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View Full Version : Wine Pairing Advice Needed- HELP!



bprescot
11-02-2011, 09:33 AM
I've got the in-laws coming this weekend and the wife wants to open up a wine we got as a gift from them a long time ago. Problem is, I just don't know what to pair this with.

It's a 2004 Domaine Alfred Califa Pinot Noir. It's a big big pinot, or at least it was. Aging may have subdued it slightly.

I really really need some advice or ideas, guys. My mind is stuck in a freakin' rut and keeps coming back to some sort of roasted bird. But I don't want to do that twice in a month, since I've already got a bird lined up for Thanksgiving. It seems at the moment that all my food ideas are fowl! (Sorry. Couldn't resist)

Ideas?

Salty dog
11-02-2011, 10:09 AM
Being from Wisconsin I'm a big veal fan. Depending how the wine presents itself might determine if I gently grill it or otherwise.

Dusty
11-02-2011, 10:10 AM
Big Pinot? Hare or venison would work if you're game (also couldn't resist).

bprescot
11-02-2011, 10:56 AM
Ooo... Rabbit. I'm liking that. Rabbit Ragu and Pappardelle... Oh! Braised rabbit over polenta? ... hmm... definitely like rabbit. Thanks!

Edit: i think I take back the ragu. Too rich. Don't think this wine will be big and jammy enough.

9mmbhp
11-02-2011, 10:58 AM
Roasted wild boar or heritage pork?

MadMel
11-02-2011, 11:08 AM
Kangaroo maybe??

bprescot
11-02-2011, 11:22 AM
:D Hard to source here. Though I've had wallaby. I was underwhelmed, to tell you the truth. Might have been poorly prepared, but it didn't seem to bring much in terms of flavor, just a lot of fat and marbling. Tender, I'll grant. But not particularly flavorful.

mr drinky
11-02-2011, 11:24 AM
I like the rabbit idea too, just make sure the in-laws are squeamish about it. I made that mistake once. With that said, I made this rabbit recipe about a year ago and loved it.

http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Rabbit-in-Mustard-Sauce

It says is pairs well with a rich, low-tanin red.

And btw, what really pairs well with in-laws is a very, very stiff drink.

k.

bprescot
11-02-2011, 11:47 AM
LOL!

I think the economics of rabbit might nix the rabbit idea. Rabbit is a fun some-time thing when it's just the wife and I, but for four, I'll probably need two, right? They're pretty pricey down here, since so few places carry them... Pork, however, is EVERYWHERE. Might explore that a bit more. Will definitely keep that rabbit recipe in the back of my head though, thanks!

unkajonet
11-02-2011, 11:51 AM
Just sent you a pm

mr drinky
11-02-2011, 12:10 PM
In Durham you can't get cheap rabbit? Interesting. When I was living in DC rabbit was one of the cheapest meats I could buy. It was under $2 a pound. Here in MN they are expensive though. I guess it depends upon suppliers.

Good luck.

k.

bprescot
11-02-2011, 12:22 PM
$2 a pound?! :jawdrop: Oh man, that would be awesome! Only place I've ever seen them is Whole Foods and they're the d'Artagnans. Also farmers market which is around the same price. I've got a few days to search, but I'm going to put together a backup plan.

Dang. $8 for a rabbit. That would be pretty awesome.

bprescot
11-02-2011, 12:37 PM
Wow. So I just want to say, for the record, that I am in awe of this forum! Not only of the amount of knowledge about all thing culinary, but also of the willingness for everyone to share. I've had a flood of PMs about this. I had one person who SCANS THEIR WINE PAIRING BOOK, so I can see what goes good with Pinot. I just read a PM all about heritage hogs that I might be able to find in the area and their taste profiles. More than I ever knew there was to know about the subject and I'm DYING to dive in and learn more. And finally a PM recommending good wallet-friendly rabbit substitutions!!!

You guys just blow me away. I'm humbled, I truly am. Sincere thanks! Not only am I well out of this rut, but I'm all fired up to test some ideas out. Whomever suggested the mushroom and balsamic ragu (yet another PM) I am TOTALLY trying that out!

You guys rock!

mano
11-02-2011, 01:38 PM
You're a man after my own heart loving rabbit and game meats.

A good veal chop is a great match but probably costs more than rabbit.

Duck is a good match. Duck ballotine -I can send two stuffing recipes- or roast it beer-can style. That'll get some crispy skin. I have a recipe for a phenomenal blackberry sauce, or else just make a port reduction with the drippings, garlic, shallots and other stuff.

JohnnyChance
11-03-2011, 01:44 AM
Wow. So I just want to say, for the record, that I am in awe of this forum! Not only of the amount of knowledge about all thing culinary, but also of the willingness for everyone to share. I've had a flood of PMs about this. I had one person who SCANS THEIR WINE PAIRING BOOK, so I can see what goes good with Pinot. I just read a PM all about heritage hogs that I might be able to find in the area and their taste profiles. More than I ever knew there was to know about the subject and I'm DYING to dive in and learn more. And finally a PM recommending good wallet-friendly rabbit substitutions!!!

You guys just blow me away. I'm humbled, I truly am. Sincere thanks! Not only am I well out of this rut, but I'm all fired up to test some ideas out. Whomever suggested the mushroom and balsamic ragu (yet another PM) I am TOTALLY trying that out!

You guys rock!

What, these people can't post and share their wealth of knowledge with everyone!? :razz:

My first reaction to pinot is duck, but that is probably less budget concious than the rabbit. And I always lean toward duck...cause it rocks.

Or just let that sh!t turn to vinegar and make something useful out of it, and then pair your dinner with beer.

bprescot
11-10-2011, 03:04 PM
Hey All,

So I figured I'd post back to let you know what all went down. I ended up doing an easy appetizer plate of some cheeses and fresh baked bread and the last of our charcuterie attempts. For dinner was a slow roasted Berkshire picnic, sauteed mushrooms with balsamic reduction over creamy grits, and sauteed baby spinach at my wife's insistence (though I'd planned on roasted brussel sprouts w/ the last of our ittybitty shallots). Dessert was Sweet Potato Meringue pie.

But here's the kicker. We didn't open that friggin' bottle after all. The In-laws flat out refused. So we opened up some Turley Zins instead.

cnochef
11-10-2011, 03:09 PM
Sounds like a great dinner. You're lucky to have those Turley zins to open, no matter what the occasion!

bprescot
11-10-2011, 03:23 PM
Oh, they were great, don't get me wrong. A '07 Rattlesnake Ridge and an '07 Mead Ranch. But Turley zin is easy to pair. Turley Zin likes to go "Smash" so food just needs to smash back. Well, that, and we're on Turley's list, and we tend not to drink them when it's just us. The result is that we are over flowing in Turley.

mhlee
11-10-2011, 06:41 PM
Ben -

First the L'Aventure Optimus, now Turley??? My girlfriend and I were just up there this past weekend for the release party!

Looks like we probably like a lot of the same wines! :cool2:

bprescot
11-10-2011, 07:24 PM
Do they do one in Napa as well or were you in Templeton? The in-laws are in San Luis, so Templeton and Paso are right around the corner, hence L'Aventure and Optimus.

mhlee
11-10-2011, 07:50 PM
We were at the one in Templeton. My girlfriend just got on their list so we drove up from LA. I had to pick up wine from Linne Calodo so we were able to do both on onr trip.

I have no idea if they have one in Napa.

mhlee
11-10-2011, 07:52 PM
P.S. - The best wine that we were able to taste was a barrel tasting of the 2010 Uebberoth Vineyard Zin. It has great potential.

bprescot
11-10-2011, 07:59 PM
Oh man! that's a drive. If you're ever in the area again, or if you're going up next year, shoot me a PM as there are a number of other great, seldom heard of wineries in that area.

apicius9
11-10-2011, 08:02 PM
How do you guys have funds left for knives if you drink Turleys? ;) Maybe I really should get out of academia... I miss my old German wine and cooking round. "...overflowing in Turleys", I don't think I ever heard that before...

Stefan

mhlee
11-10-2011, 08:07 PM
Oh man! that's a drive. If you're ever in the area again, or if you're going up next year, shoot me a PM as there are a number of other great, seldom heard of wineries in that area.

I definitely will. I've been really impressed with a lot of Paso wineries. In fact, I think the Grenaches being made in Paso are some of the better wines being made.

bprescot
11-10-2011, 08:22 PM
How do you guys have funds left for knives if you drink Turleys? ;) Maybe I really should get out of academia... I miss my old German wine and cooking round. "...overflowing in Turleys", I don't think I ever heard that before...

Stefan

Two shipments a year for the last 4 years, and we usually save them for special occasions. So we've got a few cases by now... On the other hand, it means we don't buy a lot of other wines! Plus with the membership it's a 25% discount.

Mike Davis
11-11-2011, 11:51 PM
So...wine party at your place? :p