Switch out of the Ordinary and into the Extraordinary!
Wine in Courses adds Style
Ok, so you have the perfect dinner party planned or you’re sitting in the seat of a nice restaurant with a great wine list. The menu includes starters, main courses and desserts. Now, what to drink? Sticking to one type of wine is great for the old adage of not mixing your drinks, but you may not realize what you’re missing. Did you know drinking wine in courses, like food, is a great way to enjoy a meal?
Appetizers serve more than just the purpose of eating something different than what entrees are offered. Mostly petite in size, they get the appetite going with just a taste or two. By the time you’re done, your appetite is in full throw down mode. A wine can serve the same purpose. Lighter wines with higher acidity and crispness, like Champagne, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Viognier, Rosé and dry Sherry can really get your mouth watering. If you start with one of these wines, you’re guaranteed to want something to eat. Paired with an appetizer or hors d’oeuvres, you won’t feel full either.
Next is the main course, unless you’re eating in a formal French style, or have the opportunity to enjoy a tasting menu. Hopefully, it does not resemble the appetizer and it has a different flavor profile. It’s a great time to switch the wine to match the food. This is what’s nice about a wine program with a big by-the-glass selection. If you’re dining with several people, it’s a great time to order a different bottle. Even if the main part of the meal requires a white wine, pairing a different wine that is more effective at highlighting the dish is the way to go. Maybe you go with a red wine that is heavier in body, structure and texture to match the food.
Now for dessert! Chocolate goes really well with heavier red wines, like some Cabernet Sauvignons, Malbecs, and Syrahs. Banyuls, by the Roussillon house of M. Chapoutier, is a sweeter, fortified Grenache. It’s a match made in chocolate heaven! The vines that make this amazing wine are quite old and in some cases, have roots over 400 feet deep. Have you thought about ditching the cheese starter for cheese for dessert? It’s a really elegant way to finish a meal! Roaring 40’s “Blue” Cheese is a cow’s milk Bleu made in Australia. Drizzle it with a touch of quality honey and drink it with Mollydooker’s Blue Eyed Boy Shiraz. This is also a great time to roll out the fortified wines like Port. Ports, whether Ruby, Tawny or Vintage, pair really well with fruit, cheese, nuts and chocolate.
The next time you’re dining out or buying wine for your dinner party, think in courses and pairings. You and your guests will take your meal to a new level. Switching out of an ordinary routine can make a more memorable occasion, and put an impressive touch of elegance on your next meal. It does require a little more thought, but it really doesn’t require more expense. Instead of buying all the same labels for your next dinner party, or ordering the same wine you just had at the restaurant in a robotic fashion, switch it up to match the food.
Wed, December 5, 2012
by Bill Day