! No, the sherry is for the app course. Sherry and marcona almonds are a classic pairing. That you're continuing in the Iberian vein with the manchego and serrano ham makes it all the more of a natural.

Definitely a big structured red with the lamb, as you've already planned.

Christopher

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Yeah sorry I see that the post I quoted (and hence my post) makes it look like the sherry should go with the main course, but a dry sherry, either a fino or amontillado, would be perfect with the appetizer. As for the dessert, I do not normally go for sweet wines paired with sweet desserts, but I often find myself in a minority there. If that's the route you want, something sweet-ish and bubbly looks like just the ticket, though maybe sweeter than prosecco. Perhaps a Moscato d'Asti like Ms. Loeb suggested. For the record, my preference is to have coffee with sweet desserts and have something more savory, like cheeses or foie gras, with the sweet wines. I like the contrast.

And the Cab or Syrah would be just the thing for the big lamb leg. If it was me, I'd take it as an opportunity to drink some Hermitage :wink:

Edited by thirtyoneknots (log)

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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For the record, my preference is to have coffee with sweet desserts and have something more savory, like cheeses or foie gras, with the sweet wines. I like the contrast.

Slightly off-topic, but next time you're having foie gras, you might want to treat yourself to a totally dry Gewurztraminer, from Alsace, which is what they pair with foie gras there. And a wonderful combination it is!

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For the record, my preference is to have coffee with sweet desserts and have something more savory, like cheeses or foie gras, with the sweet wines. I like the contrast.

Slightly off-topic, but next time you're having foie gras, you might want to treat yourself to a totally dry Gewurztraminer, from Alsace, which is what they pair with foie gras there. And a wonderful combination it is!

What isn't foie gras good with? :wink: Gotta admit that dry Alsatian Gewurz and Riesling are my favorite white styles.

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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Thanks so much everyone! I think I've got this straight now. I got the Amontillado sherry which I will serve with the apps. I got the Crianza Rioja which I'll serve with the lamb and I got the Banfi Rosa Regale which I'll serve with dessert. Thank you so much. I am a wine ninny and now I can serve my (your) pairings with some confidence!

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Kim:

Don't forget to serve a little chocolate with the strawberry shakes. The raspberry flavors of the Rosa Regale will be closely echoed in the strawberry shake, but the Brachetto really needs just a bit of chocolate to make everyone have that "A-ha!" wine pairing moment. There's nothing more delicious than Brachetto with chocolate. A small but sinfully rich truffle on the side of each shake ought to do it.

Report back on your preferences after you've had the opportunity to try everything.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Kim:

Don't forget to serve a little chocolate with the strawberry shakes.  The raspberry flavors of the Rosa Regale will be closely echoed in the strawberry shake, but the Brachetto really needs just a bit of chocolate to make everyone have that "A-ha!" wine pairing moment.  There's nothing more delicious than Brachetto with chocolate.  A small but sinfully rich truffle on the side of each shake ought to do it.

Report back on your preferences after you've had the opportunity to try everything.

I didn't forget you said that - I got a lovely little box of Belgian chocolates! Dinner is tomorrow, so I'll report back on Saturday. Thanks, again! The scary wine lady at my store approved of all my purchases and was obviously surprised by me :smile: ! She knows I am a ninny. :laugh:

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Thanks again everyone for your help with my pairings. The dinner went so well and everyone was pleased with the wines and we didn't have to order any pizza (always a possibility with my experiemental meals :raz: ). My report of the meal is on the dinner thread but here is what I served with the meal:

gallery_34972_3580_218941.jpg

the sherry - not sure how good it was since most of my experience with sherry until now was communion :laugh: , but we liked it a lot and it sipped really nicely with the dates and cheese and ham.

gallery_34972_3580_164358.jpg

the Rioja. Again, no expert me, but this tasted pretty darn 'big' to me. As a matter of fact, I don't think I would have liked it (being a mealy mouthed little white wine sissy :wink: ), if the flavors of the lamb and salsa hadn't been so assertive.

gallery_34972_3580_36177.jpg

:wub::wub: my favorite. This was soooo good! I kept tasting a little bit of chocolate and a little bit of wine. I wasn't 2 sips in before I was starting to plan what desserts I wanted to make in the future to serve this with. I will say that it was a LOT more popular with the ladies than the gentlemen.

Thank you again - I truly couldn't have done it without you!

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