Wine & Food

Snooth User: dliao

Help with wine pairing please! Chimichurri filet and pan roasted cilantro pesto striped bass

Posted by dliao, Jun 15, 2011.

Hi all,

This is my first time on snooth -- stumbled across this as I was searching for advice on food/wine pairings. Can anyone help recommend 2 wines for this wedding dinner menu? I'm really talking about the main course, but in case the 1st and 3rd courses impact the exact choice/year, etc. of the wine, I've included the entire menu.

Wedding is taking place in NYC in 2 weeks so the sooner the better! (And it'd be great if the wines weren't too rare because I'll need 3 cases of each type.

Price range is $9-14 a bottle.

Any/all help would be much appreciated.





1st Course Trio:

Salad of Mixed Baby Field Greens with balsamic vinagrette

Marinated Olives

Murcia al Vino Cheese (quince paste and plantain chip)


Choice of Entree:

Pepper crusted file of beef - brushed with chimichurri, with roasted fingerling potatoes with olives, tomatoes, peppers and caramelized onions


Pan roasted cilantro pesto striped bass with tomatillo salsa, sticky rice cake triangle, and bundled vegetables



Trio of sorbets - coconut, passionfruit, mango, with raspberry sauce


Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Jun 16, 2011.

Well first off congratualtions if they're in order!

Your menu looks great, though it does pose a set of challenges.  Focusing on the entree is a good strategy, and each is fairly wine friendly.

For the filet you can find many wines based on Bordeaux varieties that would work well here. A merlot would be a good choice since they tend to be round and fruity. I just recently tasted through many Carmenres from Chile, a wine that is similar to Merlot but with more complexity.

I found many I really liked and very good prices, though they all, to somedegree or another displayed Carmenre's herbal character.


Two good value wines that you might want to consider would be:

2010 Santa Carolina Carmenere Reserva Valle del Rapel 14% $12

Smoky and spicy on the nose with plummy fruit and a vegetal background note.  A bit round and sweetly fruited on entry with some dusty tannins that draw the wine down in the mouth though it does have freshening acidity. The fruit is rather dark and a bit heavy with spicy oak adding  more depth in the mouth. The finish seems a bit oak driven with a wash of vanilla on the finale. 86pts

2010 Castillero del Diablo Carmenere Reserva Rapel Valley 13.5% $10

A bit low key but nicely deep with well-integrated wood, earth, blackberry and herbal components.  Rich in the mouth with well-integrated tannins and finely supporting acidity. The fruit leans a bit towards the red end of the spectrum with fairly noticeable spice notes popping up on the backend and leading to a fairly long finish with some uncovered wood tannins. I would like to see a bit more acidity here but this does have some nice character. 86pts

For the stripped bass a Sauvignon blanc seems to be in order. You could opt for something very grassy and fresh in the New Zealand style or something a bit more opulent from California for example. I have not tasted many Sauvignon Blancs in your price range recently but can suggest Kunde's Magnolia Lane as a perenniel favorite of mine and it can be found for $12, though in Jersey. The same store also carries the 2008 version of the Castillero del Diable Carmenre for $8.99 so that might make life easy.


If you prefer the New Zealand style Oyster bay and Matua Valley are typically solid performers in your price range.


Hope this helps!




Reply by Girl Drink Drunk, Jun 16, 2011.
Edited Jun 17, 2011

Greg has solid suggestions.  I totally agree with the Sauv. 

If you can't find a Carmenere you like in your price range, I'd opt for Argentine Malbec.  They're on the softer side, so they won't overpower your filet and are a classic pairing with chimi.  There are a metric ton within your budget.

Reply by Kimberly H, Jun 17, 2011.

Oh yeah, Sauvignon Blanc with the striped bass would be terrific, especially given the preparation, and the sides you're offering. I love the Drylands Sauvignon Blanc; it's in the higher end of your price range, and from New Zealand. 

For something that will cost a little less, I also love Ponga Sauvignon Blanc, or Frenzy Sauvignon Blanc.  These are also from New Zealand, and would work well with your seafood entree.  These two are in the $9-$10 range, so that would work for you, price-wise.  Neither is a W-O-W wine, but either would be perfectly wonderful for a large event where lots of other things are going on and you want your guests to have a nice, delicious wine to complement the food.

Also agree on Malbecs and Carmenere's for your other entree choice, good call!

Reply by andythomson99, Jun 17, 2011.

Piattelli Premium Malbec at $13/bottle would be great with the pepper crusted beef, paired just as the Argentinean's intended it to be.  Also I am a fan of their Premium Torronte's at about $12  which is very aromatic of flowers and light fruits to pair with your salad course.  Both have high ratings for recent vintages.  I'm not a NYC expert but this store sells them 

Any way you go, sounds like you will have a fantastic evening!

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