Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

My First Dinner Party (Please Help)


avant-garde
 Share

Recommended Posts

My wife and I are having two other couples over for dinner in a couple weeks. I already have my menu set (see below), but I'm having problems with what type of wine to serve with the courses. We have a nice port to go with the dessert, so that course is taken care of. Can anyone recommend a type (i.e, chardonnay, pinot, cabernet, etc) to go with each of the other three courses. I'd really appreicate it.

Tomato & Mozzarella Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette & Fresh Basil

Asparagus Soup with Caramelized Onion, Almonds & Goat Cheese

Salmon with Braised Red Cabbage, Mushrooms, and Oven-Roasted Tomatoes

Warm Chocolate Cake with Chambord-Marinated Raspberries & Pink Peppercorns

"A woman once drove me to drink and I never had the decency to thank her" - W.C. Fields

Thanks, The Hopry

http://thehopry.com/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Concur that a post in the wine forum might bring more results. Also, when a wine recommendation is solicited, everyone wants to know your budget for the wine selections.

but I'll give it a stab:

Tomato & Mozzarella Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette & Fresh Basil:

I'd try a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. Good ones can be found for about $12 - $15.

Asparagus Soup with Caramelized Onion, Almonds & Goat Cheese:

White Burgundy (France) for me here. I like the ones from J. M. Boillot, good stuff in the $20 - $25 range.

Salmon with Braised Red Cabbage, Mushrooms, and Oven-Roasted Tomatoes:

Good dish for Alsace white (France), either a Reisling or Pinot Gris. Also good ones to be found in the $15 - $25 range.

Ask your local wine merchant for recommendations of specific wines. Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You have some tough matches here, but here goes my take on it:

Tomato & Mozzarella Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette & Fresh Basil

This is not a good match with wine as the Balsamic will make all the wines taste sour or acidic. However if pushed I's say a Pinot Gris.

Asparagus Soup with Caramelized Onion, Almonds & Goat Cheese

Sounds like a perfect match for a White Bordeaux or an unoaked Chardonney

Salmon with Braised Red Cabbage, Mushrooms, and Oven-Roasted Tomatoes

I'd normally open a Pinot Noir with this, either a Washington or Burgandy though even the over the top CA PNs would work.

Warm Chocolate Cake with Chambord-Marinated Raspberries & Pink Peppercorns

Screams for a nice Port.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As dinwiddie mentioned, a Pinot Noir would be great with the salmon and after following whites wines with the first two course. White or red can work with salmon but I think the earthy garnishes you have planned with the salmon will work well with a Pinot Noir.

Vinagrettes and asparagus are traditionally more difficult to pair wine with as mentioned above.

I remember some guidelines for pairing wines from both (in an SF Chronicle article) they have served me in good stead.

Basically, to go with the herbal/grassy flavors of asparagus a good idea would be to choose citrusy, non-oaked Sauvignon Blancs or Pinot Grigios. These might have a touch of herb or grassiness themselves. One S.Blanc option could be Honig's base S. Blanc (little oak)

The best strategy for vinagrettes is to make the vinagrette lower in acidity (higher oil to vinegar ratio, acid element less acid) and to increase the acidity of the wine. Choices here would be crisp Sauvignon Blancs, but some other choices could be Viognier, Pinot Grigio/Gris and Gruner Veltliner.

So my ideas are similar to dinwiddie except I'd probably go with a non-oaked S.Blanc with the asparagus, unless you have a nice unoaked Chardonnay as mentioned.

Enjoy your dinner. It would be interesting to hear how your final menu and pairings turn out.

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tomato & Mozzarella Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette & Fresh Basil:

I'd try a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. Good ones can be found for about $12 - $15.

Awesome. Thank you. I actually have a bottle of Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc from NZ. I'll use that.

Tomato & Mozzarella Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette & Fresh Basil

This is not a good match with wine as the Balsamic will make all the wines taste sour or acidic. However if pushed I's say a Pinot Gris.

Very good point about the acidity of the Balsamic. For my test run last night on this course I made the Balsamic Vinaigrette with equal parts oil & vinegar and it was a bit much. So slimming up on the vinegar should definitely assist. Thank you.

For the salmon, I still may opt (for better or worse) to go with a Chardonnay I have simply because the salmon is buttery and I'll probably make some sort of beurre blanc for the sauce.

But this certainly all gives me great ideas.

Thank you for the recommendations everyone.

Here are pictures of the first two courses I've tested so far...

Tomato/Mozzarella Salad

tomatosalad05.jpg

Asparagus Soup

asparagus_soup_02.jpg

"A woman once drove me to drink and I never had the decency to thank her" - W.C. Fields

Thanks, The Hopry

http://thehopry.com/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The dishes look absolutely beautiful so far!

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Awesome. Thank you. I actually have a bottle of Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc from NZ. I'll use that."

Can't go wrong with Kim Crawford from my experience.

However, given that you already know Kim Crawford, I'm guessing that you have more wine knowhow than you're letting on! :cool:

I second the Pinot Noir reccmmendation for the salmon. I went back and forth in my head between Alsace and PN.

edit: Cooked cabbage always makes me think Alsace!

Edited by DTBarton (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd go for a Willamette Pinot Noir for the salmon for sure! The butter sauce and the mushrooms and cabbage will all really go nice with that style, also I think dinner parties are better with whites and reds making appearances. A natural progression.

If your budget allows I'd look for a 1998 or a 2001; both were exceptional years. There are many wineries and I'm not sure what you have access to.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...