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Need menu critique/wine help

DJ's picture

I'm planning a special birthday dinner for DH this year-he turns 60. I'm inviting the people who supported us when DH had his surprise cardiac bypass earlier this year.


I'm thinking of making the individual beef croustades with pepper Boursin & mushrooms from FC #69. The suggested menu sounds good and is planned for doing ahead of time.


The menu:


tomato soup with orange and cumin


the beef croustades


baby spinach with scallions and lemon


chocolate mousse


I thought I would make Glenys' Moroccan tomato soup with pimenton instead. I need suggestions for wine with the soup.


Wine with  the croustades would be St Julien Bordeaux Chateau Gruaud-Larose 2001-(Robert Parkers says this is one of the best vintages of this)


I'd add a tossed green salad with a Sherry wine vinegar and  a cheese course  after the main course.


Any and all suggestions are welcome.  Looking at this-it just might clog up one of DH's arteries-oh well, once a year.


Democracy has to be more than two wolves and a sheep deciding on what to have for dinner-James Bovard

If you eat pasta and antipasta, are you still hungry?

MadMom's picture

(post #36605, reply #1 of 13)

Hope DH is doing well.  The menu sounds great!



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thecooktoo's picture

(post #36605, reply #2 of 13)

For a special birthday and to celebrate with friends I would have to chose a sparkler.  French champaign or a good domestic would be great for ice breaking and carry over to the first course.  I might even see if I could find an Australian sparkling shiraz, have only had it a couple of times and cannot buy it locally so don't find it that often.  I would think it would go particularly well with the spicy tomato soup.


edited to add:  Too bad I don't have any airline miles left or I would volunteer to come be your soux...all I would need would be a place to set my knife kit and a floor to lay my sleeping bag on.   Great menuy!


Jim


Edited 10/31/2008 9:48 am ET by thecooktoo

DJ's picture

(post #36605, reply #5 of 13)

You  volunteer to  be the sous and you won't need that sleeping bag-you get the deluxe guest room  with lake view, the king sized bed and private bath with 6 foot whirlpool and heated tile floor!!


I like the idea of the Aussie sparkling Shiraz. I'm doing a trial run of the soup tomrrow night and will report back. The plan was to have  spiced mixed nuts as a nibble before dinner and the wine would work with both.


Thanks,


Doris


Democracy has to be more than two wolves and a sheep deciding on what to have for dinner-James Bovard

If you eat pasta and antipasta, are you still hungry?

Risottogirl's picture

(post #36605, reply #6 of 13)

Australian sparkling shiraz


yes!! I love Peter Rumball's, but DAMN, it is tough to find. No distributor in MA, we have similar alcohol laws to yours :(


Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

thecooktoo's picture

(post #36605, reply #7 of 13)

We can't buy it in Montgomery County.  I have to go to Northern VA  to either Costco or Total Beverage and then sneak it into the county.


Jim

Risottogirl's picture

(post #36605, reply #9 of 13)

It is our whole frickin' state. "Liberal state", my @ss :)

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

BonnieinHolland's picture

(post #36605, reply #3 of 13)

The Bordeaux sounds good as a match, though I am not sure what your side dishes are going to be and those could have a major influence.  Most folks think only of the meat in terms of wine but often the side dishes are even more important...especially if they are asparagus or artichoke (both incompatible and even deadly with reds in general).  You're planning on a pretty special red, so I would be sure that the sides are fairly neutral.  For the soup course...with a tomato soup with the smoked paprika, I would pick a dry Sherry, like a Manzanilla or a Fino.  For example, a Tio Pepe Fino (which can also be bought in half bottles).  Are you looking for a match for the salad (and that this is a separate course)?  Salads are tough for a wine, particularly when using a vinegar instead of lemon.  But you could certainly carry over the dry Sherry from the soup course successfully with this salad course, I would think.  Otherwise you're looking at a sauvignon blanc or other such wine with good acids to stand up to the vinegar.   Cheese course wines depend on the cheeses served.  I do think that a white wine works in general better than reds with cheese because the cheese coats the tongue and white wine works better to clean the tongue and spring it back to life.  The general 'rule' is reds with hard cheeses and whites with soft ones.  cheers, Bonnie


Edited 10/31/2008 1:14 pm ET by BonnieinHolland

roz's picture

(post #36605, reply #4 of 13)

Where's are resident wine man, gmunger? Did I miss something?

Be impeccable with your word. Don't take anything personally. Don't make assumptions. Do your best. Don Miguel Ruiz
Cissytoo's picture

(post #36605, reply #8 of 13)

I'm thinking of making the individual beef croustades with pepper Boursin & mushrooms from FC #69. The suggested menu sounds good and is planned for doing ahead of time.


That is a wonderful menu.  A friend and I co-hosted a dinner party with that menu.  It was good to have another pair of hands for wrapping the phyllo around the croustades.


We were a little disappointed in the soup.  It was tasty but lacked the WOW factor.  Glenys' soup would probably be perfect.


Edited 11/1/2008 4:02 pm ET by Cissytoo

DJ's picture

(post #36605, reply #10 of 13)

Thanks for the reassurance that it's a good menu.


I made Glenys' Moroccan tomato soup last night-it is delicious.  It was a reminder of the sensory pleasures of cooking-toasting and  grinding spices,  cooking the spices with the onions and garlic; how the taste changes as the orange juice and peel are added, then with the addition of brown sugar.


Democracy has to be more than two wolves and a sheep deciding on what to have for dinner-James Bovard

If you eat pasta and antipasta, are you still hungry?

ashleyd's picture

(post #36605, reply #11 of 13)

Oh it's definitely a good menu, the moment I saw it I thought a Viognier for the soup, with a possible fallback to a Gewurztraminer, but definitely the latter if you go for Glenys' version. Champagne is a great food wine, but possibly not for tomato (clash of acidity) but the sparkling Shiraz might just have the body for it.


Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

DJ's picture

(post #36605, reply #12 of 13)

Unfortunately, the only sparkling Shiraz I can buy here is McGiugans. My first impression was "Looks like Cold Duck. And then "It tastes like it, too!".  I think a better version  would be complimentary to the soup.


I'll try a gewurz with the remains of the soup tomorrow. I do have a few better bottles of Gerwurz in the cellar.  My other thought would be a Reisling/Traminer blend.  The Viogners I have might be a bit too dry.


Thanks,


Doris



Democracy has to be more than two wolves and a sheep deciding on what to have for dinner-James Bovard


Edited 11/2/2008 7:51 pm by DJ

If you eat pasta and antipasta, are you still hungry?

Lee's picture

(post #36605, reply #13 of 13)

I thought a Viognier for the soup, with a possible fallback to a Gewurztraminer, but definitely the latter if you go for Glenys' version.


That would be my first choice.  I don't remember what goes into the proposed salad course for this menu, but we recently had a lovely Argentinian Viognier served with a salad of arugula, candied walnuts and fig molasses and warm taleggio crostini.  It was an excellent pairing.