View Full Version : Our Wine Club Dinner

11-05-2012, 08:51 AM
It was our turn to host dinner for our wine club of 12. I copied some ideas from people on this forum including rysara (baby lamb chop) and MadMel (seared foie gras). Once again my aspirations exceeded my abilities. This was a cooking marathon for me and my wife, who knows she can’t talk me out of stuff once I get my mind set.

Next year we’re making chili.

Two Plus Two Equals Pour
Every course will have a primary ingredient or style prepared two ways. Pair a wine for each.

Hors d'oeuvres
Escargots a la Bourguinonne
Beignets D’Escargots

Onion Tart
Cipollini Agrodolce

Panzanella Salad : Artichoke, Watermelon, Olive Focaccia, Arugula

Poireuax Ninaigrette: Marinated Leeks with Herbs

Foie Gras au Torchon with fruit jam or compote

Seared Foie gras with balsamic, port and veal stock reduction, Brioche boast

Sfogliata Autunno: Layered Autumn Leaves of Fresh Egg Pasta
Grilled and sautéed seasonal vegetables of mushrooms, peppers, roasted Brussels sprout leaves with butternut squash puree

Salmon with Fennel and Pernod

Lamb Meatballs with Harissa

Baby lamb chops a hash of fresh peas, favas and , baby carrots tossed in a green garlic pesto on a bed of kale. Served with agrodolce sauce

Pumpkin Seed Praline

Saffron Pumpkin Macarons


mr drinky
11-05-2012, 09:00 AM
Dang. That looks amazing (and I love lamb) but that would have used up all of my ambition for the next six months. You must have had some amazing wine to pair with it.


11-05-2012, 09:09 AM
Very ambitious and looks like you did real well. I would also love to see the wine pairings for the dishes.


11-05-2012, 09:23 AM
Looks like you learned something during your internship...

11-05-2012, 10:02 AM
Hors d'oeuvres:
1973 La Rioja Alta Rioja Gran Reserva Cuvee Centario 1890-1990 Cosecha
1989 Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Riesling Turckheim, Alsace

2010 Fess Parker Riesling Rodney Vineyard
Milesime’ Juve’ y Camps Cava

Veuve Cliquot
2008 Markus Moliter Haus Klosterberg Spatlese Riesling Mosel

2006 Domain Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru
2007 John Duval SGM

2008 Hourglass Blueline Vineyard Merlot
2008 Vine Hill Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon

2001 Felsina Begardenga Vin Santo Chianti Classico Dessert Wine
2010 Dom. De la Casa Blanca Banyuls
2010 Calera 35th Anniversary Vintage

Extras: 1983 Vieux Telegraphe Ch. Du Pape
2005 Oscar Semmler Shiraz Barossa Valley
2001 Peter Michael Chardonnay Cuvee Indigene

Seth, the salmon was from Samuels and Son

mr drinky
11-05-2012, 11:30 AM
Extras: 1983 Vieux Telegraphe Ch. Du Pape

Nice. Nothing like breaking out a dusty 20-year-old bottle and calling it an 'extra'.


11-05-2012, 12:07 PM
Indeed, mr drinky. I think leaving a Vieux Telegraphe on the bench resembles the kind of problem that the managers of Barcelona and Real Madrid have in selecting their starting lineups.

11-05-2012, 12:26 PM
Very nice line-up, I wish I had a group like that out here, I miss my old wine and food buddies in Germany. That was a bit less formal but a lot of fun.


11-05-2012, 01:23 PM
Wow, that looks great. Job well done!

Eamon Burke
11-05-2012, 06:10 PM
Holy crap. I've never seen such a list of wines, paired with so much maillard flavors.

I'm coming to your house next week.

Eamon Burke
11-05-2012, 06:17 PM
Hey tell us about that Rioja! It's a bit more than Alta now, more like Mucho Viejo.

11-05-2012, 06:19 PM
I'm coming to your house next week.
x2. If you host the ECG again next year, this is the level we will now be expecting :justkidding:

11-05-2012, 06:31 PM
Maillard, huh? Had to google that one and I still don't quite understand it.

The rioja was nice but starting to show it's age. Tannins had mellowed, fruit was in the background but it had a great complexity of flavors I'm not good at describing. Since I had surgery eight years ago my taster doesn't work too well.

WB, I spent a lot of time smoking a pork butt and making all sorts of other good stuff for the ECG, but Matt's pulled pork dusted mine. The food from the other pro chefs was excellent. That, to me, is a prime difference between a good home cook and a pro.

People tell me I should be a chef, own a restaurant and whatever. I like the praise, but they have no idea about the vast difference between an amateur and a pro. If I plan well and spend a few days prepping and cooking, I can match some of the pro's. But they do it every day while I may do it a few times a year.

And I do plan on hosting another ECG.

11-05-2012, 07:06 PM
My hat is off to you, as that was a really big load to shoulder. For our monthly club we set a theme, and ask each attendee/ couple to make one or two things. That way we only need to spend a couple/ few hours preparing our own part of the dinner. The main thing we get left with is all the clean up, as we always wind up hosting :-)

Please remember to contact Leah and I the next time you will be down in DC. We can tackle a less-ambitious menu so we can spend more time drinking the wine :cool2:

(and I really wasn't knocking the past ECG -- that was some fantastic food! But your wine club dinner menu looks even better!)

11-05-2012, 07:38 PM
No knock received.

When my wife and I were invited to join the wine group it was a drunk club with very expensive big red wines. The meals were very good, but success was measured by how many bottles 12 of us drank by the end of the night. My wife and I never tried to keep up but loved the wine.

Over 10 years we've evolved into a group of wine and food lovers who challenge ourselves to cook well and match the wines accordingly. Each couple hosts one dinner a year doing all the cooking. A week or so before they email the menu along with any special instructions -a French menu but no French wines- and everyone selects a course. Then you bring two different wines for that course; husband and wife pours. So a bottle is split six ways and the husband and wife trade their glasses back and forth. The person who brought the wines gives a short talk and the group discusses which wines go best with the food. All that takes maybe five minutes and then we have a blast talking all sorts of sh!t.

I may be in D.C. in April and will look you up.

11-05-2012, 07:51 PM
I love a 'club' concept like that. We had a group of friends where everyone brought a 'half-prepared' dish (as long as that made sense) and a matching wine, and the host usually made 2 dishes. Hanging around in the kitchen and chatting while finishing the courses was at least as much fun as sitting down and eating. In most cases, the wines were served blind and we guessed land, dominant grape and year - between getting better over time and sometimes being embarrassingly far off that was a lot of fun with a learning effect also. Any anything, from a real fancy one to a good wine for a great price, was appreciated. Makes me want to start a group again when I know where I will be for a while...


11-05-2012, 08:02 PM
We really enjoy our cooking club. It's a bit of work sometimes, but it's definitely worth it. Half of the original core has dropped out due to work and moving out of the area, so we line up a few 'special guests' each month. If they will not be cooking something, they have a duty to bring some wine. Our group is a nice mix of ex-pros and home cooks. We really encourage others to start up similar clubs; it gets people back in the kitchen.