What’s a better way to start the four-day Thanksgiving weekend than awesome friends, wine, food and… more wine!?
Call it “holiday spirit,” “Thanks-eve,” or just a good ol’ excuse for celebration — A couple of weeks ago, while prancing about town, Alex and I decided we should do a wine pairing dinner with a few close friends. We split six of us into groups of two to take on a type of wine (red, white, sparkling/dessert) and pair it with at least 2-3 food items. It turned into quite the memorable (or not so memorable to some of us in our drunken stupor) event.
We started with the bubbly – Alex and Tara.
Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad, at least I think it was this one.
This sparkling wine was a brut cava from Spain (at least that’s what these two told us). Pairs well with spicy foods and seafood, as presented by these two.
With that in mind, the two prepped a pairing with five varied items.
Tuna tartare with a wasabi-avocado sauce atop a cucumber slice.
Bosc pear with a cinnamon honey drizzle (*my favorite). Pomegranate seeds. And Serrano chilies.
This was finished off with an orange-ginger glazed cheesecake (yay for culinary school, Tara!). Post-finals for Tara, I convinced her to have a dinner party… where, she just cooks. MUWAHAHAHA.
Next came the group that never wanted to pair, white wine — Holly and Brian.
Okay, I’ll admit… it was an odd pairing to begin with, but we made the best of the familiarity everyone had with each other amongst the six of us. Holly and Brian exchanged a few emails and brought their solo efforts together the night of our dinner.
Eroica Riesling — Holly.
Yes, I kept remembering this label as “Erotic” or “Erotica” and yay Googling, I came upon the correct name. This was a great riesling — sweet, mellow with light crisp notes. Pairs well with seafood and Asian.
Holly paired this dish with shrimp sauteed with garlic and red pepper flakes.
Chardonnay — Brian.
We don’t remember the label! We suck; I blame it on the six bottles of wine split amongst six people. I remember it was a lighter Chardonnay, fruity flavors? Pairs well with creamy dishes.
Brian paired this with a herbed chicken in a white wine cream sauce, accompanied by pearl onions.
A D’anjou pear, avocado and brie cheese plate paired with both wines.
Red wine — Michael and I.
Cucpcake Cabernet Sauvignon.
This California Cab has an oak-y touch with dark fruit flavors such as cherries and plums. It also hints a touch of chocolate. Pairs well with chocolate, mocha and delicate beef.
For this pairing, Michael and I chose four different items.
A braised beef over polenta cake. Baked brie with a sprinkle of brown sugar. Popcorn tossed in a light coat of white truffle oil.
And a mocha cupcake with a mocha sauce.
I think ours was the best, of course.
However, by the end of the night, I’m sure I thought everything was the best. Yes, I believe all six bottles of wine (2 bottles of the sparkling, 2 bottles of white, 2 bottles of the red) were all empty by the end of the night. Good thing Michael drove me!