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April 20, 2010

April Food and Wine Club Dinner

Another great dinner with our wine club friends left us wondering how we could top this one. The theme was food and wine pairing; select the wine and bring the food that best pairs with your wine.

The welcome drink was a Chandon, Blanc De Noirs Sparkling wine from the heart of Napa Valley, California. If you know French, you would know that the name actually means a white wine made from red grapes, resulting in a very soft salmon color. So the question was, why not pair this with salmon mousse and so we did. Sparkling wines go with many foods but this pairing was right on in so many ways. The colors and flavors of the mousse and the wine were delightful.

Next up were the Chardonnays. We tried two with very different styles. The Kali Hart, 2008 from Monterey County will run you about $16.99 a bottle. The wine was fermented in French oak and stainless steel. The color was straw and the flavors led with lots of citrus, a simple but enjoyable wine. The food pairing was with a pear and Gruyere cheese strata, providing a great combination of flavors with both Chardonnay wines. I must get the recipe for the Gruyere Cheese Strata, it was incredible.

The Cakebread Cellars, 2008 Chardonnay from Anderson Valley was rich with more complexity. The flavor was a combination of crisp pears, apple and melon that paired excellently with both the Smoked Salmon Quiche and the strata. The creamy textures of the quiche with the fresh dill lifted the citrus and vanilla flavors of the wine to a new level. This wine was fermented in French oak barrels and will set you back about $46.00. I’ll post the Quiche recipe soon!

Have you ever heard anyone say, “I don’t really like white wine”? I have even said this myself until I started experimenting with food and wine pairings. The 2008 Riesling from Germany’s Mosel Valley was a little sweet for me until I tried it with the spiced creamy shrimp. The wine came to life, the sweetness disappeared and the result was fascinating. You’ll have to try it for yourself; it was one of those combinations that demonstrate the importance of selecting the right wine for the food.

Just when you think it can’t get any better we opened the Pinot Noirs. The 2006 Reserve Pinot Noir from V. Sattui winery in Napa Valley was a little spicy with a little earth and a long and elegant finish. The wine paired well with the pork tenderloin with Vodka, bacon cream sauce. This wine runs about $36.00 a bottle. I’ll let you in on a little secret. The wine also paired really well with the quiche.

The Youngberg Hill 2006 Pinot Noir did not disappoint us until we found out that the wine has sold out. Well, too bad we can’t order anymore because it was very good, but you can get the 2007 for about $38.00. The winery is in McMinnville, one of the most beautiful places in Oregon. This particular wine is a barrel select, an extremely balanced wine, rich with fruit flavors. It paired very well with the pork tenderloin.

The last pairing was a Valley of the Moon Cabernet Sauvignon paired with chocolate truffles. I loved the wine; it was rich with lots of structure. The grapes were fermented in stainless steel then spent 22 months in French and American oak barrels. I would love this wine with a good roast beef stew, but everyone else loved it with the chocolate. That is why they say that wine and food pairing is a matter of taste. The price of the wine is about $46.00 a bottle.

Posted by terri at April 20, 2010 02:59 PM

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