Wine & Food

Snooth User: jennrehm

Pairing advice for a+ menu

Posted by jennrehm, Sep 21, 2010.

So I am having some family/friends over for a fall menu and would like to nail the wine pairing.  I have some ideas, but would like some more.  I have about $200.00 to spend on wine for the evening and there will be 8 people at the dinner.  Here is the menu:

Wild Mushroom and Foie Gras Corstini with Butternut Squash Puree

Bay Scallops, Smoked Potato Salad with McIntosh Apple Salad

Roasted Veal Chop with Artichoke, Black Trumpet Mushroom, and Parsnip Risotto

Spiced Apple Bread Pudding with Double Cream Ice Cream and Calvados Syrup

I'd like a sparkling for the appetizer, white to pair with the salad, red for the main, and maybe a spirit for the dessert.

Here is what I am thinking:

2002 J. Schram or a domestic rose' 

Possible Gruner Veitleiner or unoaked Chardonnay 

A Pinot Noir, possible oregon 2008 or maybe not

Dessert: Probably an Earl Grey Tea spiked with Calvados or a Banyuls

OK enough talk. 

Speak to me people.  What would you serve?


Reply by dmcker, Sep 21, 2010.

Some options of the top of my head:

1) Bottle of sparkling for people while they gather and before dinner is served. This could be the J. Schram or perhaps a Soter Beacon Hill Brut Rose from up Oregon way.

2) A 750 ml. bottle of Chateau Rieussec sauternes with the appetizer, together with the dessert. Sauternes with foie gras is a classic combination, and a small glass each could just work, with the remainder saved for those who want it with the apple bread pudding. I like the idea of that wine better (apples in its tast profile) than the Banyuls you suggest for that dessert.

3) A Domaine de Chevalier Blanc sauvignon blanc/semillon blend for the scallops. It's a perfect match which I've tested on multiple occasions. Unfortunately, it's also highly prized by the market, so it's the priciest bottle so far.

4) Since the artichokes won't help the pinot noir (unless it's a big domestic one that'll just overpower the dish, anyway), I'm thinking more Barolo with the veal chop. Price may be an issue here since we're already pushing $150 with the first three bottles.  Keeping to the class of wines served up so far, you could go with this 2005 Giuseppe Mascarello Barolo "Monprivato"  , however there are a couple of issues here. One is that you're $40 over budget. The second is that an aged barolo would be much better.

Perhaps GregDP can step in here with his expertise?


So I guess that makes one domestic, two French and one Italian. Suppose that's how I'm generally drinking these days, but I hope it's a good counterpoint to what may likely be plenty of domestic suggestions to come.


Reply by jennrehm, Sep 21, 2010.

That's what I'm talking about!  Thanks!

Question: The aged Barolo for the main. How old would you go? I've not had the opportunity to taste much beyond current releases.  I'm quite the newbie :)

Reply by dmcker, Sep 21, 2010.

Sorry, I wasn't really thinking eight people clearly enough. For some reason I was thinking more like four. Are all of them drinkers?

Barolo is definitely the older the better, up to a rather distant limit and depending on vintages and producer. Certainly the '90s (to stay within practical limits) will be better than this past decade. But to fit within budgetary parameters, I think we really need Greg's expertise.

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Sep 22, 2010.

I like Dm's suggestions but let me make some adjustments and see how close we can come to $200.

For 8 people I would opt for


Sparkler - good call and definitely a fine way to start an evening. I was very surprised by the quality of the Freixenet Elyssia Gran Brut when I tried it last year and at $20 a bottle it's an easy place to start.

 While not profound, the 2005 Ch Liot Sauternes is a serviceably option and will pair well with tboth the foie and desseert, and it can be found in the $20-$25 range.

Dom de Chevalier Blanc is an awesome reccomendation. Ch La Louviere can be had for about $40-$45 a bottle and is another fine option. Another option, a bit lower in price as well, is the dependable Ch. Olivier.

After all that we're left with about $120, plenty for 2 bottles of decent Barolo. You'll get 6 glasses from a bottle so at this stage of the meal you don't want to run out of wijne for your guests! I'd look to vintages such as 1993 and 1995, the first rather feminine, the second more assertive as well as rustic, which have begun to show some signs of development.  Bovio is a fine house making rather traditional styled wines well worth thier modest price, as is Burlotto. I don't know where you're located but chamber's St in NYC, they ship, has great prices on a pair of Burlottos. My notes on these wines can be found here.


Time to run to work now!

Reply by Girl Drink Drunk, Sep 22, 2010.

I'd personally switch the first and second courses.  Then I'd pair as such:

1. Along the lines of dmcker's suggestion, there's a great cheapy  SB/Semillon blend we drink often, called Chateau Haut Rian.  It's probably all of 12 bucks a bottle, and is clean, crisp and minerally.  Two bottles certainly won't hurt your budget.  For something a little richer, Raul Perez 'Muti' Albarino is pretty sick shit.  Not that I care, but Parker just named it as the best Albarino he's ever had.  You can probably find it for $40ish.

2. I like Rose with the earthiness of this.  You have a billion options, but I've been drinking a lot of Le Rose de Larcis Ducasse.  I can get it for about $18 per bottle.  The sticky suggestions also work.

3. I have a big boner for Barolo, as nebbiolo is my favorite grape, but I think it's going to overpower every element of this dish.  I'd go Burg.  Cyriot-Buthian Volnay wouldn't blow your budget at around $40 and is great juice for the price.  2000 would be sick, but the current release is 2005, which is a great vintage also, albeit young.

4. I'm drinking Bourbon with that dessert all day.  You'd have about 60 bucks remaining if you went my route, which would allow you something pretty good.  I like Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve, which is probably about $70, depending where you live. 

Reply by jennrehm, Sep 29, 2010.

Thanks to everyone!

I'm having fun chasing down some of your suggestions.  This has been a great learning experience for me.

GDD - I'm completely in love with Albarino and it does nail the salad course perfectly.  I haven't tried the Raul Perez, but I'll seek it out. Funny you mentioned Bourbon. I've changed the sauce on the apple bread pudding to a bourbon sauce!  Elijah Craig 18yo.

Dmcker - I'm sure I will embarrass myself here, but I came across a 1999 Viliadora Barolo that was a good price.  Having never tried one I bought it to taste.  I understand what all the fuss is about.  It was a really great wine (and I'm sure by the price it was not even from a top producer).  It was better decanted for a bit.  Still on the fence about what it will do with the artichokes..... May roast a few and find out.

Greg - I'm in NYC pretty regularly so I will seek out the Bovio.

Still have 2 weeks and so many wines to taste!

Thanks again


Reply by dmcker, Sep 29, 2010.

Try a good SB/semillon blend from Graves. Domaine de Chevalier is the best in its price range, IMHO, but there are other cheaper alternatives nearly as good if you search out deals. I like it better in the context of this meal than an Albarino, though I drink plenty of the latter. After trying both you'll be in a better position to determine which you like better.

Artichokes are very, very hard to match to wine. I grew up in a family that grew them commercially, so I've had plenty all my life, and love them. The veal wth a different preparation would be fine with a Burgundian pinot noir, but the artichoke will damage the match. I think if you get a more feminine (to borrow Greg's, and many Europeans' terminology) version, the Barolo will be a better call for that dish. It's what I'd order for it, anyway, though possibly also an aged Tuscan, with whatever percentage of sangiovese in it. Not a pinot noir, and I'm even more a lover of them than of barolos.

Good bourbon sound just fine for the dessert, but my only question would be how many in your party would drink it as opposed to a dessert wine?


And yeah, matching wine to food, or vice versa, is a lot of fun, isn't it? I love to experiment, in the dishes I cook and the wines I match to them. Part of that lovely variety of life....

Reply by jennrehm, Sep 29, 2010.

Just found the Domaine de Chevalier locally.  Going to scope it out this weekend :)

Do you have any experience with Charles Ellner Champagne?

Reply by dmcker, Sep 29, 2010.

Would be interested in your opinion on the Chevalier Blanc. Their red is also good, and a little less pricey, but generally requires a bit of aging for it to come together in all its glory.

I've had a couple of Ellner's offerings. They're not my favorite, but if you're curious you might try them up against a couple of others at the same time. Champagne styles are quite distinctive, and that way you'll begin to find those you personally like. What's the price range you have in mind?

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